Felix Pivec: strapless and unhooked

Felix Pivec is a kitesurfing legend. He started kiteboarding back in 1998, in the very early stages of the sport. Back then, there were no mobile phones with internet, apps and wind forecasts.

In the 20th century, Pivec kicked off his wind adventures with a classic Wipica kite. In those days, it was quite hard to evolve because there were almost no riders out in the water, and information about kiteboarding was scarce.

"Back then, there were no videos, no magazines. A little video came with the kite, but I didn't have my VCR then, so I was a little anxious to get on the kite. I thought of going to the beach and give it a stab," reveals Pivec.

"I ended up inflating it, attaching the lines. The bridle was wrapped, and the kite just ended up going through the window and taking itself out on a big sign, and split straight in half.

Pivec bought his first kite for $650. It was basic, only two lines and a bar. "It was full power all the time. No such thing as sheeting out." Felix was a windsurfer, and he felt jumps were a lot easier in the new wind sport.

The first back roll was trouble-free, but kiteboarding would evolve rapidly. Felix Pivec spent the following years improving his wave riding success formula. His unhooked, strapless signature went on to inspire younger generations. Today, Pivec is deeply involved with kite design and testing.