Interview by Brandon Green. Kitesurfing nomad.
Hood River, Oregon is a requisite stop for any kiteboarder. You’ll find constant winds, good beer, epic features to satisfy your kicker/slider/rail needs and the Predator takin’ full advantage of them. There are many Pro & Amiture contests and events that are held here as well. In one of the many, Eric Rienstra competed in the Gorge Blowout. A downwind race that takes one zigging and zagging through the Gorge, with winds from 17 to 30mph, for 20 miles! Usually Cory Roseler (who is one of kiteboarding’s fathers) wins the race on his waterskis, but this time Eric won with his boots. The first to win the Blowout with a board and boots! Luckily we were able to catch up with Eric Rienstra after an epic slider session, to chat.
Hey, thanks for giving us a chance to interview you.We are here in the Hood, one of kiteboarding’s meccas. Every year you come back to the Gorge. What brings you here?
The kicker, obviously.
Have you seen the recent videos of you, The Gorge and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah?
In those vids you have been busting out some crazy shit. Any new tricks you’re workin’ on?
Right now, a lot of the toeside moves off [the] kickers: the crow, dum dum, pete and blind pete.
Just recently you took first place in the Gorge Blowout (which is a downwind race from Stevenson to Event Site). How was it to race against 46 people in the middle of the Gorge?
It was tiring. Definitely not in shape for that.
From my understanding Cory Roseler (who is one of kiteboarding’s fathers) always won the race on his skis. What was your setup?
I had the wake boots, Asylum and the Turbine.
What was it like charging the race overpowered with the turbine and boots?
Well, if you are going straight downwind it is hard to be overpowered.
The chop was gnarly though. At the end your legs were jelly. Then you start to bounce uncontrollably. That’s when the boots came in handy.
You won, but how close was Cory from you?
We were tied the whole way. Then I got to the last buoy first. In the end there was like a ten sec split. Couldn’t let skis beat a board.
Do you think that you’ll compete in any wave/kicker comps?
Yup, used to kite that all the time in Kite Beach, Maui. There, it’s just the kicker with no crashing waves around it. So you can crash all you want and not get your kite eaten. Everywhere else has kite-eating waves, which sucks.
Are you going back to Maui?
At some point. You are always “going back to Maui”.
So what is your next stop?
Probably chill in Cali for a week or two, stop by Sherman and Wake Island. Then it’s Brazil. It’s the only place to go!
Got any shout outs?
Adam and the guys for putting the site together…
Oh, and Tweak that arrogant bastard.
Photos provided by:
1) Eric Reinstra
2-4) Billie Kipling
5-6) Trent Hightower