The Cape Verde Mission by Kai Katchadourian US-33
Returning to Cabo Verde was at the forefront of my plans once the Atlantic Ocean started to produce storms that would then send suitable swells down to the desert island points.
The presiding theme of this trip as far as the windsurfing was going to be float and ride in substantially sized surf. With me was the new 5.3 EVOQ. I knew right away that this was going to greatly help me in the situation of fluctuating amounts of apparent wind. The 5 batten EVOQ features very steady handling, its main trait that truly comes in handy when you have these major power fluctuations.The forecast proved correct and before I knew it, I was on the spots rigging for very challenging sessions.
I promised myself to take it easy, and be careful as to extend the life of my equipment and my body. These places do not allow for big mistakes. On my first wave, I was out of position and my wave closed out. Worst case scenario right off the bat. I was on the rocks in the worst possible spot , but my gear was completely intact. Not a scratch. I scampered off the rocks into a survival water and was clean.
"I promised myself to take it easy, and be careful as to extend the life of my equipment and my body. These places do not allow for big mistakes."
Obviously relieved , my session, continued and it was very obvious that the draft was totally locked in, with that very surfy feel providing effortless momentum to enjoy these long waves. What impressed me the most was how 5 Battens could be made to feel so effortless effective. This effortless effectiveness, however, led to some more overconfidence on my part. Soon I was taking off very far behind the peak….. again….and more than once found myself staring at the rock ledge in front of me, making my decisions seem questionable. EVOQ handled the pressure with all the momentum needed to make these sections and continue down the line until I got to the channel and breathed the side of relief.
EVOQ had just about as much low-end as a Blacktip, yet an enhanced level of torque in the upper power level – which proved to be a big advantage in this situation. Session after session, this perfect blend of power and stability enabled me to concentrate on wave placement and pushing my turns. The waves in Cabo Verde are so perfect that you don’t even concentrate on the bottom turn water contour. It feels like you’re surfing without a sail in your hands. Being in this environment is what it’s all about, you can dig deep and push as hard as you can, but there is also the purity of being on such perfect waves, that you appreciate the simple moments just as much. After these sessions, I will be carrying more than a few EVOQ in my quiver. It will be my main sail for when control in critical situations is a must. I’m already looking forward to the next missions, because I can take EVOQ anywhere in the world with me and know that it will perform exactly how need it to.
Kai Katchadourian US-33
Thanks for the photos: @tozat.photography