Monthly Archives: October 2013

Review: 2014 Cabrinha Switchblade and Drifter

By Jason Watts

I had the great pleasure of flying the new Cabrinha Switchblades and Drifters over the past month on numerous occasions. Needless to say, I am stoked on the 2014 Cabrinha kite lineup on offer at Big Winds.

Switchblade

The Switchblade (SB) is all about free ride versatility. Want a lot of grunt? This kite has it! My first impression flying my SB 8 meter was that this kite has a lot of juice. The power found in previous generations of SB (which was reduced slightly in the 2013 model) is back, getting me out on the water when the conditions are marginal and letting me send it up high when the wind is strong. If the wind is way up, I simply sheet out a bit and the amount of depower instantly available makes this kite have one of the best overall wind ranges on the market.

I was really pleased with the increased turning speeds of the 2013 SB, and this has been further improved upon with the 2014 model. This year, Cabrinha has reduced the number of bridal pulleys in each kite from six to two, allowing for a more direct response from the bar to the kite, increasing turning speeds and providing a more direct feel to the kite as well. The new Overdrive 1X bar (see below) also has a lower V for the center lines, which also leads to a more direct response and increased turning speed.

Another huge perk for the entire 2014 Cabrinha kite line up is the new Overdrive 1X bar. The bar adjusts with ease from 49 cm to 57 cm, allowing you to fly all kite sizes (except the light wind Contra series) on a single bar. switchbladeI was a little hesitant about this at first, since I was used to flying a 42 cm bar on my smaller Cabrinha kites in the past. The past few days we got some very windy east wind days in the Gorge so I used my new SB 6 meter on the 49 cm setting and was pleasantly surprised how stable the kite was. The kite turned fast, but was smooth and did not over-steer. It is really nice to be able to use the same bar on my 6 meter that I use on my 11 meter.

All and all, the SB is the smoothest, easiest flying, and highest performance kite I have ever flown, period. The 2014 model builds upon the improvements in turning speed added last year, while also bringing back the grunt and power that made the SB so popular in the first place. This is the perfect kite for any intermediate to expert looking to ride all kinds of conditions and go big!

Drifter

As a strapless kiteboarder from a surfing background, I have been a big fan of the Drifter since its inception in 2012. The trademark of this kite is “Drift Stability” which means that if you ride down the line, or at the kite, it travels with you. This allows you to surf, slash, and generally tear things up without worrying about outrunning the kite. The 2014 Drifter maintains this tradition with gusto.

drifterThe biggest improvement in the 2014 Drifter from years past is increased turning speed. Like the SB, the 2014 Drifter has a reduced number of bridal pulleys and the new Overdrive 1X bar’s low center V, both leading to a more direct steering input from the bar to the kite. I have also found the Drifter to have more pop for surfboard freestyle maneuvers with the simplified bridal. The Drifter also re-launches very quickly, essential before the next set hits.

The Drifter has been a shop favorite for the past three seasons. It is an easy flying and forgiving kite that lets you ride waves or swell with ease. The improvements in turning speed make it even more of a pleasure to fly. Finally, the same characteristics that make the Drifter a great wave kite (bomber construction, lots of depower, drift stability, effortless re-launch) also make it a great kite for anyone looking for one of the easiest flying kites out there to take one’s own ability to the next level.

2014 North Directionals Are In!

Big Winds just received the first shipment of 2014 North kitesurf directional boards, including the new Pro Series 5’11, the new WAM 5’8, and the new Whip 5’5. With the introduction of a cork “shock absorbing” laminate incorporated with the bamboo veneer, the 2014 North directionals feel livelier, and smoother than ever.

north lineup

The 2014 North Whip, WAM and Pro Series. Click to enlarge.

The Pro Series has been redesigned with a fuller nose, wider “thumb-tail”, and straighter rail. With the North pro riders input on this board, the new 2014 Pro Series has been tweaked to offer more control and handle a variety of conditions. The overall aesthetics of the 2014 Pro Series is a huge upgrade over last year’s model .

