AMERY BERNARD from Slingshoot
With an accounting degree from University of Portland and professional experience in the public accounting industry, you might not have guessed Amery to wind up as a successful kite designer.
Being born and raised in Maui, some kind of involvement in water sports was simply inevitable. A few years after getting his degree and winding up behind a desk, he decided to leave the hum-drum, sedentary lifestyle and pursue a less financially rewarding, but more personally fulfilling path in the kiteboarding industry.
After a short and successful retail and teaching experience combined with an equally success in the competition scene, Amery landed a sales rep position for Slingshot, one of the industry leaders.
Amery’s innovative ideas and hard work ethic, combined with his teaching background and his technical understanding of the equipment landed him in Slingshot’s R&D department where he worked and developed some of their most successful kites.
After developing groundbreaking designs at the base of the most popular products that exist in the industry today, Amery has joined KiteSurf.
Shannon Best moved to the US in 1993 to make it as the first Australian wakeboard professional team rider. By 1995 and through the early 2000’s Shannon started placing himself in one of the top ten in most wakeboarding competitions winning the prestigious 1998 Pan Am Oahu in Hawaii and then the 2001 World Cable Ski Championships in Orlando, Florida in the freestyle and big air divisions.
His sponsors included Connelly, Rip Curl, Liquid Force, Jet Pilot, Moomba Supra Boats and many more. It was during this period that Shannon discovered kitesurfing. In 1999, he was first introduced to kiteboarding by Raphael Baruch from Kitesurf, the American distributor of F-One at the time.
Sponsored by Kitesurf (kites) and Jimmy Lewis (boards,) from 2001 through 2003, Shannon spent three years riding and helping develop the sport in Maui with core riders such as Elliot LeBoe, Jack Webb, Lou Wainman, Mauricio Abreu and Nina Heinburg etc. Shannon participated in numerous videos which help shape the sport bringing a more radical and broader presence to this new sport with his wakeboard reputation and background.
Since the beginning of his successful wakeboarding career in the US, Shannon has been dreaming of starting his own brand. At the end of 2003, he was offered this opportunity when a group of investors approached him offering to invest into a brand named after him. With his dream within reach Shannon jumped on the opportunity and started Best Kiteboarding.
From 2004 to 2007 Best Kiteboarding went from rags to riches, and became the industry leader. Unfortunately, starting in 2008 due to poor management and internal politics, Best Kiteboarding began to lose its leading position. While in disagreement with the direction the company took and more particularly its management, Shannon remained focused on the creative development and innovation of the brand and its image until 2012 when they parted ways.
Free of his past constraints and obligations under Best Kiteboarding, Shannon returned to the idea he had long ago of developing his own product line without having to answer to the politics of others but moreover without anyone to inhibit his own creativity and sense of community.
Going back to his beginnings, Shannon has joined again with Kitesurf which whom he had maintained a great relationship and has assembled his dream team to develop the best equipment available in the sport.
Kitesurf new line of kites and boards will be introduced within months and will be the reflection of a team effort by well-known industry designers and innovators including amongst others Shannon Best, Amery , Son Duong, etc…
Born in 1969 in Saigon, Vietnam, Son Duong emigrate to the States in 1975 at the age of 6 with his family. He made a home in the Pacific Northwest in Olympia, Washington, where he grew up.
Son studied at the Art Institute of Seattle at 17 years old and graduated with an applied arts degree in commercial art. He worked at Tower Records afterward from 1990 to 1998. He then got into the “Action Sports” industry designing waterskis and wakeboards for companies like Byerly and Hyperlite in 2001 to the 2009. He then started freelancing and designing graphics for various companies like O’neill, ProTec, Reef, Skullcandy, Scion and Ladera skateboards.
At the present time he resides in Monroe, Washington with his wife Reina, son Nathan, daughter Cyan and dog Pichu. He has started his own one man design house called Son of a Gun which encompasses everything from logos and graphic works, tattoo designing, doing events/trade shows and doing commissioned paintings. His dream is to be famous one day painting portraits of movie stars and Hip Hop icons.
Favorite tatoo artist: Horiyoshi III, Chris Garver
Favorite Models: Bettie Page, Queen Esther, Paulina Porizkova
Favorite music: 90s Hip Hop, 80s, Jazz
Favorite artists past and present: Van Goh, Dali, Warhol, Basquait, Frazetta, Dondi, Vargas, and David Choe
Diego Fernando Barragan Shaw has been involved in the wakeboarding industry since 2006. Over the past years Diego has been competing at the highest level in the sport and have had the opportunity to travel the world, compete with the worlds best riders.
Living in Boca Raton, Florida and riding at SKI RIXEN’s, the local cable facility in Deerfield beach, following Shannon Best’s influence, Diego recently discovered and fell in love with KiteSurfing.
Ready to embark on a new journey with kiting Diego is looking forward to travel the world with KiteSurf.
Diego is originally from Cali, Colombia.
2005 USA CWT Rixen – 1st place
2005 USA CWT Nationals OWC ( orlando watersports complex) – 1st place
2005 Rixen’s “No side like Toeside” – 2nd place
2006 King of cable USA – 2nd place
2006 IWWF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Jetlake, Austria - 9th place Junior men
2007 WWA, Texas Ski ranch ,Texas – 4th place Pro men
2007 WWA wake park series tour Kansas stop – 4th place Pro men
2008 WWA Wake park WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, CWC, Phillipines- 3rd place Junior men
2009 McCormicks cable park Cable event .Tampa, Florida – 1st place pro men
2009 Hungarian Wakeboard Champ Series 3rd stop – 3rd place Pro men
2011 Hydrous- Allen, Texas ,WWA 3rd stop – 5th place Pro men
Sponsors & Pro Wakeboard Models:
Rode for Rope Wakeboard’s. 2008-2010 DIEGO SHAW Pro Model size 135-138
Team rider for WAKEOLOGY WAKEBOARDS 2010-2011