In just a few short years, water sports that were previously unavailable locally have been on the rise. Most notably in this regard: wakeboarding. From Bnaider to Marina Crescent, you increasingly see people riding the wake of speedboats, and flipping and flying behind them at will. However, as pioneers for any new sport often find, the local selection of products, lessons, and their sporting counterparts have been hard to come by. With the arrival of DMBoarding (DMB), we are set to enter a whole new chapter of availability for the local scene. Far from just a selection of products for sale, the community that is being built via the owner, the team riders, and the throngs of people that have taken advantage of the lessons and promotions they offer, is making these sports available to everyone.
If you have ever tried to look for something here, only to find out that it doesn’t exist locally and determined that you must import it, then you have a glimpse of the problems that have faced those looking to increase their options on the water. Now imagine that the product that you want to obtain is a 4+ meter tall x 1-meter wide (or 14 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide) surfboard, and you start to see how hard it can become. The arrival and selection of these Stand Up Paddle boards alone would make their company worth a visit; however, with the added stock of Kite surfing and Wakeboarding paraphernalia (not to mention well-managed and helpful lessons for all ages and skill-sets), they are not to be missed. Additionally, as the sole distributor of Slingshot and Mystic products in Kuwait—two well-known names in these sports—they are the only place to get your hands on some of these items. They are also a retailer of North Kite boarding, Fanatic, and F-one products as well, to name a few.
For those who are unfamiliar with Kite surfing, their lesson packages may just be a great way to get into it. Basically, much like a bizarre mash-up of wind surfing and wakeboarding, you are harnessing the energy of the wind via a kite to which you are tethered and on a wakeboard-like object. The feeling of being pulled up into the air by the wind’s power is, so I am told, one of the rare treats of modern sporting that you actually must try to believe; it is that awesome of a feeling. Still, there are many that with no prior knowledge assume that perhaps this sport is for those already in the know. That’s where Basile Quiroga, and his group of team riders come in: excited about the growth of their sport in Kuwait, and happy to share it with you via lessons, sport competitions, and by working with Q8 balance, who serve as a dealership for some of DMB’s exclusive brands; their passion is contagious!
In a recent sit-down with their team riders themselves to discuss the passion of their sport we got to learn a bit more about how they all got involved and what keeps them motivated. A team that is comprised of 2 Kuwaiti men, 1 woman, and a Frenchman who has relocated to be part of the local scene, they are growing as quickly as their reach in international competitions. In fact, at a recent stop on the WWA Wake Park World Series, one of their riders made it to the third round of competition, while another made an even bigger splash overall. After just two years in the sport, Shaira Almouri came in third in the Nationals portion of the competition; a great feat both for her and Kuwait at large as the sport continues to grow regionally. As she now evolves into the sport of kite boarding as well, it will be interesting to watch her progress.
If you are looking for lessons on any of the above, they do both one-on-one and group instruction. You can also just rent the equipment as well, based on your experience level. They offer supervision, if you are a novice with your own equipment and are just looking for someone to go out with you, for your own safety. They even offer an immersion course that allows you to go from “Zero to hero,” in the span of a weekend.
When asked for a rundown on the company, Basile says, ”our mission is to help people learn to kite surf as safely, quickly and easily as possible. We keep the pressure on to learn new skills, taking small steps that add up to big progress. But the vibe is always friendly and we never forget that it’s all about fun. You’ll work hard, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll laugh even more!”
Of their primary riders, Yousef Ramadhan, a Kuwaiti who cites the Khiran lagoons as his favorite local spot, is an all-around athlete who has been into kite boarding since 2011. He says that what he loves best about it is “it never gets boring, conditions are always different, and the dynamic nature of the wind and waves mean you are constantly challenged.” He goes on to say that “the weightless feeling of floating through the air high above the water, and then coming down for a relatively soft landing, or better yet, the feeling of immense power, when your kite plucks you off the water like you weigh nothing, leaves you with the feeling of accomplishment after your session.” For his part, Mohammed Albannai, a rider since 2007 sees Kite boarding as a huge stress reliever. A Kuwaiti himself who learned and competed in the sport in Miami, he loves the technicality of tricks, particularly when at his favorite local spot, the Bnaider sandbar. Yaquob Anway Al Nasrallah, a rider since 2011, recently participated in the Dubai Kite competition. He “loves the sensation of the ride itself, and how it makes (him) feel.” His favorite spot is Marina Crescent, where you are still close enough to people to wow them with your tricks. As the only non-local on the DMB riding team, Vince Berthez travels often to Kuwait for events and will next be seen at the WWA wake park event in the Philippines.
What is most notable about all of their team is that they really just seem excited to get the word out to everybody about Wakeboarding, Kite boarding and Stand Up Paddle-boarding. They are doing it for the love and absolutely everybody is welcome. Find them on the beach or search them out online…you won’t be sorry.
Go to www.dmboarding.com to check out all their products and information on lessons. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @ dmboarding