2008 Triple-S Winners
2008 Triple-S Invitational sponsored by REAL, Red Bull, Outer Beaches Realty and John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Friday June 6th, the final day of the 2008 Triple-S Invitational saw the Triple-S Awards Party kicking off at 6pm with a North Carolina Pig Roast over an open fire. Cold beers, sodas and great music was had by all as some of the Triple-S competitors rode the John Wayne Cancer Foundation slider behind the PWCs to get in one last session in the event. The new music system at REAL takes the tunes all the way to the water’s edge during a classic sunset at The Slick, making watching the action even more enjoyable!

Winds for the 2008 Triple-S Invitational provided 5 of 7 days of intense action on the water. Once again, the 2 non windy days saw perfect peeling surf and warm weather, keeping the competitors out in the water surfing or standup paddleboarding. Recounting the weeks kiteboarding, we had two picture perfect 20-25 kt SW days in The Slick with the entire REAL Slider park set up, followed by a bluebird, 15-20kt NE day at Kite Point. After that, a cranking 25-30+ SW days where riders rode the 8 mile “Planet of the Apes” downwider, unleashing moves that have never been seen before on that stretch of water. The last day of competition saw SW winds on “The Southside” of the island with waist to chest high surf for a day of surf kiting. All three disciplines of the “Triple-S”. ie. Surf, Slicks, and Sliders, had been completed in the week’s riding, leading into the Triple-S Awards Ceremony…..

Riding this much in one week is a lot for any competition, which puts an even brighter spotlight on the competitors housing for the Triple-S provided by event sponsor Outer Beaches Realty. You have to realize that most of the competitors in the event spend most of their time couch surfing, living in their car, or splitting hotel rooms to be able to attend events around the world. Through the generosity of Outer Beaches Realty and their represented homeowners, the Triple-S Competitors and Staff all stayed in soundfront homes, all with pools, hot tubs, game rooms, wet bars, entertainment systems, the list goes on and on. Special Thanks to Outers Beaches for rolling out the red carpet for this event every year. The competitors look forward to this week every year and place the Triple-S at the top of their “must attend” event list.

Judging any event can be a complicated and sometimes controversial topic. At the Triple-S, where riding is at such a high level, the action is non-stop for an entire week and with nobody being eliminated, the judging requires a system that adequately adapts to the level and duration of the riding. Therefore competing riders and media staff judge the event throughout the week and are given ballots on the final day to judge individual disciplines (surf,slicks and sliders) as well as Best Session, Best Wipeout, Slickstyle Attitude Award and Poker Tournament Champion. Overall Men’s and Women’s Awards are also given based on combined overall results of three main disciplines (surf, slicks and sliders). Having 28 judging ballots from all the riders and media staff provided a very accurate gauge of the weeks riding and eliminated the random “Olympic Russian Judge” from skewing the results.

The Triple-S Awards Party at REAL was another one for the history books as the lights dimmed, the DJ music cranked and the dancing began on the new back deck at REAL. Bryan Elkus played all of his 2008 Triple-S video on the 10ft screen followed Tracy Kraft providing an entertaining slideshow of the week’s action. Bryan Elkus’ photos also provided the perfect backdrop to the one of a kind Triple-S Invitational Trophies. As Trip Forman took the microphone and began the awards ceremony, the roar of the standing room only crowd could be heard from across town. This scene was not out of a kiteboarding movie or contest, it was out of Daytona Spring Break on MTV. Loud screams, cheers, spotlights, music and stoked smiles. This was an unbelievable end to another killer week of Triple-S action.

And the winners are……..

In “Surf” Jon Modica took the Men’s and Clarissa Hempel the women’s division. Jon’s non stop, high speed, innovative strapless approach to the waves had all the riders voting his way. Jon simply made the most of the conditions and had everyone on their feet to check out the moves he was throwing down, with the simple reaction…”What the @#$%^&*() was that??!”. Clarissa demonstrated that her year of surf travel had paid off with big rewards as she carved up the waves and threw spray off every top turn.

