Apr 13, 2012
Author: as told to John Bryja
Tools of the Trade: Dimitri and Cameron Maramenides
If you’ve spent any time in Cape Hatteras, NC or on the kiteboarding forums, you will have certainly met Dimitri Maramenides. He is very enthusiastic about his company, Epic Kites, and the gear he helps create. We caught up with Dimitri to find out what gear he and his young son, Cameron, use.
We have three and a half models of kites: Renegade, Screamer, Judge, and a fourth one coming out soon called The Racer. I love the Screamer. It was designed to do all tricks and then, once done the trick, be able to land. The Screamers are my jumping-hang-time-board-off-handlepass kites. I designed the Renegades as my surf kite, but I don’t advertise it as a surf kite because it’s also an amazing all-around kite: easy relaunch, incredible stability, and fantastic feel in the air. When I travel to a place that has only waves, then I take my Renegade (7, 9, 11 m and maybe 13 m). If I travel to a place with no waves, I take only my Screamer (7, 9, 12, 14 m—or just 7, 10, 14 m, depending). But if the place I travel to has waves and flats, I take my Renegade (7, 11 m), Screamer (9, 12, 14 m), plus my Droid, Spartan and one of my Reef boards.
Cameron came up with his own kite called the Junior Pro 4. When the wind dies down he uses the Renegade five-, seven- and nine-metre, and the freestyle Judge eight-metre C kite. He rides all the kites with his Junior Pro bar that comes with the Junior Pro 4 kite. I don’t let him use the Screamers yet because I don’t want him to land on a tree or building.
I ride Epic Kites’ Xtend bar. You only need one bar for all your kites, as Xtend bar can be a 55- or 45-centimetre bar depending on what kite you want to use.
Cameron uses the Junior Pro bar, which is a 40- or 45-centimetre bar. He loves it because it has a small diameter for his hands, and the centre line (CL ) is very small so he can reach the bar or the de-power strap. But now he wants a bigger CL so he can do handlepasses.
My favourite board is the Spartan 129 x 39 cm. I’m 180 lbs., and I designed this board for 20- to 40-knot wind conditions. It tracks incredibly well, has amazing pop, is very loose but also very light. The problem is that when it gets to be 30 knots, it’s hard to do board-offs because the board is so light, and this is why I have another, much heavier custom board. I also use the Droid 135 x 41 cm. I love this board for 15- to 22-knot conditions. It does the same thing the Spartan does but in lighter conditions. The Oxygen 135 x 47 cm is another board I use in light conditions; it looks big but rides like a small board. I usually use the Oxygen in six to 14 knots, and most of the time I use it with the Infinity or the Screamer 14 m.
Cameron came out with his new Junior Pro 110 x 34 cm board, a mini version of the Spartan. He loves it. This board is excellent for small riders who are under 110 lbs. for 20 to 38 knots.
In the waves I use the Reef 5’7” for light conditions (eight to 20 knots max), mushy surf, and in stronger winds (18 to 35 knots) with bigger waves I use the 5’11” Reef. Don’t get me wrong, you can use these boards in any kind of wind, but I found these conditions to be best suited for these different types of boards. We’re also coming out with the Reef V2 soon.
Cameron loves the Reef 5’7” for strapless riding. He also has a 5’0” custom, but it’s not in production yet.
I use the Dakine harness, but after a lot of demand from customers worldwide asking us for an Epic harness, we came up with the Epic Harness. It’s a waist harness that comes in two colours—red and yellow. Cameron wants us to make him an extra-small one because right now they come in small, medium, large, extra-large.
Cameron and I use Hyperflex wetsuits, which are very nice. And no! We are not going to make a wetsuit.
In order to travel with all this gear, we came out with the Travel Bag that has two partitions and can fit seven kites and three twin-tip boards. We call it “medical equipment” because airlines don’t charge for medical equipment, but they’ve started charging for Golf Bags.