Updated: Sep 17, 2023
Well, that’s all she wrote. The 2023 Team Battle presented by Knot Future is a wrap, and we could not be happier with the end result. Although the event itself went off without a hitch, we would like to extend our sincerest apology for the lack of updates during the latter portion of the event. Unfortunately, one of our staff members fell ill, which resulted in an unforeseen disruption in our meticulously choreographed media presentation. However, the staff is back to full strength, just in time to deliver the final videos and celebrate the grandeur that is Team Battle.
In a brief event recap, the Team Battle contestants were graced with wind for nearly the entire event, allowing for riding and filming to materialize for six days out of the week-long event. Although the riding was theoretically feasible, it was anything but quintessential. When a sport is made possible by weather, there is always an inherent element of surprise and factor that simply cannot be controlled. Despite aiming to limit disorder and maintain composure of the many factors that allow park riding to transpire, weather will forever pose as an uncontrolled variable. For a large portion of the event, the wind was in a wild disarray, with recorded gusts over 40 knots. From the perspective of the videos, it is nearly impossible to recognize this reality, as all teams did an incredible job managing these overwhelming conditions. In an ideal scenario, the wind would have been slightly less volatile, allowing the riders more of an opportunity to explore new tricks and highlight the potential of riding for a video, as opposed to riding during a heat. More often than not, the level of riding while filming for a video is higher than the level displayed during a contest due to the simple reality that the technique, style, approach, and difficulty of a trick can be relentlessly attempted and diligently refined while filming. Even though conditions were not optimal, the level of riding and videos themselves truly highlight the effort that each team instilled throughout the week.
When the clock struck noon on Saturday, the second of September, 168 hours had officially passed, and the commotion, momentum, hustle, and team exertion came to a grinding halt. At 12:00 Pacific Standard Time, Team GOLD, Team SCARLET, Team NAVY, Team GREEN, and Team ICE officially submitted their finalized videos. Later that afternoon, at the awards party, each video came to life on the projector and echoed proudly through the speakers, and for the first time all week, the teams watched the result of their endeavors unfold in front of their own eyes.
Keeping with Team Battle tradition and the event’s fundamental principles, after each team’s video had played through twice, the voting ensued. Each and every rider cast a ballot for the team they believe deserved to have earned the best overall video, along with a plethora of subsequent accolades. There is nothing more impartial or sincere than the rider’s evaluating each other and recognizing one another for their efforts. After the votes were tallied, the winners were announced, and the 2023 Team Battle presented by Knot Future came to a climactic and awe-inspiring conclusion.
At the risk of sounding overtly arrogant, we (the Kite Park League) are the most legitimate, inclusive, and authentic curators of any contemporary kiteboarding contest or event, period. The Kite Park League prides itself in its effort to deliver riders the opportunity to grow, learn, and progress in an environment that can support their ambitions and the future of kiteboarding as a whole. The Team Battle is the pinnacle of the Kite Park League’s aspirations, and for the second year in a row, we can’t help but smile and rejoice in the success of this special event.
Event results and team videos can be found below and on our website. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and your interest in our vision. This is just the beginning…
Over and out from the Kite Park League.
WATCH THE KPL TEAM BATTLE VIDEOS
1st PLACE TEAM SCARLET - RAMIRO GALLART, JACK RIEDER, ALEX MENDIL, NADJA BIANCHET, EINAR SAAD.
2nd PLACE TEAM ICE - XANDER RAITH, KATIE POTTER, TIM WALSH, ASHER CLARKE, IAN DALY.
3rd PLACE TEAM FOREST - EWAN JASPAN, ERIC RIENSTRA, COLLEEN CARROLL, CHRIS BOBRYK, LEO VERRECCIA.
4th PLACE TEAM NAVY - NOE FONT, BRENDAN KERR, LAUREN HALLMAN, ANDY CAIN, ZACH DRAPER, RYAN GOLOVERSIC.
5th PLACE TEAM GOLD - BRANDON SCHEID, ALEX LEWIS-HUGHES, SENSI GRAVES, DEVIN CARROLL, NICK BAINES.