In “Slicks”, it was all about Ruben Lenten’s 30 knot power attack on the Planet of the Apes downwinder. First 30 feet up, then looping his kite 10 feet underneath him, then passing the handle, then hooking back in, then as if he was still glued to the water, spinning his bar to unwind his lines. Then two grabs on the way down to the water. Sounds like 10 minutes of action? That was all in one jump! Clarissa once again claimed the women’s title throwing multiple tricks to blind and passing the handle at every key location along this famous 8 mile stretch of water.

“Sliders” saw Andre Phillip claiming the first ever Triple-S “hat trick” with his 3rd consecutive slider win (2006, 2007 and 2008 Triple-S Slider Champion). Andre simply has no fear, no brakes, and the most style of any of the riders when it comes to slider riding. When other riders are checking their speed coming into the rail, Andre is hitting the gas pedal and going even faster. Even on rails like the monster top rail of the Red Bull Fun Box, Dre’s high speed, all style approach saw him receiving the unanimous nod from his fellow competitors that he is “The Man” when it comes to riding rails. Clarissa Hempel claimed the women’s slider title and the first ever Triple-S, “Triple Crown” victory.

“Best Session” went to Triple-S newcomer Brandon Scheid. Brandon was the storybook rider in the event this year, first moving to Cape Hatteras three years ago as a beginner rider and a property maintenance employee at REAL. As his riding skills improved, and he became old enough to coach, Brandon moved into coaching kiteboarding for REAL and continued to improve his riding skills. Last year saw Brandon breaking into the magazine photo sections with his powerful wakestyle riding and Liquid Force gear. This year saw the Triple-S entourage watching Brandon throw down session after session, including his KP kicker session when he poured all the gas on the fire, blowing up the entire day. Brandon’s riding commanded “Best Session” and saw him in the standings in several other categories.

“Best Wipeout” (or Worst Wipeout depending on how or who is looking at it!) was won by Marc (Marley) Ramsier. Marc got taken down so hard by one of the sliders, he had to spend three full days in bed to recover! The bruises and cuts on his legs were every shade of blue, purple, black, red, brown and yellow that you can imagine!

The “Slickstyle Attitude Award” was given to Jason Slezak for once again showing all smiles while helping to run the competitors favorite event in the world.

Red Bull pulled out all the stops for the Triple-S Awards party with food, beer, drinks, music, dancing and after hours partying that went well into the morning hours. One thing that can be said about Red Bull and their ability to throw a good party is they know exactly what people want! The parties at the Triple-S invitational are always anticipated and looked forward to and this year was no exception. These parties are also open to the Triple-S spectators allowing recreational riders to party alongside their heroes like Ruben Lenten, Aaron Hadlow, Andre Phillip and Jason Slezak until sunrise. Needless to say there are definitely some “professional” partiers out there in the recreational riding force!

Look for upcoming video footage from Triple-S 2008 to be released in Elliot Leboe’s next ACL video production……

Everyone at REAL, especially Jason Slezak and Trip Forman, would like to THANK all the Triple-S riders, support staff, sponsors and all the spectators and party attendees who made this year’s Triple-S Invitational so special.

Mark your calendar for next year’s event, as the 2009 Triple-S Invitational is scheduled for May 30th – June 5th, 2009

2008 Triple-S Invitational Final Results


1st Jon Modica
2nd Davey Blair
3rd Andre Phillip
4th Sam Bell
5th Dimitri Maramenides


1st Ruben Lenten
2nd Aaron Hadlow
3rd Billy Parker
4th Brandon Scheid
5th Davey Blair


1st Andre Phillip
2nd Aaron Hadlow
3rd Ruben Lenten
4th Jason Slezak
5th Sam Bell


1st Ruben Lenten
2nd Andre Phillip
3rd Aaron Hadlow
4th Davey Blair
5th Jon Modica


1st Clarissa Hempel
2nd Daphnee Laliberte
3rd Susi Mai


1st Clarissa Hempel
2nd Susi Mai
3rd Daphnee Laliberte


1st Clarissa Hempel
2nd Daphnee Laliberte
3rd Susi Mai


1st Clarissa Hempel
2nd Daphnee Laliberte
3rd Susi Mai


1st Brandon Scheid
2nd Andre Phillip
3rd Ruben Lenten


1st Marc “Marley” Ramsier
2nd Ian McKeown
3rd Davey Blair


Jon Modica


Jason Slezak