By Jeff McTainsh
Wellington’s Louis Tapper has just completed a 2000km journey on his kite-board down the coast of Brazil.
As well as setting a new world record, the 36-year-old also raised money for SurfAid – a charity looking to help communities in isolated surfing regions in Indonesia.
Tapper is back to his day job in IT risk management after just completing one of the most high-risk adventures of his life.
“Great to be finished,” he says. “The world record was really just a by-product of the 2000km but I’m just happy to be finished and ready to do some stress-free kiting now.”
Tapper’s month-long voyage wasn’t so stress-free though; he surfed down along Brazil’s coastline from Salvador to Sao Luis.
Light winds and shallow reefs during the first half of his journey caused headaches for the 36-year-old – and that wasn’t his only issue.
“Couple of close calls with broken gear; had some line wraps around both of my feet at one point,” he says. “It took myself and a passing fisherman a good hour to unwrap me.”
With no support crew it was that kind of local hospitality that made Tapper’s journey a lot easier.
“Some stretches of the coast are very remote so I was having to stay on the beach or with fisherman in their huts with them.”
The flying Kiwi also became quite a hit with the locals.
“Every place I’d stop they’d be like, ‘Oh, you’re the guy that’s doing this kite surfing mad mission,’ so I think they had this word called ‘loco’ which translated in English means ‘crazy’.
Perhaps Tapper is loco – he doesn’t intend to be at his desk for long – he is already scheming his next risk management plan.