The WAM remains North’s go to performance all rounder board, but underwent a major overhaul for 2014. Sky Solbach: “I wanted to add more snap and liveliness to improve performance in small waves without sacrificing too much control and drive in bigger surf. In order to achieve this, I pushed more width into the tail and increased the overall rocker to loosen it up and tighten the turning radius. Then, to compensate and keep it all under control, I flattened out the curve in the rocker between the zero point and the tail. The result is a board that is fast and loose, yet very positive and predictable.” The 2014 WAM will continue to be one of Big Winds’ best sellers due to the versatility of the board’s tri/quad fin set up.

For the small wave and river swell rippers out there, North reshaped the our ever-loved Whip into a completely new design. With a tri-fin set up, the new Whip is looser and livelier than the older models, great for generating speed and absolutely perfect for punting strapless airs! Once again, it is a completely new shape, new construction, with great looks for 2014!

With all 2014 North directional kitesurf boards, the price includes the board, fin-set, and rear pad only. With a rise in strapless riding popularity, North now makes it an option to purchase the surfstraps and front surf pads separately. This has brought the price down on the boards a bit for those of you who have never used the straps and pads supplied with the board in the years past. If you’re interested in trying a new 2014 North kitesurf board, our rental/demo program will be up and running come Spring 2014. Give us a call if you are interested in purchasing or have any questions regarding 2014 North kitesurf boards.

www.bigwinds.com    888-509-4210    541-386-6086

Choosing Your New Stand Up Paddleboard

(Updated 3/10/2015)

Choosing your next SUP can be a daunting task. For those of you new to the sport, the choices can seem (and are!) endless. At Big Winds, we have been into Stand Up Paddleboarding from the beginning, when the first production boards arrived in North America some 10 years ago. Since then we have seen, and been a part of the explosive growth of this great sport. We are fortunate to partner with the very best brands in SUP and have committed a ton of energy and resources into the sport. Where many shops have jumped on the bandwagon and are more than happy to sell you whatever they happen to have on the rack, here at Big Winds we want, first and foremost, to make sure you get the absolute right board, that will make you smile every time you go out for a casual paddle or a hard fitness workout, drop into a long point wave, or fly along on an exciting downwind run. We are a large staff (up to 50 in the summer and 9 year round) most all of whom paddle and many of whom have gravitated to SUP as their primary sport. We do it all: race, surf, fitness, whitewater, and yes, even casual social paddling. We do downwinders every chance we get, which is often here in the Columbia River Gorge. We are confident we can steer you into a great board for your needs.

SUP LessonsBig Winds operates the largest Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons and Rentals program on the west coast. We teach a ton of lessons each summer, from first timers to advanced stroke technique clinics. We have over 90 SUP boards of every variety at our exclusive on the water location just 5 minutes from our shop in downtown Hood River, Oregon..

Big Winds JET Team-67

 

We also proudly have built the largest Junior SUP Race Program in the US, with Team Big Winds competing throughout the US, Mexico and Hawaii. At the 2013 Battle of the Paddle in California, the largest SUP race in the world, the Big Winds Junior Elite Team (JET) swept the podium in the 18 and under boys, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The JET Girls matched the boys, going 2-3-4-5 in the 18 and under. And Big Winds JET has been going strong ever since.

So, what does that mean for you, someone looking for a new (maybe your first) SUP board? Our depth of experience translates directly into our unique expertise in gear selection and recommendation. We have a HUGE selection of SUP boards and paddles in stock and we know the gear because we use the gear. We test, analyze and criticize the choices out there so that we stock the correct variety of types, sizes and price levels of boards and paddles. We GUARANTEE your satisfaction with the products we sell. If you are not 100% happy with whatever you buy from Big Winds, we’ll take it back and work to get you something else. We understand buying a new Stand Up Paddleboard is an investment and we will do whatever it takes to ensure you are totally stoked.

