Kiteboarding Brazil with Lucas Arsenault - Sessions w/Rygo - s1 ep6
The Cabrinha Chaos Vs the FX
The Cabrinha Chaos Vs the FX
The northeast of Brazil has long been a destination for freestyle kiteboarders chasing perfect wind, flat water and warmer temperatures. It’s just one of those locations where conditions always deliver. While it’s not the easiest place to visit, it’s well worth the effort. I’ve always had fond memories of Taiba as it’s where I got my start with video and kiteboarding.
Back in 2012 I left my career to help my good friend Chris Bobryk produce some of his first kiteboarding edits. It was a great experience and is how I eventually ended up making videos for MACkiteboarding. Recently, I was speaking with a friend about returning to do some filming at the kite park in Icapuí. It’s been 6 years since I visited so I knew it was time to make my way back.
The aim of this series is to share the stories of our team here at MACkite, the stories of other kiteboarders and to bro down about kiteboarding gear. Aside from creating content, a huge part of my job is testing gear and writing reviews. Sometimes the best way to expand your knowledge is to chat with other riders who use the gear everyday. This week, we visited the village of Taiba where we caught up with Lucas Arsenault. Lucas is an international rider for Cabrinha kiteboarding and a ridiculously good freestyle / wakestyle rider.
Our goal was to do a bit of filming for the Versus series in 2019 Cabrinha has done away with the Chaos C kite making the FX their premier freestyle kite. I’ve done a couple videos about C kites versus freestyle kites however, this will be my first video directly comparing a specific C kite to a freestyle kite. I know the FX like the back of my hand as it was my choice kite for three years. The Chaos however, I had limited experience on. Meaning I had to consult an expert. Lucas recently crossed over from the Chaos to the FX.
Lucas Arsenault kiteboarding in Brazil
I've decided for this blog to bring back our rider profiles from episode three. You can learn a little more about the riders from out sessions and the gear that they are using. Here’s what Lucas had to say about the crossover.
Style: Freestyle Wakestyle Kiteboarding
Home Spot: Prince Edward Island
Lucas is an international team rider for Cabrinha Kiteboarding and hands down one of the most stylish riders on the planet right now.
While competitive kiteboarding often focuses on the number of rotations a rider can do, Lucas stays focused on landing everything with power and style. Grabs, tweaks and fluid tricks over everything else. He's an advocated of the kite park league and really pushing this side of the sport. Follow the adventure on social: #Lucas
The Cabrinha FX for Wakestyle and Freestyle
Crossing over from the Chaos to the FX has been incredibly smooth. After riding the Chaos for 4 straight years I definitely had my doubts on whether the performance of a bridal kite would be the same for me. My mindset quickly changed after being on the FX for a few session.
What I've noticed is that you don't necessarily loose any freestyle performance but you gain heavily in other aspects. The freestyle settings are great, the kite will produce good slack and stability making it super easy to progress up the freestyle ladder.
On the other hand, the kite has much better wind range and boosting abilities that the previous C-Shapes. Another feature I really like on the FX is the tuning options on the leading edge and wingtips. I fly all my FX's on the B steerings settings for a slightly slower kite and better bar pressure feel. On the leading edge I fly my larger sizes on the 'More Slack' and my smaller sizes on the standard knot. It's mostly a personal preference on how I like the kite to feel.
Ride the gear
Check out Lucas's Gear
The Cabrinha FX
A crossover freestyle kite made for intermediate riders looking to step up their kiteboarding. It's the perfect tool to improve your unhooked kiteboarding as it slacks and makes handle passes easier. The kiteloops are powerful and fast. The kite like all modern freestyle kites becomes an extension of the rider. Of all the current freestyle kites, the FX is the most damp. Meaning you won't feel gusty wind as much. It's agressive yet predictable and explosive. Ride this kite if you've been riding for at least one season and you're ready to take your kiteboarding to another level.
The Cabrinha CBL
The CBL is is crossover wakestyle kiteboard. While it's not limited to just wakestyle kiteboarders, it suits the needs of that rider quite well. It can be used to crossover in the cable park if you like to cross train. With a good deal of rocker, this board will have soft landings when riding powered. It will be very comfortable in the chop and playful in the water. It turns on a dime, and makes for a powerful yet playful session.Ride this board if you like to ride powered, carve though turns rather than be locked in on a track and especially if you like to unhook and hit features.
