The brand through the years
Everything influences everything.
I was born in Madagascar in 1970 and spent my early childhood playing in the ocean. When I was 10, my family decided to move to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, where I discovered my passion for water sports through windsurfing. I would race my brother and always lose, but I loved it so much that I would finish the course anyway.
When I was 13, we moved to San Diego, where my love for the waves continued to grow as I started surfing. I would ride my skateboard to the beach after school every day. I met Joe Blair, a local shaper who built my first custom board there. He was cool enough to let me watch while he shaped it, and this is where this feeling for shaping and building boards started.
Being a passionate windsurfer in San Diego was frustrating as it’s not very windy. So, I would caravan with friends to Baja as often as possible. On one of those drives, I met someone who offered me a job on Maui, the Mecca of windsurfing. That was all it took, and I was on a plane the following week.
When I first arrived on Maui’s north shore, I started with construction work to make ends meet while I pursued my professional windsurfing career. Next, I landed a job at Hi-Tech, where I worked for eight years and who today sells the KT brand. During those early years, I made friends with other pro windsurfers, including Jason Prior, Francisco Goya, and Sean Ordonez. We started our board brand in Feb 1994, while I learned to build windsurf boards from Sean, Thierry, and others. I first started building boards for myself, followed by other riders asking for my boards, which led to more orders. Being a passionate surfer, It didn’t take long before I started shaping and building my surfboards.
The following year, I received a hand-up from local shaper Matt Kinoshita. He was the one that introduced me to shortboard designs and CNC milling.
It didn’t take long before technology and techniques started mixing, and suddenly, the walls were gone. Surfboards, Tow, Guns, Foil, Wake, Paddle, Wing, Windsurf, and Foilboards all started to benefit each other; it wasn’t just about the ultra-light and strong HD foams or vacuum-laminated carbons or other exotic materials and layups. Shapes from Paddle boards were influencing Jaws and Waimea boards, Windsurf Quads were influencing Step-ups & Tow boards, everything influences everything.
All this is synergy, and couture is exponentially evolving boards sports and the amazing part is that we are only at the beginning of it. Look at what is happening with downwind foiling now. This has been everyone’s dream, to ride an endless wave in the open ocean. What is next?
This thirst has driven Kai Lenny, Ian Walsh, tour surfer Imaikalani Devault, Annie Reickert, Cody & Levi Young, Marcilio Browne, Levi Siver, and many more who, through their support and vision had made it possible to drive all of this evolution forward.
This passion for water sports and its people drives me to constantly develop my skills and push the limits of technology in ways I never thought possible. Every day as I meet with each new custom order, I am excited to see where this journey will take us next.
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