Here are some tips to help guide you into a smart buying decision:

Think of SUP boards in terms of two large categories: Round Nose boards and Pointed Nose boards. If you want to go surfing with your SUP, you need a round nose board. If you don’t intend to ride ocean waves, then we recommend you consider a pointed nose board. Round nose boards are more maneuverable and pointed nose boards glide better and paddle in a straight line (track) better.

What about Inflatable SUP Boards?

The quality and performance of Inflatable SUP Boards has improved dramatically in the past five years, as well as the choices. As a rule, rigid boards will still offer a bit better performance in terms of glide and efficiency. However, Inflatables can be the right choice for certain situations. They pack down into a large duffel style bag, which is included, along with a pump. This makes them relatively easy to travel with and store in your garage or home. However, it is generally impractical to assume you will pump and deflate your SUP each time you want to go paddling! It takes a fair bit of effort to inflate them properly, unless you have one of the spiffy new electric pumps, which we sell at Big Winds. If you’re considering an Inflatable SUP, give us a call and we can talk you through all the choices and help you decide if this is the right way to go for you.

Round Nose boards can further be broken down into:

1. All Around Boards. The All Around boards will generally be over 10’ long and at least 30” wide. They will paddle fairly well in flat water, gliding and tracking fine, and be quite stable. In this category we suggest you consider: Amundson Source, Amundson Cross, Starboard Drive, Starboard Blend, Naish Nalu, and Surftech Generator.

2. Easy Surfing. These boards are designed for the novice and intermediate SUP surfer. They will be shorter than the All Around boards, usually between 9’ and 10’6”, and fairly wide (30”+) for stability. If Easy Surfing looks like your thing, consider the Naish Mana, Naish Nalu, Quatro Glide, Starboard Whopper and the Starboard Wide Point.

3. Performance Surfing.

If you want to crank off the bottom and smack the lip, here you go. These boards are designed to perform in the hands of skilled surfers. They will generally be under 9’6” and narrower than 30”. The Naish Hokua, Starboard Airborn and Starboard Pro Series, and Quatro Carve will satisfy the hard core SUP surfer.

4. Inflatables. The choices in quality inflatable SUP boards has increased exponentially in the past two years and at Big Winds we have stayed on top of it, relentlessly testing new models. Here are our favorites in the All Around category, the Naish Mana Air10’, Naish Nalu Air11’, Naish Alana Air 10’6” (Women’s Specific) Starboard Astro Blend, Starboard Astro Whopper.

Pointed Nose Boards can further be broken down into:

 

 1. Touring. These are the cruisers that everyone will enjoy in smooth and bumpy water. They are user friendly, track and glide well and are suitable for distance, fitness and social paddling. They are usually over 10’6”, around 30” wide and stable. Lighter paddlers can have more fun on the smaller models in this category, while heavier paddlers should steer towards the larger volume choices. Great choices for the lighter paddlers are the Amundson 11’6” TR and TR-X, Starboard Freeride, Bark Appleby 11’ Cross. For heavier paddlers we recommend the Naish Glide 12’6”, Tahoe SUP Zephyr, Starboard Freeride XL, Amundson 12’6” TR and TR-X, Amundson 14’ TR-X and TR-T, SIC Bullet 12’6” and 14’ the SIC X12’6” and X14’. We also stock the Naish ONE, and the Starboard Astro Tour series, both excellent touring/race inflatable choices.

2. Racing. If you want to experience really efficient gliding and tracking, you should consider a model from this category. Several of us here at Big Winds have been racing and coaching SUP for a number of years now and we pride ourselves on being up on the latest, fastest boards available. Some of these models are accessible to a fairly broad skill level and some require a significant level of expertise to enjoy. We break these down into two main sizes: 12’6” and 14’, since those are the two most popular race classes. We’ve personally tested almost every one of these boards, so please CALL US! Choosing the right race board requires more than just reading a website or a catalog. In season, we have a ton of demos available, so if you are in the Northwest, it’s worth a trip to our shop and Demo Center in Hood River.

