Last summer while we were vising Hood River, Oregon we had the chance to experience some amazing kiteboarding. There were kiteboarders there from EVERYWHERE around the world. We met some amazing people, and with the help of the awesome instructors at the Cascade kite school right next to the sand bar, had some major progressions including riding some crazy swell in the river near the Chicken Coop spot.
One day we went downtown to do some shopping in the hopes of finding some cool tee shirts and other swag to memorialize our trip. We found some awesome tee shirt and souvenir shops, and even some shops that specialized in kiteboard and windsurf gear. But and this was unreal no kiteboard related tee shirts or swag. No gear that we could take back and proudly wear at home. Nothing.
Over the winter break we took a trip to Maui, Hawaii where we had the incredible chance to visit kite beach. It wasn’t an easy place to kite. You have to body drag out several hundred yards from shore, stay upwind, and watch for a chop that cranks up over a coral reef that springs up not too far off shore. But we did it and were super proud of ourselves. Once again we went in search of some swag, and once again came up empty. No kiteboard swag, no local kiteboard tee shirts.
If you go online, there are lots of companies that sell brand-specific tee-shirts and swag. Cabrinha, Slingshot, North all of them have stuff for sale. But nothing that’s just kite specific. And definitely nothing for the local kite beaches that we’ve visited.
So, we decided to launch a new brand for kiteboarders and for local spots. Our goal is to create gear for that’s specific to the sport and is also specific for some of the most popular local beaches.
Last year, one of our family’s closest personal friends was seriously injured in a cycling accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury which caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down. Before his injury our friend was not only one of the most happy and outgoing people we’ve ever known, but he was also an incredibly active athlete. He had completed several Ironman races and was always doing something fun and outdoors. Tragically, because there is not yet a cure for spinal cord injuries, Pete’s life was changed and he is now in a wheelchair.
When we talked about launching Big Air, we decided to donate all of our profits to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries. Hopefully one day, if there is enough funding for good research, we will find a cure in the near future.