Mar 28, 2012

Ben Wilson’s thoughts about kitesurfing and the KSP tour

Ben Wilson speaks about his vision of kitesurfing, the KSP tour and why he doesn’t compete on the KSP Tour…
I’m constantly getting asked why myself and why none of our BWS team riders are competing on the Kite Surf Pro tour. So here’s my view…
I’m only speaking for myself here, all of our team riders make their own decisions and are not pushed by BWS to do or say anything they don’t want to.
Kite surfing is a very subjective sport. Somebody may completely hate one thing and the next person completely love it, but that doesn’t make either person right or wrong. It’s just a difference of opinion and that goes on with anything you do in life, no matter what – some people will love it and others will hate it.
The best thing about kite surfing is that it doesn’t matter how you ride, as long as you’re having fun, especially when you’re only involved in kiting to enjoy the thrill of it. That being said, companies and athlete’s have a responsibility that goes along with their professional positions to showcase the sport in a certain way.
In terms of the KSP, I applaud them for stepping up and going for what they believe in and like any sport you have to start somewhere. However the place where you start can really affect the outcome of what you’re trying to achieve and I think the KSP is making the wrong call in terms of how they are presenting kitesurfing to the Surf industry.
Right now I believe kitesurfing needs to be nicely packaged in the form of content like we see from the TDZ crew. These guys are at the forefront of the sport and their kiting is at a level where once shown the videos, surfers are automatically blown away in comparison to what we see from the KSP. This is what will get surfers involved and grow our sport.
It guts me to see a live web cast where you can barely see what’s going on, then some guy on a kite being ripped down the line way out on the face of the wave being tweeted to the ASP saying “watch this”. Stuff like this just takes us a step back every time.
It’s not that I’m looking for personal credibility of the surf world so I feel like our vision is in the right direction. It’s that the more surfers we get into kiting, the more the level of riding ability will go up and then we’ll be able to have a really sick tour. Imagine what it would be like to get some of the innovative young surfers on a kite, that’s when kiting will go to the next level.
My vision has always been to bridge the gap between kiting and surfing, as I believe the kite is the ultimate extension to surfing and that has been my driving force ever since the beginning.
I don’t look at kitesurfing as a new sport, I look at the kite as an accessory to surfing and surfers, and this is what I preach to surfers. I get just as excited seeing someone new get into kitesurfing, as what I do when having a session myself. Because kiting makes me feel good and I want other people to know how good it can be, especially if you are already a surfer. We ride the same boards that we surf; it’s the inspiration and vision of BWS.
Look, at the end of the day I don’t care how anyone rides, as long as they are having fun. But I do care about how the athletes and industry are showcasing kitesurfing. As this is paving the way for the future. Not only for the athletes, but for the companies which in return build the products for consumers.
Although I believe competition is an essential part of any sport’s growth I personally feel the KSP is showcasing its competition in the complete opposite way that I believe will capture the interest of surfers. Therefore I’m not involed as it’s not inline with my vision.
Ben Wilson
Text originally publish on BWS website.