Here are our favorite choices to consider:

  • In the 12’6” size, the Naish Javelin LE. Starboard All Star and Bark Appleby.
  • In the 14’ size, the Naish Javelin and Javelin LE, Starboard All Star, Bark Dominator and D2 and Amundson 14’0” TR-X.3.

Women Specific Touring. About half of the staff at Big Winds is female, so we are totally plugged in to the specific requirements many of our lady customers are looking for. Women's Specific SUP We suggest ladies look for boards that are sized for them, be it petit or larger. There are a few boards that really stand out as great choices for ladies due to their very lightweight and slightly smaller dimensions. These include the Amundson 11’6” TR and TR-X, Bark Appleby and the Naish Alana series.

4. Downwind/Open WaterThis is a category close to our heart here at Big Winds. As mentioned previously, we are smack dab in the middle of the most consistent, windiest spot in North America.


DSCN0367

Our prevailing summer 25-35 knot west winds oppose the current of the mighty Columbia River boosting the river swells to often overhead in size. I can say with confidence our staff has more experience paddling downwind and has tested more downwind, open water boards than any staff at any shop in North America. With our Guided Downwind Tours and Shuttle Service, we have a unique opportunity to see what boards work best for varying sizes and skill levels. We stock the very best of the boards in this category, including the Naish Glides, SIC Bullets and F-16, Kalama Connectors and the Bark Downwinder 14 among others.

If you’re in the market for a Downwind board, call us! We are your downwind SUP experts!

5. Inflatables. The choices in Pointed Nose inflatables have also gone through the roof in the past year. Now we offer high performance Touring and yes, even Race inflatable boards. If you are in the market for an inflatable Touring or Race board take a look at the following models: Naish ONE 12’6”, Starboard Astro Tour 12’6” and 14’, Starboard Astro Race 12’6” and 14’.

PHEW! There are obviously a myriad of choices. Let us take the frustration out of getting the right board for you. Give us a call (1.888.509.4210) or shoot us an email bigwinds@bigwinds.com and we’ll help you get the right board for you and have fun in the process!

Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

Choosing Your New Paddle

There are several variables to consider when choosing your new paddle: your height, your fitness level, the type of paddling you expect to do, and of course, your budget. Answering those questions will help guide you to a paddle that will provide you with the right amount of power, be the right size for you, be as light as possible, have the correct flex, and be a paddle you can afford. Here’s some information I hope you find useful in choosing your new paddle.

choosing your paddle

Paddle length:

As a general rule, you’ll want a paddle that’s 7”-10” longer than your height. For surf riding, you’ll stay on the shorter end of the range and for racing on thicker boards you’ll be on the longer side. A good way to measure for most flat water paddling is to use the old classic way we used to measure ski length: standing with your arm extended upward and your wrist bent at 90 degrees, have the paddle come near the base of your wrist. I’m 5’10” (70”) and I use paddles between 77” and 79” while on my race boards, which tend to be about 6” thick. I use a 76” paddle for wave riding.

Blade Size:

Choosing the appropriate blade size is at least as important as having the correct length paddle. A blade too big may cause shoulder discomfort and early fatigue. A blade too small may not deliver the power you’re looking for. As a rule, smaller less burly folks will want a blade between 85 and 100 sq inches. This will provide good power, allow for a high cadence stroke, and minimize the risk of injury. I’m 150 lbs, fit but not burly, and effectively use a blade sizes of 85”to 100”. Though I had been primarily using a 100 sq. in. blade for the past year, lately I’ve gone to smaller blades (Ke Nalu Wiki and Quickblade Elite Racer 90) and am loving the quick but powerful stroke they allow. I have at times used larger blades, like the Kialoa Toro (107 sq in), in races and have been surprised that it felt good.

choosing your paddle

Materials/ Construction:

Materials used in the construction of paddles determine overall weight, flexibility, durability and cost. There are basically five types of materials currently being used in shafts and blades: aluminum, wood, plastic, fiberglass and carbon. Aluminum is strong and cheap, but heavy and fairly inflexible. Wood is strong and pretty, but again on the heavy side. Plastic is durable and cheap, but is heavy and offers little in the way of performance. Fiberglass provides a pretty good balance of durability, moderate weight, flexibility and affordability. Carbon is the best performing material of the group, allowing for varying flexes, excellent strength and the lightest weight. It is also the most expensive material.

