Feb 27, 2008
Author: John Bryja
Being a very vocal supporter of unhooked strapped riding has made Felix the most controversial rider on this list. The majority of respondents had him near the top of their lists, while others intentionally excluded him. His 2006 victory at the Mauritius Waveriding Invitational against a handful of the world’s best, proved he can’t be ignored.
Felix Pivec may be the most visible man in kitesurfing. Not because he gets as much coverage as anyone, or because he looks a bit like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but simply because he whacks it like we’d all really like to whack it. And that he does so in both directions, defying anyone telling him which is his ‘strong’ side, more than doubles his cred. Yet many people have a misguided notion that Felix is arrogant and opinionated. He really isn’t. He is simply passionate and understands what works for him. If he says what he believes, it’s only because he wants to see everyone ripping, and doesn’t understand wasting time or waves on approaches that don’t work as well. Regardless, no amount of attitude will get all your fins out, on top of a six-foot lip. That takes big skills, which he clearly has. Maybe his particular approach might not resonate for you or be right for your spot, but have a listen and a look, because Felix is a monster.—John Bilderback
Weight: 154 lbs.
Hometown: Tugun, QLD, Australia
Current residence: Boardbag and Oahu North Shore
Sponsors: Airush , Billabong and Flying Objects
Tech out: “I ride the new Airush Generator C kites that have been in refinement for six years, bringing my set of C kites down to two kites: a 7.5 m2 and a 5.5 m2. I try to ride the right size kite. When it’s time to go up a size or down a size, I go change. I ride a bar with no chicken loop [and] just a fixed harness line. This gives my kite the best possible trim all the time—sheeting in and out tends to make the kite unpredictable, falling back when you don’t want it to. I have been really picky with my boards. Finally, after a lot of work, my 6’0” Airush Converse is my magic stick for all conditions.”
SBC Kiteboard Magazine conducted the poll of pro riders and photographers the summer of 2007, and asked who are the top 25 riders in the surf. The results were published in our Fall 2007 issue.