The Duotone Neo
Lucas wasn’t the only rider we linked up with on this trip. We’ve been working with Colleen Carroll and Crystal Veness on a kiteboarding travel Guide called Destinations.
Before I made my way south to Icapuí the plan was to film some B-roll for the 2019 season launching next April. I had plans to meet up with Duotone’s newest team rider Xander Raith. There was a scheduling conflict and I had to find another rider. As luck would have it, I was sharing a pousada with Matchu Lopez. He was more than happy to help out and do a bit of filming for the series.
Matchu is one of the top wave riders and strapless freestyle riders in the world. Naturally, I thought it would be fun to do a quick segment on his quiver too. The Neo is an amazing wave kite and we've loved it for freeride kiteboarding. That said, it's the choice kite for many strapless freestyle kiteboarders like Matchu Lopes.
Style: Strapless Freestyle Waves
Home Spot: Cape Verde
Matchu is the kind of rider that makes the most difficult tricks look easy. From big waves, to mesmerizing strapless air tricks.
He's one of the best in the world right now and shows no sign of stoping. If strapless freestyle is on your radar you'll want to follow him on social media.
2019 Duotone Neo Review
I didn’t chat with Match much about his gear but I’m also familiar with his quiver. I haven’t edited the video yet but I did just blog an in-depth review on his choice kite the 2019 Duotone Neo.
In years past we’ve often touted the Neo as more than just a wave kite but also an awesome freeride kite. While this is true, it occurred to me that we’ve almost done this kite an injustice in regards to its surfing capabilities. This year, I’m committed to going the extra mile with these reviews. We’ll be diving in to everything you might want to know about the 2019 Duotone Neo, the good the bad and why this may or may not be the right kite for you Read the full review…
The Duotone Neo
The Neo is one of those surf-kites we've praised for its all around abilities. If you read the review I linked in above, I focused on the wave capabilities. You can effectively turn the power on and off at will on a wave. The kite will drift when you slack the lines, yet still respond to rider input when needed. While it's not the loftiest kite in Duotones lineup it's snappy, powerful and playful. In fact no other wave kite can touch the low end. Not only is this kite great for the waves, all of these characteristics make this the choice kite for many strapless freestlyers as it allows them to cross disciplines without changing kites.
The Duotone Pro Wam
Regarded as an all-rounder the Pro WAM is slightly more compact than most traditional squash tail shortboards and is the key to its unique do it all abilities. It's a kite surfboard that works well in most conditions from small to large waves. It is the one board does it all board for all your travels. Between the two boards in Matchu's quiver, this one is more aimed at the waves albeit, it's still works really well for strapless freestyle. Ride this board if you want to do it all from small waves to large waves and progress in strapless freestyle.
The Duotone Pro Whip CSC
Tighter snaps more precise and controlled rail and fin release with a balanced and controlled feel that allows for great maneuverability. It's a fast board with lot of control & balance. Better suited for medium waves, it has the ability to carve smooth arcs and radical top to bottom vertical snaps.
It's a board that will excel at strapless freestyle and it works best with small to medium sized waves that most kiteboarders experience back home. Living in the great lakes with small to medium sized waves, this has been my go to surfboard for three years. Ride this board if you don't need something that works well in the larger surf yet rips in all other conditions.
Alex Maes getting flexible at the kite park
Next week on Sessions
With there being so many riders on this trip, we’ll be doing two episodes. Next week we’ll make our way down to the kite mansion in Icapuí. We’re linking up with the crew from the kite park league. Namely Colleen Carol and Sensi Graves. We’ll catch up with them, get a couple sessions in and chat their gear and 2019 plans. If you’re into wakestyle kiteboarding, this will be the episode to catch.
After spending a week filming freestyle kiteboarding in taiba and the following week wakestyle I've decided to do a versus video on wakestyle versus freestyle. It was a request from last season that I started writing a year ago. Expect that to release after the Chaos Versus the FX.
See you next time on sessions.
Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic
Just a dude from a kite shop testing all the gear one session at a time.
Many people dream of quitting their job, traveling the world and pursuing their passions. Rygo is one of those people who pulled the trigger. About eight years into a postal career, he decided to change everything and travel as a freelance videographer & writer. This took him from coast to coast and a variety of countries. Nowadays you can catch him on the phones, doing lessons, or working on videos. Of course, he still makes a point to travel as often as possible. His mission is to help people and share the stoke with his customers and students alike. Get out there and kiteboard.
Producer of: Ride with Blake I Sessions I Versus I Destinations I Foil Friday