Flex:

As a rule, lighter weight, less strong paddlers will want a shaft that is somewhat flexible to reduce the risk of injury. Bigger, stronger folks will appreciate a stiffer shaft to transmit more energy directly into power.

The Big Winds staff is filled with athletes who love to paddle. Some of us are recreational paddlers who go out for fun and the social aspect of the sport, and some of us (like myself) are WAY into it and paddle all the time for fitness and race training, and racing. We are a staff made up of all ages (14-61) and about half guys and half girls. We have an extensive SUP lesson program and a huge SUP demo and rental fleet at our waterfront location in Hood River.

We’d love the opportunity to share our enthusiasm and experience and help you get set up with gear that will maximize your fun on the water, not matter what your level of involvement.

So give us a call. We’re your SUP experts!

 

–Steve

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

 

Paddler Height

 

Paddle Length (includes handle & blade)

Foot/Inch

Inches

Centimeters

 

Racing

Surfing

Touring

4′

48″

122cm

 

54″

53″

55″

4′ 1″

49″

124cm

 

55″

54″

56″

4′ 2″

50″

127cm

 

56″

55″

57″

4′ 3″

51″

130cm

 

57″

56″

58″

4′ 4″

52″

132cm

 

58″

57″

59″

4′ 5″

53″

135cm

 

59″

58″

60″

4′ 6″

54″

137cm

 

60″

59″

62″

4′ 7″

55″

140cm

 

62″

61″

63″

4′ 8″

56″

142cm

 

63″

62″

64″

4′ 9″

57″

145cm

 

64″

63″

65″

4′ 10″

58″

147cm

 

65″

64″

66″

4′ 11″

59″

150cm

 

66″

65″

67″

5′

60″

152cm

 

67″

66″

68″

5′ 1″

61″

155cm

 

68″

67″

70″

5′ 2″

62″

157cm

 

69″

68″

71″

5′ 3″

63″

160cm

 

71″

69″

72″

5′ 4″

64″

163cm

 

72″

70″

73″

5′ 5″

65″

165cm

 

73″

72″

74″

5′ 6″

66″

168cm

 

74″

73″

75″

5′ 7″

67″

170cm

 

75″

74″

76″

5′ 8″

68″

173cm

 

76″

75″

78″

5′ 9″

69″

175cm

 

77″

76″

79″

5′ 10″

70″

178cm

 

78″

77″

80″

5′ 11″

71″

180cm

 

80″

78″

81″

6′

72″

183cm

 

81″

79″

82″

6′ 1″

73″

185cm

 

82″

80″

83″

6′ 2″

74″

188cm

 

83″

81″

84″

6′ 3″

75″

191cm

 

84″

83″

86″

6′ 4″

76″

193cm

 

85″

84″

87″

6′ 5″

77″

196cm

 

86″

85″

88″

6′ 6″

78″

198cm

 

87″

86″

89″

6′ 7″

79″

201cm

 

88″

87″

90″

6′ 8″

80″

203cm

 

90″

88″

91″

6′ 9″

81″

206cm

 

91″

89″

92″

6′ 10″

82″

208cm

 

92″

90″

93″

6′ 11″

83″

211cm

 

93″

91″

95″

7′

84″

213cm

 

94″

92″

96″

It’s Always Summer on the Inside

Late season paddling

Late season paddling. Click to enlarge.

The fall and winter in the northwest offer some of the best paddling conditions of the year. Smooth, glassy water, gorgeous fall colors and crisp air can make for memorable and exhilarating SUP sessions. And, paddling on the Columbia River in the midst of a lightly falling snow is flat out awe inspiring. The trick is being warm enough without overheating.

