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The Soul Drysuit

The Soul Drysuit



Fall is here and drysuit season returns! Need to stay snug in (and out) of the water? Then the Ocean Rodeo Soul is your best friend…

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Photos: Ydwer van der Heide / Svetlana Romantsova / GKA

Hey Reece. Firstly, congratulations on that performance in Dakhla. That was some run! Feeling good?

Thanks! It was a very long week but I’m super stoked with how it all turned out! I’m feeling healthy and the gear’s feeling dialled, can’t really ask for much more!

So to kick off, let’s hear about the build-up to meeting Airton in the quarters…

There wasn’t much of a build up to be honest. I just treated it like any other heat and stayed relaxed leading up to the horn. You can only do what you know how to do so there’s really no point in expecting yourself to do a bunch of crazy stuff.

So were there some tactics employed? Can you tell us about them if so…

The wind was light, and the waves were slow with only about 2-3 shoulder/head high sets holding up all the way down the point over the span of a 20-minute heat. I felt like my riding was just as good as anyone in those conditions. With limited waves rolling through, I assumed that the winner would be the guy who got themselves on the set waves. So basically, my plan for every heat was to get myself on 2-3 set waves, shred them, and spend the rest of the heat giving my competitors a hard time.  While waiting for sets, I tried to work myself into a priority position upwind of Airton and then take any decent looking waves that he was going for… Essentially attempting to prevent him from riding any set waves.

And tell us about the protest that was raised following that heat?

According to the priority rules, whoever turns around on a wave first has priority on that wave. If two people turn at the same time on the same wave, the person upwind gets priority. In the dying minutes of the heat I had upwind position on Airton and was just shadowing him making sure he didn’t get a buzzer beater wave. Every time he turned on a wave, I would turn at the same time and use priority. When he kicked out to go look for another, I would also kick out and follow him. While maintaining upwind position I could then use priority on the next wave he wanted, and so on. Airton obviously caught on to my manoeuvre and it became a race to see who could turn around faster on every wave. On the very last wave of the heat, Airton and I turned at the same time again and so Airton had no other option but to keep riding the wave and push for an interference call (smart move on his part because there was a chance I could get thrown out). Looking back, I probably should have just let him have the wave as it didn’t have very much scoring opportunity.

Once there was two people riding one wave, it was up to the judges to decide if there was an interference. This was possibly first time that the kiting priority rules have been used to repetitively block another competitor from riding waves. So, it led to an over two-hour long interference/priority investigation to try and figure out what happened.

And how about the kite – you’re riding the 2020 Crave – what benefits did this provide?

Funnily enough, the Crave was developed after competing in Morocco last year in light wind wave conditions. It became obvious that, in competition, going upwind quickly to get back to the peak is just as important as drift. You can have the kite with the best drift in the world but if you can’t go back upwind it’s useless.

The Crave is developed specifically for the Kite-Surf World Tour, and each size is specifically tuned for their respective conditions. Dakhla was light wind 12m conditions this year and the 12m Crave is designed to be a super lightweight wave/freestyle weapon. The 12m Crave has super snappy turning and slightly more lift than the smaller sizes. It sacrifices drift in order to drive upwind faster which can be the difference between winning and losing when you’re racing a competitor upwind for priority. Also, little known fact but most of the Craves lightwind tech is derived from the Aluula Project


So then you were up against Pedro Matos in the Semis, how did that play out?

My heat against Pedro was interesting because I got two keeper waves within the first quarter of the heat. After that the waves went flat for most of the heat. I knew I wasn’t going to improve my scores on the smaller waves which left me out the back waiting for the sets to return. Pedro tried to rack up some backup scores on the inside. One last set came through with about three minutes left and Pedro managed to drop a pretty high score but didn’t get the opportunity to back it up.


And finally, your heat against Mitu. There were only a few points in it and you really made him work for it. Mixed emotions on that?

Mitu is always tough, he’s a solid rider and smart competitor. I didn’t have the best heat in the finals, and I messed up my two best scoring opportunities. Once again, the sets were slow and I stuffed the nose early on my first set wave, then my front foot slipped off halfway through my second set wave and the board hit me in the face. After that there were no proper sets and I was left scratching scores together on the inside.

The opportunities were there for me to win it, but Mitu was able to capitalize on his waves more and he took the win.


So did you feel things had just aligned this day?

I think yes, the conditions were very similar to what I ride at home. I think that was the little extra push I needed to break through the quarterfinals for the first time. Also, it was nice to see a little pay off from all the work that the team and I have been putting into tuning up the gear for competing in specific conditions!

And Brazil next. Got a game plan up your sleeve?

Brazil will be 100% freestyle so there is no priority and not really any point hassling with your competitors. You’ve usually got around eight minutes to show the judges what you’ve got, so there really isn’t much of a plan other than land lots!  


