I remember, exactly 2 years ago today, I received a mail from a « friend » through a social network, asking me humbly if it was possible to publish a vid shot in Hawaii, in which he shreds a tiny beach break in light on shore winds…He also introduced himself as an ex-pro surfer who discovered Kite surfing few months ago. He told me that he was hooked to straplesskitesurfing.com, waiting for each new video.
He ended his mail by « One day I will be good in this sport »….
I really paid attention to his mail and I early realized the huge potential of Stephan Figueiredo… helped by some sick pics of him shredding the gnar.
I decided to keep an eye focused on the Brazilian’s trips, chasing best surf and kite spots in the world.
Better than words here is a little gallery with some shots on the North Shore, Teahupoo, Jaws, Cloudbreak… featuring Stephan “Fun” Figueiredo fueled by http://bladekites.com/ http://www.mcdbrasil.net/ and http://www.annesleysurfboards.com/
and THE dream tubes caught on Gopro HD3 (you have got to connected to Facebook and like Stephan ‘s Page to Watch the video : icon up and right)
Patri MacLaughlin was recently in Indo to score some tubes in front of the Photographer Jason Wolcott. (watch the sick vid here : http://www.straplesskitesurfing.com/2013/10/19/patri-mclaughlin-lost-and-found-strapless-kitesurfing/)
Patri was accompanied by Stephan Figueiredo, and Jason Wolcott, puzzled at first by the reserved Brazilian, discovered an impressive and talentuous ripper fitted with a solid surf background whom he nicknames now « the Silent Assassin » .
Here’s the result of this meeting : amazing pics and an interview disclosing a bit more the personality the of the Blade Kites rider.
How old are you?
32 years old
Where are you from?
Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
24 years. I caught my first wave at the age of 8.
Sponsors (kite and surf)
MCD (surf) and Blade (kite)
How long have you been a pro surfer?
Around 15 years I have made a living only from surfing.
How did you get into kitesurfing?
During my pro surfing career, I had the privilege to travel a lot. During my travels I took some classes through good friends of mine like Frajola, Tavinho from Brazil and Tiago Candelot in Hawaii. They always let me use their gear… I only bought my first kite 2 years after my first lesson! I’m lucky to have good friends who don’t care about their gear.
What was it about kitesurfing that made you want to be a part of it?
When I saw Guilly Brandão and Mauricio Abreu kiting, they made it look so fun which fueled my desire to kitesurf. Catching barrels with a kite is one thing, but doing it with a kite is another. A whole new element comes into play. These are challenges that fuel my passion.
What’s in your bag when you travel gear wise?
Wow… man, I have so much stuff! For my next trip I am going to take 5 surfboards (5’4-5’8-6’0-6’0-6’6), 2 kites (7m and 9m Trigger), spear gun, go pro, and a camera. I never leave home without my spear gun!
Ok, so why did you only have one kite with you on this trip to Indo?
I decided to carry only one kite this year because last year I took 2 kites and never found wind over 15 knots. In hindsight, I could have ridden with bigger or smaller kites these past couple weeks, but I knew my 9m Trigger was perfect for any day in Indo! It’s nice to not have to choose… haha.
Talk a bit about kitesurfing and surfing and why you love both.
I love to be in the ocean, it does not matter… If conditions are good to kite, I kite. If they’re good for surf I go surf… If neither is good, I take my spear gun and catch my own dinner. I like to be in the water every second. Every single session is completely different experience. It makes me alive, happy and healthy.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day for me would be…… left hander with 3 to 6 foot face, not longer than 300 feet, blowing side off shore with 20-25 knots of wind and I riding my 7m Blade Trigger and my 5’4 Annesley…. warm water, and good food to finish it off!
You are among the most humble pro athletes I have ever met. Is it hard dealing with other pros with huge egos?
We could talk for hours about this subject; it’s a delicate topic!
I think surfing is the most selfish sport there is. If someone has a little bit of ego in the beginning of their surfing career, it tends to increase exponentially as they become better. There is not too much we can do about it. I just try to not get too close to people like that and just stay respectful!
Talk a bit about getting barreled with a kite?
Getting barreled is my favorite thing to do on a kite, but it’s still very difficult for me to get really good barrels with a kite. I need to continue practicing with pro riders to so we can push each other to be better and continue evolving this style of the sport.
How hard is it to line up with a photographer swimming fisheye with a kite in the barrel?
There are so many things to think of, the reef, the barrel, my surfboard, the lines, the photographer, and the camera, all this elements have to come together at the same time. It’s hard to meet with photographer inside the barrel. I was little bit scared, I don’t want to hurt the photographer. Also the photographer has to be smart to be able to line up in the right spot and also get away from the lines. Very risky for sure!
Let’s have a look on strapless kitesurfing action now !
Stephan through the green door, Jason Wolcott behind the lens.
Indo local lifestyle.
for this collaboration.