The past three winters, Big Winds SUP Manager, TJ, and I paddled a ton, and experimented with a variety of wetsuit and clothing options for paddling in chilly to frigid temps.

Steve and friend

Steve and friend

Think of paddling as the aquatic equivalent of skate skiing or Nordic skiing. You’re going to warm up really fast. The more clothes you have on, the more clothes you’re going to end up putting in your backpack. The same thing is true with Stand Up Paddleboarding. The trick is to not overdress.

Many people have the feeling that they’re going to be falling in the water and getting wet, so they wear a bulky wetsuit. That’s really not the case unless you are going out in rough water or riding waves in the ocean. If you are paddling on flat water in relatively calm conditions, you’re not likely to fall in. And if you do, you’re going to get right back up on your board. You don’t need to wear a bulky wetsuit because you’re not going to be in the water for long.

Superlite John

Superlite John

Bahia Jane

Bahia Jane

What TJ and I like to wear in cold conditions is an inexpensive, simple, farmer-john style wetsuit: the O’Neill 2mm Superlite John. When the temps dip into the 30’s, I wear a very thin capilene zip turtle neck underneath the Superlite (the same base layer I would wear skiing) and a fleece over the Superlite that I can easily peel off once I get going. The Superlite John has a front and ankle zips, making it super easy to get in and out of. (Remember it’s front zip. You might try to put it on backwards like I did at first!)

The Superlite is inexpensive at under a hundred bucks, and it works great! O’Neill’s ladies version is called the Bahia Jane.

Your feet will get wet and cold if not adequately covered. I recommend the O’Neill Mutant 6/5/4 Boots. These boots are super warm and comfortable. With the internal split toe, your foot will stay well positioned in the boot.

If you’re going on a downwinder, or SUP surfing on the Oregon Coast, by all means, wear a thicker suit that’s appropriate for the conditions. But if you’re paddling in relatively flat, calm water, you probably won’t get wet. So don’t overdress and you’ll be a happy camper!

See you on the water!

Steve Gates
Big Winds

Mark’s Sneak Preview of Naish Windsurf Gear

Fall in The Gorge continues to deliver a mix of west and east wind, in combination with some really beautiful, sunny weather. I have recently had a chance to sample the new 2014 Naish Starship 90 liter board with a 2014 Naish Vibe 5.0 sail on several occasions.

2014 Naish Starship

2014 Naish Starship

The Starship is Naish’s latest “Bump ‘n’ Jump / Onshore Wave” model that boldly picks up where the previous Koncept, Global, and Global Wave models left off. In west winds ranging from approximately 16-23 mph at the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, the Starship has proven to be an awesome ride, blending quick planing response, a fast, lively and smooth feel underfoot, with confidence inspiring jibing character. The deck pads and footstraps also stand out as being exceptionally comfortable.

2014 Naish Vibe

2014 Naish Vibe

The combination of the new Vibe 5.0 and a Naish RDM 90 400cm mast felt perfectly balanced and totally predictable in its handling and maneuvering. The sail has a very light, crisp feel, and is forgiving in both bumpy conditions and when exiting jibes and maneuvers.

My overall impression is that this board and sail combination deliver solid performance and value for anyone looking for high quality, beautifully finished gear that will handle a wide variety of wind and water conditions with ease and style.

TJ’s Kiteboarding Travel Tips

It’s that time of year again, water up north is cooling down, and the travel bug is upon all kiters in search of warm water!

Warm waterWhether traveling by land or air, it’s nice to have your kite gear stowed away in a safe, compact manner.

Looking at the options out there, it seems most customers opt for a wheeled “golf” style bag for traveling by air. The 2014 Ion kite travel bags are a great option for carrying boards and kites. For 2014, Ion offers 2 different sized Golf bags, and a longer version to accommodate surfboards up to 6′. The Ion Gearbag 1/3 Golf is the smaller roller bag option allowing for a twin tip up to 145cm x45cm, and 3 kites:

The Ion Gearbag 2/4 Golf is a larger option, offering up to 2 twin-tips (165cm x48cm and smaller) and up to 4 kites.

