It’s all a bit over-sized this issue to be honest. The bumper 132 page Kiteworld issue 24 will thud on doorsteps and hit the newsstands and kite shop racks around the world from the beginning of November. | November 8th, 2006 It’s all a bit over-sized this issue to be honest. The bumper 132 page Kiteworld issue 24 will thud on doorsteps and hit the newsstands and kite shop racks around the world from the beginning of November. I was running for my life. The speed of the swell there is incredible and as it gets closer to the reef the more insane its shape becomes. The water ahead rapidly drained towards me clearly revealing the reef. I was unhooked, riding switch and going so fast that there was no wind in my kite and my lines had lost all tension. Behind me a massive tube opened up and I heard a crack of thunder They are Julian Sudrat’s words after taking on the whopper on the cover at the place known in Tahitian as, ‘The Wall of Skulls’, and that we all know as, Teahupoo. Against The Wall contains the rider’s eye views of three riders that were tempted into the jaws of the heaviest wave in September this year. You voted, we counted. It’s by no means a definitive list, but we’ve included your comments alongside those from the industry to bring you Under The Influence 15 individuals who we believe, led by you, to be the most influential people in kiteboarding right now. Back in the real world, the Motor Drive Project this issue brings you various incarnations of the down loop. As if there wasn’t enough power in your kite as it is, we’re going to show how to add some (bordering on illegal in some states!) grunt to your engine and how to handle her after. If you fancy injecting your moves with some over-sized pop then we have all you need to know to get you hauled off the water. But it’s not all about the boy racer, we’ve included some dynamic moves for the slick Ricks out there too, including the down loop bottom turn to top turn, down loop toe-side carve and boosted jump with down loop. Judging from all the news we’ve been getting this issue it seems that autumn really was the month that was. The west of the UK got battered by the odd hurricane on their journeys north and everyone seems to have got out and had their fill. The wave season is here and we’ve noticed more and more riders out on the beaches on surfboard shapes and the poll on our website shows that for 30% of you a surfboard will be your next purchase. So we filled the van with seven of the latest kite surfboards and headed to Ireland. On The Rails is our first kite surfboard buyer’s guide. We’ve also crammed in an interview with Kirsty Jones, a mini-interview with North kite designer Ken Winner, a look at Norway though the lens of Christian Nerdrum and of course, much, much more. ssue 24 ‘He is a genuine legend in an arena that seems to breed a lot of yearly stars, but few enduring names.’ UNDER THE INFLUENCE The quote above comes from Mark Shinn’s vote for Jaime Herraiz in our poll to find the most influential people in kiteboarding. All 15 riders taking up the top spots have seen many others fall by the wayside and off the rails of influence during their span in kiteboarding’s media spotlight. I wonder if the number one person in our poll to find the most influential people in kiteboarding will be the individual that has had the most positive impact on you. Maybe not, it seems the sphere of influence in our sport is wide. This time we opened up the voting lines to you and had a lot of nominations come in for many different people, from ‘household’ names to husbands who’ve rallied and supported their next of kin’s early achievements and progress to ‘grandaddys of their scene’, but I can guarantee that nestled somewhere in our top 15 will be someone you’ve admired and whose style or achievements you’ve aspired to in some way, regardless of who you may have placed your vote with. Everyone of the names in our list has already achieved lots, and the fact that you’ve taken the effort to get up and vote for them indicates that you hope they’ve got still more to offer. To those of you who voted, thank you for your input. Teahupoo has been a theatre of dreams, and nightmares now for over six years since Laird Hamilton became Oxbow’s favourite poster image icon when he tow-surfed into a huge bomb in Tahiti in 2000. Since then that wave has inspired and influenced many of the world’s top names in surfing primarily, but also windsurfing and more recently, kitesurfing, to venture into its labyrinth-like clutches in order to feel the ultimate rush from riding a wave. Take another look at the cover and check out the proportions of that heavy, swollen lip in relation to the rest of the wave. It’s simply insane, incalculable and in a realm where even those who’ve seen it up close can’t begin to estimate how much power it holds. Only those who’ve been truly beaten by it, and lived to tell the tale could begin to tell you. Jeremie Eloy, Julian Sudrat and Yannick Salmon tackled the biggest Teahupoo swells that kiteboarders have ever chanced their lives with in September this year. Against The Wall starts on page 74. September was a rough month this year. We’d been watching the progress of Hurricane Gordon as it tracked its way up the Irish Sea and tempted us to south west Wales. Not particularly in search of a story, more likely just enjoying some sessions and time away from the office, however we happened to meet a hugely underrated rider stomping her way through the blistering conditions of her home spots. Kirsty Jones has achieved so much in, but even more out of the kitesurfing media’s gaze, and in an issue all about icons, we’re pleased to have met her and become aware of her talents and achievements by chance rather than through hype. We shine the light on Miss Jones on page 84. Two years ago when we ran the first Under The Influence, then editor Hugh Miller, wrote that kitesurfng was on its way to representing the aerial division of surfing. Well, that day is here, so get tooled up with our first kite surfboard buyer’s guide on page 96. The winter’s around the corner, the waves are up. Hope you get amongst it. Enjoy the issue.