At 23 years old, Kentin is a Master’s student in “Action Sports Management,” a seductively-titled program that includes his specialization in Surf Sports. Passionate about sailing and kiteboarding, he has thoughtfully chosen his field of study to let him seriously pursue his favorite watersports in tandem.
Captivated by surf and sailing sports since he was a boy, the germ of his passion began in an Optimist youth program in the Pyrenees Orientales. Later, with a move to La Rochelle, his fate as a wind addict was sealed. He began by sailing catamarans and big boats, even competing, and tried windsurfing too. However, when he discovered kiteboarding, his true talent and passion shone through and foiling only reinforced that feeling.
“As soon as I discovered foiling’s existence and that it could be applied to kitesurfing, I immediately wanted to try it. Foiling has completely changed how I practice kiteboarding: I sail much more often, and with foiling lending new and phenomenal performance (especially upwind), I can sail farther and explore new ground like never before.”
Which wind sport disciplines do you currently practice?
I’ve sailed for a long time in a variety of different boats, like cruising sailboats and catamarans. Today, I primarily do just kitefoil and surfing. Even though these disciplines are my main focus, I am still addicted to action sports like snowboard, ski, skateboard and kayak.
When was the first time you foiled, and what is your most amazing memory?
It was in 2015, on TAAROA's classic Sword 1 kite foil. It wasn’t really the best setup for a beginner foiler, because at the time, it was the premier foil for kite course racing and geared towards more advanced riders. However, after my second session, I started to love it.
My favorite memory is the first time I took off and started to fly. It was a sensation like a flying carpet that never stopped accelerating – but how do we stop?!?
Where do you prefer to sail?
I live in Fouras, a little seaside town near La Rochelle, France. I have the opportunity to sail at a number of different spots between the Île de Ré and the île d'Oléron. I go to school in Biarritz, so I’m also lucky to be able to sail the Basque and Landais coast. My favorite spot is still the northwest of the île d'Oléron. It’s called Chaucre, and the water is incredibly clear, which you wouldn’t expect in the region. In a thermal breeze, the spot is very flat.
Which TAAROA foil is your favorite?
When I first had the chance to try the Joy, I was already using the first generation Sword. If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose the Joy with the titanium fuselage option. This lets me have a purely freeride, but still performance-oriented foil with superior quality construction and materials, even though I miss the Sword's vmax a little.
Definitely 15-20 knots in flat water. But with the foil, I’ve started to appreciate light wind and the calm that comes with it.
If you were to describe the spirit of TAAROA, what would you say?
For me, Taaroa is synonymous with performance, innovation, and recently accessibility for new riders. I’ve been a part of the team for a long time, and I’ve really seen the progression and changes that they’ve made, including branding and product range. In addition, Taaroa’s spirit of innovation has taken a leap forward and we’ve pushed hard to create advanced products, like the iUP.
What’s the first thing you do before a session?
I eat! A Pitch - brioche Pasquier - what else?
What’s your next challenge?
I’d love to start competing more, especially participating in défi-kite (long distance speed). Another thing I’d love to try is surf foil
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start doing kitefoil?
If you’ve already mastered riding twintip don’t hesitate to get started, foiling is totally a new dimension. The flatter the water, the easier it is.
Don’t miss any of Kentin’s adventures! Follow him on Instagram and inside Team Taaroa too.