Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s New?

We’ve been busy adding a lot of new products to our website. Have a look:

Backpacks Dakine Jetty Wet / Dry
Backpacks Dakine Trail Photo 16L
Backpacks Dakine Cape Wet / Dry
Electronics GoPro Hero3+ Black Surf
Equipment Bags Dakine Party Duffle 22L
Equipment Bags Dakine Trail Photo 16L
Flotation Vests Dakine Kicker Vest
Kite Control Systems Cabrinha Kites Overdrive 1X Siren
Kite Deck Pads North Kiteboards Front Surfpads
Kite Deck Pads Naish Kiteboards Skater Front Footpad
Kite Deck Pads Naish Kiteboards Surf Stomp Pad
Kite Footstraps North Kiteboards Vario Straps
Kite Footstraps North Kiteboards NTT Contact Pads
Kite Footstraps North Kiteboards Surfstraps
Kite Footstraps North Kiteboards NTT Split Straps
Kite Footstraps North Kiteboards Vario Pads
Kiteboard Fins North Kiteboards Bend
Kiteboard Fins North Kiteboards NQ
Kiteboard Fins Naish Kiteboards G-10
Kiteboard Fins North Kiteboards TS S Front
Kiteboard Fins Naish Kiteboards Thruster DFS
Kiteboard Fins North Kiteboards TS M Front
Kiteboard Fins North Kiteboards Quad
Kiteboarding Accessories Naish Kiteboards Surf Stomp Pad
Kiteboarding Accessories Naish Kiteboards Skater Front Footpad
Kiteboarding Accessories North Kiteboards Front Surfpads
Kites Cabrinha Kites Siren
Kites North Kites Neo
Nuts and Bolts – Kite Naish Kiteboards Naish DFS Fin Key
Nuts and Bolts – Kite North Kiteboards North NTT Washers
Nuts and Bolts – Kite North Kiteboards North Leash Plug
Nuts and Bolts – Kite North Kiteboards North Footstrap Screw
Nuts and Bolts – Kite North Kiteboards North Track Nuts
Nuts and Bolts – Kite Naish Kiteboards Naish DFS Screw
Nuts and Bolts – Kite North Kiteboards NTT Strap Buckle Set
SUP Board Bags Dakine SUP Sleeve
Travel and Leisure Dakine Party Duffle 22L
Travel and Leisure Dakine Trail Photo 16L
Windsurfing Boards Naish Windsurf Starship
Windsurfing Footstraps Dakine Tyrant
Women’s Tops and Bottoms Dakine Women’s Neo Insulator S/S
Women’s Tops and Bottoms Dakine Women’s Neo Insulator L/S
Women’s Tops and Bottoms Dakine Womens Classic L/S

And these SUP boards:

Aquaglide Cascade 10’6

Aquaglide Cascade 12’6″ Touring

Starboard SUP 10’5 Wide Point

Starboard SUP Air Born 7’10

Starboard SUP All Star 12’6

Starboard SUP All Star 14′

Starboard SUP All Star Jr. 10’6

Starboard SUP Astro 12’6 Tour

Starboard SUP Astro 14′ Tour

Starboard SUP Astro Blend 11’2 DLX

Starboard SUP Astro Racer 12’6

Starboard SUP Astro Racer 14′

Starboard SUP Astro Stream

Starboard SUP Astro Tour

Starboard SUP Astro Whopper 10′

Starboard SUP Astro Whopper 10′ DLX

Starboard SUP Astro Wide Point 8’2″

Starboard SUP Blend 11’2

Starboard SUP Drive 10’5

Starboard SUP Freeride 12’2

Starboard SUP Freeride XL 12’2

Starboard SUP Pro 8’5

Starboard SUP Whitewater SUP Package

Starboard SUP Whopper 10′

Starboard SUP Wide Point 8’10

Starboard SUP Wide Point 8’2

Starboard SUP Wide Point 9’5

Tahoe SUP Alpine Explorer

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.

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

Windfest Weekend!

Today it’s windy! A perfect day to come to the Hood River Event Site and demo all the trick new windsurfing gear at Windfest.

Today, the Big Winds Shuttle Service is in full operation. With winds in the corridor forecast to be 20-25 all afternoon, it’s the perfect downwind setup. First shuttles leaves from the BW Event Site Center at 1:00. Call Big Winds (541-386-6086) for a spot.

Tomorrow will be SUP heaven in Hood River. Come to the Hood River Event Site to demo all the new SUP boards available at Big Winds. Also, there will be a fun and FREE SUP relay race at noon at the Event Site. All gear will be provided. This FUN race is for everyone, even first timers!

