UPDATE 5/1/2014 – The Triple-S Steering Committee has decided to approve this change and this year’s event will feature freestyle in the waves instead of kite-surfing in the waves. Thanks to everyone that shared their thoughts and good luck to all of the riders.
Hot on the heels of the best Triple-S Invitational ever in the 9-year history of the event, Triple-S Invitational Co-Founders and Event Co-Directors Trip Forman and Jason Slezak, have announced that the event most likely will undergo a new and exciting format change for the 2014 season.
“Triple-S has always stood for “Surf, Slicks and Sliders”, and this will remain the same. We are looking at changing the SURF discipline from kitesurfing in the waves to wake style kickers and freestyle in the waves. We’re looking at this change for several reasons, the first and most important being that this event has always been about the riders and making the best event possible for them.
The cover for the Stance Yearbook last year. Is this the future of our sport?
The format we have used in the past has the wakestyle riders on the water for 6 days of the event, with the kitesurfing SURF riders only getting one day max of the spotlight. This leaves some of the best kitesurfers in the world on hold for the majority of the event, waiting for what we have seen to not be our best kitesurfing conditions of the year with June seeing typically smaller surf. At the same time, when we run the SURF discipline, we then have the majority of the competitors sitting out the discipline since they do not train on surfboards and have become very wakeboard focused. In the end we see it as not being the best combination for all the athletes involved and started thinking of how we can improve the event for 2014.
The new format we are finalizing will still have three disciplines, Surf, Slicks and Sliders. The new SURF format will feature the world’s best riders that blow it up on the Sliders and in the Slicks, but will then put them in the waves on wakeboards to ride the ultimate mother nature made kicker park! With the typical conditions we expect – windy with small surf – riders and spectators are in for a visual and exciting display of the worlds best unleashing a massive arsenal of kickers, freestyle and (if it gets really windy) kite loops.
“Waves are the future of freestyle. It’s such a dynamic feature that has infinite potential for progression.”
Sam Light, 2013 Triple-S Combined Champion.
But what about the kitesurf SURF discipline competitors?
Going back to the “best event for the riders”, our kitesurf competitors have always been as important to the event as all the slider and slicks riders. What we saw over the years is these riders getting the short end of the stick as far as riding time and media attention in event coverage. If we make this change to the Triple-S event format, we will also add a new kitesurf specific event in the Fall (September or October) that will focus solely on this discipline with our best kitesurfing conditions of the year – windy with overhead barreling surf.
We’re excited about the upcoming Triple-S and potentially rolling out these changes. Keeping it the same can always be viewed as the safe bet, but we’ve always taken chances with this event to make it the best it can possibly be.” – Trip and Slezy
The 2014 Triple-S Invtiational, presented by REAL and powered by Venyu, is scheduled for May 31st – June 6th in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.