Pete Cabrinha is a true wind and surf-sport icon. One of the pioneering stars of windsurfing in the late seventies and early eighties, the mid-nineties then saw Pete and his friends in ‘The Strapped Crew’ develop the sport of tow-surfing, in order to ride a new secret spot they’d discovered, soon to become known as ‘Jaws’.

Pete Cabrinha is a true wind and surf-sport icon. One of the pioneering stars of windsurfing in the late seventies and early eighties, the mid-nineties then saw Pete and his friends in ‘The Strapped Crew’ develop the sport of tow-surfing, in order to ride a new secret spot they’d discovered, soon to become known as ‘Jaws’.

Hands-on hero of wind and surf All photos: Cabrinha (unless stated otherwise)

01 > I finally know, without doubt, the full extent of the things that I don’t know. That being said, I’m eternally curious. 02 > The phrase ‘change is good’ are three words that I’ve really come to appreciate over the past five years. 03 > Many of the most significant trends of the last 20 years were significantly trendy in the 20 years prior. 04 > I’ll try just about any sport ending with the word ‘surfing’. If fact, there’s a good chance that I already have. 05 > There’s a blurry line between surfing and art. I can’t seem to separate the two but it’s not for lack of focus.

06 > There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to know who you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with. 07 > This pandemic has shone a spotlight on two important things: health and the economy. One is very real and tangible while the other is simply an idea. The only problem is the world can’t agree which one is which.

08 > Female athletes are far too underrated for what they bring to sports. The unfortunate irony of this is that it’ll rely on men to reverse that thinking. 09 > I’m still amazed that with all of the technical advancements achieved over the past 100 years, we still haven’t found a better alternative to surf wax. 10 > Surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, wingsurfing, foilboarding, wakeboarding, skimboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, paragliding and hangliding have all developed individually by borrowing technology derived from one another. Each sport is happy to believe that it is unique, special and different. While the different sports may have assembled its athletes into different tribes, we are all much more connected than many would readily admit. 11 > I have lots of wind and wave forecasting apps downloaded on my iPhone, but I can look at a single coconut tree located miles from the ocean and tell you how strong and what direction the wind is blowing at my local surf spot. Local knowledge; we all have it. 12 > A soapbox is a slippery place to stand. Best to bring a bar of your favourite surf wax. Okay, stepping down now. Have a great day everyone.

Jaws, 2004

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According to Pete the line between art and surf is blurred. Here he decorates a ukulele for the Soundwave Project. These playable art pieces were offered for sale for $1,000 each, with all proceeds benefitting Surfrider Foundation, the Moores Cancer Center, and various other ocean-minded organizations

By the late nineties Pete’s board building business had expanded into kitesurfing and in 2000 he formed a powerful partnership with Neil Pryde to propel the Cabrinha brand to become one of the most recognisable and innovative brands in the sport, benefitting initially from the Group’s rich history of producing yacht and windsurfing sails. 20 years later, in February of this year, Pete teamed up with Waterbound Investments, led by former professional kiter Jon Modica, to bring the brand fully back home to Maui.

Pete says he made a pact with himself as a young professional windsurfer: he wanted to be “in this game for the long run.” He realised the key to doing that was by keeping his athletic status at a high level and always keeping his product designs relevant. Few could argue against his success. A windsurfing World Championship in 1985 and Billabong XXL Big Wave award in 2004 for his 70’ wave ride at Jaws that saw him enter the Guinness Book of World Record really only scratch the surface of a 40 year career, during which he’s left an indelible mark on all the sports he’s been involved with. Born in Kailua on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Pete is 59 years-old and lives on Maui with his wife, Lisa, and 18 year-old daughter, Tahiti.

“This pandemic has shone a spotlight on two important things: health and the economy. One is very real and tangible while the other is simply an idea. The only problem is the world can’t agree which one is which.”

On stage with his daughter, Tahiti

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Kiter

Artist

Surfer

Waterman

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