Original interview with Noe Font by Laci Kobulsky for KITESURFER Magazin's article from the trip to Portugal in the Fall of 2020.
Hey Noe, how are you, where are you now?
Kobulsky happy new year! How are things? I’m in Portugal at the moment, I’ve been based here for six months now, it’s been good.
Yea Portugal was great, just going over the pictures, thanks to you and Craig for inviting me! The first plan was to go shoot in Brazil but then it was not so easy so we decided to split the team, some Duotone guys filmed in Brazil and some in Portugal. Were you happy with your spot?
Yeah, it’s been hard to plan things with all this chaos in the world. It was a last-minute decision to do the shoot here in Portugal. It’s the offseason so it was a lot of hard work, we had to deal with tons of rain and light gusty winds but looking at the photos now it was well worth it. It's always cool to ride and shoot in new spots and see something different than cauipe lagoon.
Yea, I know you moved down to Portugal mainly for surfing and kickers but after Craig showed me some pics of the lagoon next to his place, I was really keen to shoot there. There were some nice beach features and also this sick wall you jumped over. The only issue was the rainy and gusty weather. Is it always like this in Portugal?
The lagoons here are so dreamy there are so many flatwater spots to ride in. The season runs from May until October though and having this shoot in November - December made it somewhat painful. We all know the potential all the spots have because we’ve ridden them at their best but the offseason lived up to its name and fed us with rain, bad wind and freezing temperatures. I think it’s fair to say we should repeat this in summer!
Bad weather makes us shine when the good conditions peek out tho :D I think we pretty much nailed the timing of the rain patterns during this trip right? All in all, I don’t think we had one solid day, but a few windows here and there made it worth it. What was the best place for you to shoot?
Yeah, by the second week of riding in the storm we knew the sun would eventually peak in and kill the wind in the same way the rain would come back to bring more wind. It was a little loop we became familiar with so we ended up getting the timing spot on.
The best place was at this river mouth near my house where I had spotted a cool little handrail along the boulevard. Since I saw it on the first day I wanted to shoot a photo there doing a stall on the top and I’m stoked we nailed it. Pumped my kite two times with a rain break in between as we agreed the shots we had could be better and so we went back out again! It's in sessions like this where all the extra effort makes the difference, you are so far in you might as well go all the way!
Yea I was so keen to shoot that handrail! Coming from park snowboarding, hitting street spots was always the ultimate goal and in kiteboarding, it’s so rare to find something legit and rideable. On your spot, I was even able to pull out the flash, take two angles and some video clips. Quite a pain to be rained on during the shoot but all in all worth it! Do you have any other ideas for “street kiteboarding”? What would you like to do?
Definitely! Street kiteboarding sounds very romantic and I’d love to continue to find more spots and try to ride them. A lot of things need to line up for a spot to work which makes it very hard, back home in Spain there are a few spots I've been eyeing out for years but when the conditions line up I’m never there. It would be nice to go on a road trip with that idea in mind of just hitting random street spots and visiting some weird places.
Well, fingers crossed and hope I am there as well with my lenses when the time's come! Apart from the street spot, we did a bunch of freestyle in the lagoons around, but you remember that one session we did in full-on rain next to your house?
Yes! That was actually such a strange direction, normally the wind is completely side shore there so no one ever kites in that lagoon because it’s so narrow and that day it was perfect to ride the whole length of it! The weather was so gloomy it was hard to spot the landing, such a weird feeling.
And towards the end of our trip (actually a week before Christmas) we got some new light wind kites and had a little shoot at Viana do Castelho spot, which was nice. Well, maybe except you almost died at the rocks :D
Yeah, that was pretty sketchy! We went foiling with a very light wind on this big harbour’s river mouth. About 10 knots and I took the 9m Mono, did some cruising inside the harbour since the swell was so big. Craig was on a 15m Juice pretty powered but the wind was slowly dying and out of nowhere, it wasn’t enough for me. My kite dropped and the current was sucking me out to sea, so I released my kite on the flag line and started swimming back to the pier. Although it was inside the harbour a little bit of swell was breaking on it so I had to scramble around the rocks to get out. Pedro our friend helped me get the foil out first but once I was trying to save the kite from getting smoked on the rocks the wave took me and I was at the ocean’s mercy haha. It was dramatic for about ten seconds until I ran back up the rocks to safety. You and Craig didn’t even take me seriously when I told you what happened. In the end, we lost the bar all tangled up in the rocks but the kite was intact.
Haha, fun times. Well, that’s kiteboarding for you, not always glamorous as seen on magazine covers :) But I'm still happy that I can call this “work”. Thanks for the kind hospitality in Portugal and hope to see you soon on another Duotone shoot (maybe more exotic this year)!
Yep. We did our job making it look good when it totally wasn’t! For sure always welcome wherever we are. I’m excited for much more kiteboarding this year! Let’s hope this virus goes away soon...