This past week, REAL Kiteboarding, in affiliation with sponsors Red Bull, John Wayne Cancer Foundation and Outer Beaches Realty, hosted their 2nd Annual Triple-S Invitational. Triple-S stands for Surf, Slicks and Sliders. The Triple-S is the most progressive freeride kiteboarding competition in the world. In addition to the most exciting riding the world has ever seen, the week-long event was filled with opening and closing night parties, extraordinary photo/video opportunities and amazing kiteboarding sessions.

“Everyone was going huge and sticking it. In the first two days alone I shot more than 5 gigs of photos. From the ocean to The Slick to the sliders, all of the riders were killing it and making it look good.” – Bryan Elkus

Here’s a recap of the week.

The Triple-S ’07 riders were:

Cam Barker
Sam Bell
Davey Blair
Kristen Boese
Clarissa Hempel
Andy Hurdman
Tommie Kogut
Damien Leroy
Jason Slezak
Dimitri Mariminedes
Susi Mai
Ian McKeown
Jon Modica
Evan Netsch
Greg Norman
Billy Parker
Andre Phillip
Sean Reyngoudt
Jason Slezak
Morgan Skiperdene
Sky Solbach
Dylan Thompson

All of these riders bring stoke no matter where they go! Two days before the competition, Davey Blair stopped by REAL to say hello. Upon seeing the original 60ft REAL “Camel Toe” in our slider park storage, Davey decided Triple-S 2007 would be the year of Camel Toe resurrection. Davey quickly assembled a team of volunteers and began the work. Epic sessions were had on this legendary slider!

Bummed you missed the kiteboarding event of the year? No worries, we captured all the action on High Definition Video!

The Triple-S will be featured in the first ever high definition kiteboarding DVD “Lines,” a Bilderback Production, brought to you by title sponsor REAL Kiteboarding. John and Alexis Bilderback were present for every session, cameras and camcorders in hand, in hopes to never miss a shot or a sequence. It was never a surprise to see JB equipped with flippers and camera swimming in the ocean trying to get the ultimate surf shot. Alexis could be seen cruising on the tower of Capt. Brian’s fishing skiff filming riders throwing trick after trick in The Slick. Everyone is stoked to see “Lines” released to the public in early ’08. Look for JB’s still photos from the Triple-S in an upcoming issue of Kiteboarding Magazine.

Every day of the Triple-S was killer with all of the riders sessioning every bit of riding Cape Hatteras could throw at them. Check out our day-by-day recap of the 2007 Triple-S!!:

Saturday, June 2: Triple-S 2007 Opening Party, also known as The Party that almost killed the Triple-S! A little late afternoon rain brought the Triple-S Opening Party to the Rodanthe Community Center. DJ Chela flew in from New York City to spin for the entire event. Fried chicken, pulled pork, corn bread, coleslaw, baked beans and cold beer was enjoyed by all. The dancing and partying was non-stop! At 11 o’clock, the party moved to an after hours location where DJ Chela spun beats until 3 am! Needless to say, everyone got a late start on Sunday morning….

Sunday, June 3: The first full day of the Triple-S brought heavy southeast wind to Cape Hatteras. Southeast is a wind direction Cape Hatteras doesn’t get often. However, when it blows SE, the riding is phenomenal. A stellar ocean session was had at The Cove, located on the southside of Cape Point. Riders Jon Modica and Damien Leroy could be seen launching huge airs off rolling kickers strapless! If you saw the crowd starting to move, that meant Andy Hurdman was riding from the ocean, across the sand, into the tidal pool and then back out to the waves! The level of riding was set so high on the first day, everyone was asking how it could get better. Everyone was going huge, continuing to push the limits of kiteboarding.

“The Triple-S was definitely the most fun event I’ve ever been to. It never once felt like a competition. There was no pressure and everyone was riding and having fun together. The judging system was very fair, and I enjoyed voting for my top riders. I can’t remember any week in my entire life where I rode this much. I rode for more than 20 hours this past week and loved every minute of it. Riding in the ocean at ramp 23 and in the Cove were my favorite sessions. And even though I don’t’ hit sliders too often, it was awesome to get some practice and see the other riders killing it. I’ll be back next year!”Kristen Boese

Monday, June 4: The ultimate day of the Triple-S without a doubt. Monday morning brought smooth, southwest winds for an epic morning Slick session. In the early afternoon, the REAL Slider Park crew set up the new John Wayne “Double Wide” Slider and Red Bull Funbox. Dylan Thompson threw every slide in the book on the John Wayne (or “J-Dub”) slider. Sam Bell charged the J-Dub with unprecedented speed passing the handle in every direction. Susi Mai, Tommie Kogut and Sky Solbach were all over the front side of the Red Bull Funbox. Greg Norman, Andre Phillip and Andy Hurdman set up shop on the top rail and let the crowds know who could rock the Red Bull. In The Slick, Dimitri Mariminedes was boosting huge, flipping the board while passing the handle, and in Dimitri-style, always landing blind. Morgan Skiperdene threw rally after rally going bigger and bigger with every pop. This perfect day also brought good swell on the ocean side and made for a radical late-afternoon ocean session at Ramp 23 just south of Salvo. The winds were cranking and everyone was riding 6m – 8m kites, most riding surfboards. All of this action in one day of competition. Triple-S stands for Surf, Slicks and Sliders!!!