Watch Reece’s performance live at the upcoming GKA event in Brazil by heading to


Learn more about the gear used by Reece throughout the 2019 GKA Wold Tour.




Fresh from her podium finish at the Kite-Surf World Cup out in Dakhla, Morocco, Ocean Rodeo team rider and World-Champion-in-waiting Carla Herrera Oria spoke to us about her experience of the 2019 tour so far, and the upcoming game plan for Brazil…
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide / Svetlana Romantsova / GKA

Hey Carla. Firstly, we don’t want to jinx anything, but the result is a bit of a given, so we’ll just mention it once for now… early congratulations on your upcoming World Championship win!

Thank you! I still have Brazil in front of me and I really want to finish this season with a good result there. I go event by event, as I have been doing all season, so first I’ll focus on Brazil, and then we will have time to celebrate whatever comes next…

So tell us about your season up until now. How has it played out generally?

2019 has been a great season so far! The first event in Cape Verde was a big disappointment for me as I didn’t get the result I was hoping for… But after this I managed to get on a podium for all the events! It definitely wasn’t an easy season for me as I have faced really good and experienced riders, and I still have a lot to improve upon, mostly in the waves.

This year I learnt a lot about wave riding, and I hope this winter I’ll get the opportunity to train more for it and show my progression next season. But yeah, for sure, a season to remember!

What was the biggest highlight on the tour?

Personally, for me, my biggest accomplishment has been to get 3rd place at Mauritius and 2nd at Dakhla, as these were wave events and I wasn’t able to train for that this season as we didn’t get any decent conditions here at home.

So going in there and taking podiums made me super proud and happy. Also, my come back on the doubles in Dakhla after losing my first heat in the single eliminations. I had to climb all the way up to the final in the doubles… And with this I secured the world title!

Tell us about what you’re riding out there…

At the moment I’m using the Prodigy with the Shift Bar. I’m really happy with this kite as it is one of the lightest three strut kites out there, it adapts to all conditions, and has good hang-time which allows me to really perform in strapless freestyle, and it also has a great drift and is fast enough that I can also use it in wave riding. I’m looking forward to putting my hands on the new Crave… when I had the opportunity to try it, it felt amazing!

And what do you think are the benefits in the Prodigy that got you up to #1

Well I always used to hate kiting with anything bigger than a 9 or 10m, but with these new light kites I just love sessions on my 12s, as they are super light and move super fast.

We’ve also spoken with Reece about competition tactics following his performance in Dakhla. Do you head into the water with a solid game plan?

I always have a solid plan! If it is a freestyle event I always have a trick list to work through during the heat. Also, just before I start the heat I try to be in the right place to be able to make the first trick in the first seconds, as I like to have a score on the pocket fast. If it is a wave event, I always try to pick the right wave early to quickly secure some points.

Onto Brazil next then. You could sit back and relax, but we’re guessing you’re not going to…


No, not at all. It is gonna be a first for me, as it will be the first event where I won’t be under any pressure, but I really would like to do my best there, go as big as possible and show everyone how much I have been training. I’m going there to give it my all!

Watch Carla’s performance live at the upcoming GKA event in Brazil by heading to

Check out Carla’s new website:


Learn more about the gear used by Carla throughout the 2019 GKA Wold Tour.





All photos courtesy GKA

With the GKA moving to Brazil for the next round of competition, the Ocean Rodeo international team will be aiming to put on another great performance, having pulled out the stops at the recent event in Dakhla.

Reece Myerscough (above) managed to blow down the door in the men’s single eliminations, knocking out Airton Cozzolino in the quarters and then Pedro Matos in the semis, going on to a nail-biting finale against Mitu Monteiro, who beat Reece by just over 2.5 points. As the double eliminations progressed, Reece once against came up against Airton who pipped him to the win by just half a point, putting Reece into a 3rd place podium finish in Dakhla.

Remaining at the top of the Women’s Kite-Surf division is Carla Herrera Oria (below), who comes out of the event with a sizeable lead, and is now set to be top of the Championship podium following Brazil. Well done Carla!

Freestyler Juan Rodriguez has had an amazing debut year on tour. This season he has managed to attend every single stop, ride better on each occasion, and is currently sitting in 12th in the general rankings. With one final event to go in Brazil, anything can happen! Juan has proved that he is a very versatile rider adapting well to the conditions at all the events, whether 15 knots or 30 knots, Juan goes all in!

Another team rider enjoying his rookie year on tour is Graham Harney who has been having a great time vlogging his experience along the way. He currently sits in 15th position and will be looking to do his best in Brazil to advance even higher.

And finally, Frances Kelly sits in a brilliant 4th place in the Kite-Surf Championship rankings, no doubt looking for a podium spot in Brazil, while partner Luke Millard sits just below Graham in a very respectable 16th spot.

We couldn’t be more proud of our athletes, all of whom have absolutely given it their all so far this year and will unquestionably continue to do so!


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