If you’re traveling to a wave destination you have to bring your kite surfboard. The Ion Gearbag 6’0 will accommodate your surfboard and up to 4 kites. This bag offers specific rail protection for surboards, assuring your board arrives unharmed.

All three of these options are heavy duty, made with a 6000 D ripstop nylon.

Warm waterWhen packing my gear, I’ve always tried to keep the weight down below 50 pounds to avoid an extra weight fee. To cut down on weight, and really maximize space in your travel bag, look into purchasing a compression bag to pack your kites in instead of the heavier backpacks they come in. Ion offers two sized crushbags, the medium fitting 10m kites and smaller, and the large for the 11m to 14m kites. At only $25/$30 each, the crush bags are a great way to keep kites safe, and compact for travel.

Another trick for weight savings is to pack your control bars and harness spreader bar (all heavy hardware) into your carry-on bag. Just don’t bring your fins in your carry-on, or the TSA may have a fit thinking they are sharp, knife-like objects and take them away.

Traveling by air

Traveling by air

So, to all of you lucky kiters heading south for the winter, look to Big Winds as your source to keep all of your kite gear compact and safe for travel. Call us toll free to place your order, or order directly on-line. Big Winds is offering free shipping on all of these new 2014 Ion Kite Travel Bags.

North Kite Advantages

Big Winds offers customers the very best in selection and pricing on all closeout and in-line North Kite products. With the North Kiteboarding distributor just five minutes from our retail shop, Big Winds has the best access to any North kite, board, harness, travel bag in North America! Not only do we have access to all of this incredible gear, but we can get it immediately with choice of color, no sales tax, and FREE SHIPPING!

Currently, we have all 2013 North products on close-out. Customers are saving well over 20% off the retail price and are now being offered free shipping on any of these products (within the lower 48 States). With no sales tax, there isn’t another shop on the planet that can offer North products as low as Big Winds.

2014 North Dice

2014 North Dice

With the highly anticipated release of the new North Dice next week, Big Winds will be the first retail shop to have access to them — all colorways and all sizes. This may well become another best seller in the North kite line-up for us, as we have all flown the Dice, and cannot say enough great things about this kite!

We are your North Kite experts! We test all the models in a variety of sizes and conditions so we can give you the real story on their performance.

Call us for the best service, best selection, and the best price on some of the world’s best kiteboarding gear: 1-888-509-4210.

2014 North Dice

2014 North Dice

Inflatable SUP Pump Options

Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards are gaining popularity in all categories: Tour/Race, Whitewater, Surf, Fishing, even Yoga. It seems every manufacturer of SUPs has an inflatable option. And why not? They are convenient, they pack down next to nothing, weigh very little and are virtually indestructible. With the latest introduction of a 6″ drop stitch “space yarn” construction, the inflatables have gotten much stiffer. However, in order to pump them up to the recommended PSI, well, it can be outright grueling!

Recently, some inflatable SUPs are coming with a narrower, lower volume, but higher pressure pump. These are great for topping off the board to the recommended PSI. An example of a “high aspect” pump is the new Starboard Astro High Aspect Pump. At under $60, this is a great option for those finding their standard pumps too difficult to reach the optimal PSI on their inflatable SUPs.

Starboard Pressure Pump

Starboard Pressure Pump

To take the pump to the next level of easy, Bravo has a 12v pump that is easy to use with a positive and negative alligator clip attaching straight to your car battery. Naish has a co-branded option for $179 that is worth every penny if you pump your SUP up frequently. We have used this Naish/Bravo electric pump in our demo fleet and on our personal boards through out the summer with no complaints.

Naish Electric Pump

Naish Electric Pump

Both the High Aspect manual pump at $58 and the Naish/Bravo 12v electric pump at $179 have made life easier than ever to get your SUP inflated and on the water. Give us a call at Big Winds (888-509-4210) or order direct on our online store.