Kiteboarding: Kiwi making waves

By Cameron Leslie

"Tootsie rolls", "crow mobes", "1080s" and "tantrums" aren't familiar phrases to most, but to Northland's Dave Kay it's all part of business as usual.

For the Bream Bay board sailor it's just part of the job since fulfilling his dream to ride a cable system, which he built on Kepa Road in Ruakaka, with the assistance of many local businesses and residents.

He has since moved away from Bream Bay, but on the weekend finished third at the Wake Park World Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

Kay said he was stoked with his placing after finding himself in one of the tougher amateur categories.

"I have to be happy with that considering the first place competitor distributes boards in a country [Germany] with the highest density of cable parks in the world, and the second place position went to a professional cable park operator from the Philippines," Kay said.

Kay was the second competitor off the dock in the final and showed a flowing run with hits on the obstacles mixed with his technical flat water riding.

Even though Kay performed many air tricks, which are rated as very difficult and impressed competitors on site, the scoring system favours tricks performed on the obstacles higher than those performed off the flat water. Kay's impressive run, therefore, was only enough to get him onto the podium.

He said he was disappointed not to have been able to include his best tricks, but was happy with the flow of his run.

Eighteen months ago Kay took up a position with one of the largest kiteboarding brands in the world, Cabrinha Kites, based out of Hong Kong.

Kay's water park has since been picked up by Matthew Spragg, swapping his fast-paced lifestyle in Hong Kong for the kiteboarding dream in Ruakaka.

Last January, Spragg set up his own operation called Sprockett Boards and Ruakaka Kite Sports, following on from where Kay left off.

Kay was not the only Kiwi competitor at the world championships, with professional wakeboarder Brad Smeele showing his talents not only on the water, but also in the commentary box.

Smeele kept the crowds of spectators informed on the technical details of the runs performed by the professionals and amateurs - telling listeners just what tricks like "tootsie rolls", "crow mobes", "1080s" and "tantrums" are.

- Northern Advocate

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