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE - NOE FONT
BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE - KATIE POTTER
BEST RAIL TRICK - NOE FONT
BEST KICKER TRICK - XANDER RAITH
BEST GOPRO SHOT - ALEX LEWIS-HUGHES & BRANDON SCHEID
ROOKIE - LEO VERRECCHIA
BIGGEST CRASH - ANDY CAIN
BEST LINE - RAMIRO GALLART
MOST SKITZ - ALEX MENDIL
BEST VIDEO EDIT - TEAM ICE (XANDER RAITH)
Although some may deny it, last week during the selections, when the enemy teams gazed around, attempting to discern who the greatest opponent might be, the writing was on the wall, and its color was red. Right out of the gate… Wow. Not much more to say. When you are a kid, lined up as a team, looking at your opponent, sometimes it becomes brutally apparent who stands as the greatest or perhaps the most capable competitor. During the Team Battle, when the teams were picked, Team SCARLET, captained by Ramiro Gallart, was undeniably stacked with skill and projected to deliver on all accounts. Standing beside Ramiro were Jack Reider, Alex Meindi, Chase Hasch, Einar Saad, and Nadja Bianchet. While every team has its highs and lows, Team Scarlet appeared to predominantly soar in steady strides, working in flawless unison. One of the most intriguing techniques of Team SCARLET was coincidentally how little they appeared to ride in comparison to the rest of the field. Instead of spending hours on end scrounging for puffs of steady wind, Team SCARLET was tactful with their time, choosing to ride deliberately for short stints, saving their energy and trick selection for when it mattered most. As a result, Team Scarlet was ferociously efficient both on and off the water, allowing them to stockpile incredible footage during their strikes to the park while also dedicating time in the studio to meticulously edit their Team Battle submission. Together, the collective group of Team SCARLET was not only a threat on the water, but equally as superior on land. One of the most crucial aspects of the Team Battle is choosing a team that can harmonize, and Ramiro proved to have successfully created this valued formula. From all of us at the Kite Park League, we would like to congratulate and crown Team SCARLET as our 2023 Team Battle Champion! Along with winning the Team Battle, during the awards, Alex Meindi was recognized for his drone pilot mastery, and captain Ramiro Gallart was voted to have completed the Best Line. Thank you for joining us for the 2023 Team Battle presented by Knot Future. Please rise for a standing ovation as we all congratulate Team SCARLET. Although you can choose to stay standing, we implore you to crack, pop, sip, or chug your finest beverage, while being captivated by the visual efforts of Team SCARLET, the winner of the Team Battle.
The last glacial period occurred well over 100,000 years ago, and since then, the earth has been slowly melting, causing rivers to flow, oceans to fill, and ice to become a precious commodity. On a hot summer day in Hood River, Oregon, there is nothing better than plunging into the cool glacial runoff that empties into the Slider Project’s immaculate park. While a glacial plunge is certainly nice, there are few things colder and more defiant than ice itself. For the 2023 Team Battle, Team ICE posed as perhaps an underdog and an unforeseen threat to the podium. However, one of the greatest aspects of the Team Battle is the unknown and the potential for disruption. Up until the videos are premiered, competitors are unaware of the cards the other team might be holding. Team ICE, captained by Xander Raith, along with Katie Potter, Tim Walsh, Ian Daly, and Asher Clarke delivered a frosty, stone-cold heater at the end of the week, earning them second place in the Team Battle, as well as a handful of subsequent accolades. Perhaps one of the more notable differences for Team ICE was the team’s composition. Besides being the youngest Team, During team selection, Xander was the only captain to choose a female rider as his first pick, which proved advantageous as Katie rode incredibly well all week and was voted Best Female by her peers. While Katie dominated the park all week long, her talent was matched by the efforts and performance of Tim, Ian, and Asher, who all helped Team ICE earn Best Edit. Along with Best Edit and Best Female, Team ICE’s captain, Xander, was able to clench Best Kicker hit. For the 2023 Team Battle, Team ICE’s crew verified their unique distinction and share with the world a video that encapsulates their efforts. Please sit back and enjoy the visual efforts of the runner-up, Team ICE.