Apr 18, 2011
Author: photo by Bryan Elkus
With mentors like Laura “Lulu” Vroman, Dom has taken monster strides in the last few years in her kiting career. From sessions in the REAL Slider park to holding down a 6 m in 35-plus Nor’Easter double overhead waves, Dom holds her own along with the boys!
Kites: This year, I am riding the brand new Naish Park. It is such a great kite! Since my first session on it I’ve been having a ton of fun. It works great for me both in flat water and in the surf. The super-light bar pressure makes it very nice for me to ride without having to try to reach really far (unless you are short like me, you probably don’t appreciate as much being able to ride with your bar all the way in). It also allows me to hold down a lot of power so it is perfect for riding the ocean when it gets big and mean during a good Nor’Easter in Hatteras. It also makes it super easy to unhook for wakestyle riding and hitting sliders. The fast responsiveness of this kite makes it go wherever you want exactly at the moment you want it. It also flies and relaunches great even out of its typical wind range (you have to think that I am riding my 8 m in 20 mph, most of the time). It is a very important feature to consider for a petite girl like me. I like the C-kite feel of the Park as well. I also love the stability of the 6 m and the 8 m: making small kites that fly well in very gusty condition seems to be hard, and the 2011 Naish Park got it right!
Bars: I ride the one and only Naish Bar. I don’t need to change the setup for larger or smaller, because my biggest kite is a 10 m. I like riding without the line extension, for more responsiveness.
Boards: For freestyle, wakestyle and sliders, I ride the 2011 Naish 132 x 41 cm Momentum with my boots on. I am in love with this board. The flex is great, and it pops really well too. Super smooth riding in all conditions, this board makes my life very easy when it’s time to go upwind, even with my boots on. Another great thing is that it doesn’t splash me in the eyes, which is a very big plus. I am more than stoked to be riding the Momentum this year.
Surfboards: The board shown here is my strapless board: a 5’4” Randy French Phenom. I really enjoy riding this board in small conditions, and its Tuflite construction makes it really durable. I can handle the “bar-end hits” and other beatings. It is super light (sometimes it catches in the wind quite a bit!) but makes it easy to practice little strapless airs and Ollies, because the board can be pushed against your feet by the wind. I tried to surf it once and it was quite challenging, but fun. The Grom features (soft nose protector and soft fin edges) saved me a couple bad bruises too. But when I really want to go surf, I have a custom-made board. It is a Bones 6’ retro-type egg, that I mostly ride as a single-fin. It’s a-one-of-a-kind, shaped right on Hatteras Island.
This winter, I will also be kiting the 2011 Naish 5’7” Custom Global. This board will give me the option to ride with straps in bigger surf, but will also be more stable on the water because of its heavier weight.
Harness: I presently have two harnesses I use. For teaching, I wear the Dakine Wahine, because it offers great back support and is very small. I often have to teach guys a lot bigger than me, so I end up riding a 14 m when I should be riding a 10 m so I appreciate the extra support! When I ride, I most often ride my Naish Moto. It is softer and follows better the shape of my lower back. I also love the colours!
Wetsuit: Living mostly in Cape Hatteras, I have to wear all sorts of water apparel. My suits (not shown) are all O’Neill’s: 5:4 D-Lux Mod (with hood!), 4:3 D-Lux and the Bahia Long sleeve short spring suit, which is now commonly called my “superhero outfit.”
Others: One thing I will not leave anywhere to go kite without are my boardshorts. Yep, I wear big, baggie guys board shorts. I heard all the comments about it, but the thing is: I prefer to be comfortable than to look pretty. And if you think you get a wedgie when you fall on the water, try wearing a bikini bottom or short girl shorts.
Thanks for checking out my gear in Tools of the Trade.