The Canary Islands have remained popular for wind sport tourists throughout most of the pandemic. In need of a sure fire location for strong wind conditions that’s easy to reach from Europe, Slingshot international team manager, Sam Light, pulled his troops to the turbines in August to shoot the new big boosting Machine kite

WORDS AND DRONE SHOTS – Sam Light PHOTOS: Rafa Soulart

Booking a photoshoot is challenging at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Trying to line up riders from various countries, media crew and Covid tests while keeping everything within a tight budget and somehow guaranteeing wind is a tall order. In ordinary years we’d head to Brazil because it’s one of the most regularly windy places on the planet, so at least more or less takes care of one aspect for the shoot. Trying to find really strong wind in a one week window can be a struggle anywhere though and guarantees barely seem to exist. We’re really excited about a new big air kite called ‘The Machine’ that’s coming out soon. It’s on my shoulders to assemble a crew and deliver top notch content of the kite in its element. Due to Covid restrictions, the most famous big air destinations are off the cards at the moment and they are also super expensive places to travel to: Cape Town, Brazil, America (Hood River / Hawaii), Australia and Mauritius. The search was on for the best place that would be good for big air that was within easy reach from Europe? Tarifa is an obvious spot. It’s an iconic location, but to catch real big air conditions you need to go on a last minute forecast to score the strong offshore Levante. Furthermore, during the summer months you are not allowed to kite at the pros’ favourite spot for that wind direction, Balneario. I also considered Sardinia and the south of France. Both have potential but I had limited local knowledge to guarantee the call.

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