“The slider riding was insane this year. Everyone was shredding the John Wayne double slider. Even the girls started charging it which was sick to watch. It was awesome seeing everyone together having fun for a killer week of riding and partying.”Sam Bell

Tuesday, June 5: Strong west winds made for a nice morning and early afternoon Slick and Slider Session. The kicker was set up at the backdoor of the Slick and riders Cam Parker, Dylan Thompson, Billy Parker and Andre Phillip could be seen throwing land-gap 360s and 540s like it was nobody’s business! The Triple-S riders are so intense about their riding that REAL enforced a mandatory shade break from 3 – 5 pm. This gave our media staff time to recharge their batteries and grab a snack before the evening’s festivities. REAL Headquarters was the place to be for the Evening Cool Down session. Special guest DJ mixed tunes for an insane docksliding session. All of the riders were tearing the dock apart with board slides, nose presses, handle passes and every other trick imaginable. Red Bull and REAL supplied plenty of drinks and good times for all.

“The Triple-S Invitational is something I look forward to every year here on Cape Hatteras. Sunday’s Cove session was simply off the hook. Almost everyone was strapless and tearing apart set after set. John Bilderback was an Olympic swimmer with his camera getting amazing shots. The riding got better and better every day and the parties went later and later. This year Real Kiteboarding, Red Bull, Outer Beaches Reality and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation stepped it up and cemented the Triple-S as the freeride kiteboarding event. I can’t wait for Triple-S 2008.”Tommie Kogut

Wednesday, June 6: A no-wind Wednesday did not stop the Triple-S riders from getting in awesome sessions. Many of our riders traveled north to the Wanchese “Cheese Bowl” for an afternoon skate session. The event was highlighted by REAL’s very own Laura “Lulu” Vroman making her first drop into the 9 foot bowl, a feat some of our pros wouldn’t step up to attempt. Jason Slezak, Davey Blair and Dylan Thompson could be seen shredding the entire bowl. Clarissa Hempel, Andre Phillip and Susi Mai got their skate on as well. Wednesday night was poker night where the pros put on their game face to take everyone’s money. There would be a Poker Champion at week’s end so every hand was important.

“The Triple-S was the best event I have ever been to. Everyone was happy, the general vibe on the water was really positive and not competitive. People weren’t trying to out do each other, but rather riding for the love and joy of riding instead of just trying to win an award.”Sky Solbach

Thursday, June 7: The light wind morning offered the perfect opportunity to set up the Camel Toe, the legendary slider and benchmark of the REAL Slider Park. After a little love and the enthusiasm of Davey Blair and many of the REAL coaches, the Camel Toe was resurrected and installed in The Slick!! The evening wind came just in time for a sunset slider session. The evening brought round two of poker where the Poker Champion was crowned! Curious who it was? Keep reading!

Friday, June 8: The last day of the Triple-S was greeted by southwest winds averaging 20 mph. The Camel Toe was stationed in The Slick, tested the night before and ready to be destroyed! The good wind made for an epic morning Slick and Camel Toe session. Andre Phillip, Damien Leroy and Jason Slezak were sliding the Camel Toe end to end like it was their job! The wind held straight through the afternoon and was perfect for an afternoon slider session on the John Wayne, Deathstar and the REAL dock in front of the REAL Headquarters! Friday’s double session was an awesome climax to an amazing week of riding.

As the riders got in there final hours of session, the Triple-S Awards Ceremony party started at the REAL Headquarters. DJ Sickness was live and spinning beats all night long. It was taco night at REAL, with all of the chicken, beef, pork, beans and fixings you could ever ask for! The kegs were tapped and the beer was running cold and smooth. The evening was topped with many awards and trophies and an after party that went until 4 am!

Want to know who won that Triple-S Invitational? Keep reading!

The freeride format of the Triple-S allows riders to ride all day for the 7 day invitational period. It is REAL’s goal to push the sport further than it has been pushed before. At the week’s end, winners were determined through a judging system using all the Triple-S riders and media staff to accurately determine an overall winner. And the winners of the Triple-S Invitational 2007 are:

Men’s Surf
1st Place: Jason Slezak
2nd Place: Sky Solbach
3rd Place: Andre Phillip

Men’s Slick
1st Place: Damien Leroy
2nd Place: Billy Parker
3rd Place: Andre Phillip

Men’s Slider
1st Place: Andre Phillip
2nd Place: Dylan Thompson
3rd Place: Cam Barker

Men’s Overall
1st Place: Andre Phillip
2nd Place: Damien Leroy
3rd Place: Billy Parker

Women’s Surf
1st Place: Kristen Boese
2nd Place: Clarissa Hempel
3rd Place: Susi Mai

Women’s Slick
1st Place: Kristen Boese
2nd Place: Susi Mai
3rd Place: Clarissa Hempel

Women’s Slider
1st Place: Kristen Boese
2nd Place: Susi Mai
3rd Place: Clarissa Hempel

Women’s Overall
1st Place: Kristen Boese
2nd Place: Susi Mai
3rd Place: Clarissa Hempel

Best Session
1st Place: Andre Phillip
2nd Place: Billy Parker
3rd Place: Dylan Thompson

Best Wipeout
1st Place: Davey Blair
2nd Place:Greg Norman
3rd Place: Andy Hurman, Susi Mai, Ian McKeown

Slickstyle Attitude Award
Davey Blair

Poker Tournament Champion
Jon Modica

The Triple-S Invitational is only as good as its riders! Everyone who attended the Triple-S not only destroyed it on the water, but was also amazingly cool and fun to work with. On and off the water Triple-S riders carry stoke and plenty of good vibes.

“Triple-S ’07 was freakin’ sick. The 6 days of riding was without a doubt the most insane back to back to back sessions I have ever seen. Dre throwing flat 540s and 720s off the kicker over the backdoor of The Slick still has me stoked. All of the riders pushed each other all week long, taking kiteboarding to the next level. I can’t imagine where the sport will be next year.”Trip Forman