Big Winds Featured in Chamber of Commerce Video

 

Steve and Lizie with the iconic Hood River bridge in the background. Click to play video.

Steve and Lizie with the iconic Hood River bridge in the background. Click to play video.

The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce put together an introductory video on standup paddle boarding. Steve gives Lizie Yance some basic tips on how to get started in the growing sport of SUP.

Steve gives on-the-water instruction to Lizie Yance of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

Steve gives on-the-water instruction to Lizie Yance of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

2013 Cabrinha Trigger 5’11 reviewed by Randy Orzeck


Rocked the new 5′ 11″ Trigger.  Loved it! Besides being great on the waves, the board is super fast and points ridiculously well. The skillet out points the S-quad and the Trigger way out points the Skillet.  Pretty cool when point sailing.  Lots of rides!!!  The board is extra sensitive to foot placement which is great once you get it.  It will make any kind of turn you want. I also dig the extra nose flip. The waves were really steep and pitching and I swear, that extra kick saved my butt on several big drops. Cant wait to get on it again. – Randy

2013 Cabrinha Skillit 5’6 reviewed by Randy Orzeck

 

Went to A-town yesterday evening and rode the 2013 Skillet in perfect 7m conditions. 28 mph tight fan like wind and super smooth, steep swell. I loved the old Skillet but the new one is soooooooooo much better. It is so much faster and smoother. For some reason you can sheet in and blast over and through anything at mach speed. It also has way more bite when ripping turns and the flat/concave deck makes it feel like you are 3 times more connected to the board. It is leaps and bounds better than the old skillet which was an amazing board. This is definitely the money board for the Gorge, or for that matter, anywhere!!!  Although the board is stiff, it does not ride stiff, in fact it rides buttery smooth. It rocks!

The moral of the story is, Big Winds should really focus on that board for the Gorge. The Skillit makes taking it to the next level of strapless riding much, much easier. It is really and amazing board. I think you will sell lots of them.

-Randy

2013 Cabrinha Switchblade Initial Test

Here in the Gorge, we are fortunate enough to see and test the newest gear to hit the market. The 2013 Switchblade has been highly anticipated due to the improvements in turning speed and bar pressure. Pumping the 2013 Cabrinha kites is a cinch with the new Airlock allowing for a higher volume of air to pass through the one way valve. It doesn’t require an adapter either, and attaches directly onto the valve. The ultra durable dacron frame is noticeably stiff and ridged right out of the bag, helping lock in the kite’s intended shape.

The 2013 Switchblade has a bit of a wider looking wingtip, which probably helps in the faster turning speed (quite noticeable in the bigger sizes). This probably adds to the improved relaunch too! Once in flight, I noticed how much lighter the bar pressure was from the previous models. Out of the bag, the Switchblade is set on the “lighter steering impulse” setting. If you want heavier pressure in the bar, there is a slight adjustment on the trailing edge bridle (shift the bridle from A to B).

One more huge improvement is on the 2013 Quicklink Control System. First off, the quick-release has been improved for reconnecting on the water. To reconnect, you push the quick-release up until it catches on the hook (new for 2013). The new flying lines are thick, like cables! They have an improved finish reducing stretch over time, and making running out the lines easier.

The 2013 Switchblade works in a wide range of conditions, making it a very versatile kite. We have had a chance now to fly the new 5m (28-38 mph), the 7m, 8m, and 9m.

New for the ladies this year is the Switchblade offered in the Siren collection (sizes 6/8/10/12). The Siren colorway was inspired by the ever talented Suzi Mai. The Siren Quicklink Bar has a longer, easy to reach trim adjuster, and smaller harness loop. This makes reaching maximum depower much easier for the ladies!

Positively Kai!

The Inaugural Positively Kai Grom SUP is this Friday, August 17th in Hood River, Oregon. More than just a Grom (Kids) SUP race, the Positively Kai Grom SUP is an invitation to try out stand up paddle boarding in a fun environment. It is with this in mind that the event has added a SUP clinic/instructional with Kai and the Naish Pro Team first thing in the morning, immediately following registration.

The instructional is open for both kids that are registering to race or just there for a day of fun. The instructional clinic is for the very beginner all the way up to the advanced paddler wanting to improve their technique. Don’t have your own setup? No problem, Naish will be providing a range of boards and paddles to try out.

All minors under 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to sign their waiver.

Come one, come all! Let’s have some fun!

8:00am-9:00am Registration/sign in
8:30am-9:30am Paddling Clinic with the Pros
10:00am – Event Kick Off – Race Starting
12:30pm – Free Pizza Lunch
Award Ceremony Post Event