Kiteworld Magazine- 2000km World Record

9 10 2011

Thanks to Ariana for putting this Kiteworld article together. It has been a long time coming but here it is, for those that haven’t seen it yet.

Have you ever thought about solo kiting for thousands of kilometres in a foreign country without a tent or your teddy bear?…Or a support boat? Or more than one kite? Yeah, me neither. Sounds a bit mad really. But 36-year old Wellington kitesurfer Louis Tapper kited the Brazilian coastline, from Salvador to Praia do Meio Beach in Sao Luis, breaking the record for the longest kite journey in the process. I checked in with him after his triumphant return to find out that he doesn’t dig the ‘crazy’ label, and that there were moments of ‘flow’ on his epic adventure.

Kiteworld Magazine Article


1Man 1Kite 2000km Presentation- 16th March 6pm

3 03 2011

There are plenty of ways to travel 2000 kms in comfort, safety and speed. Riding ocean waves on a board smaller than an ironing table holding a kite is not one of them. So what was Louis Tapper thinking when he made the world record attempt – kite-surfing solo 2000kms of Brazilian coastline? And more importantly – how did he turn this dream into a reality?
Whether you are a kite-surfer or not, you want to discover Louis’ method, and use it to realise your own goals, or you just want to have a great evening with a friend listening to an inspiring story – you’ll not want to miss this event.
When: 16 March. Social drinks from 6pm, presentation  starts at 7pm.
Where: Estadio- 17-19 Blair St Wellington
Admission by $10 donation to Red Cross earthquake appeal.
Spaces are limited, so please RSVP via Facebook or for those of you not on Facebook, email- hola [@]

Surfing into the record books- Love Red magazine article

8 02 2011

Globo TV interview

9 09 2010

Another interview after my finish in Sao Luis

Fortune does favour the bold

30 08 2010

Quick post to say I have finished the 2000km today, 30 days after I started. Yes I am pleased to finish and somewhat relived. I am looking forward to do some stress free kiting and waking up late.
The last 3 days were not really stress free kiting, finishing with a 40km open water crossing today.
The last 3 days have been some of the most epic kiting of the whole trip and I will do a full post in time. For the moment beer and food awaits!

Day 23

27 08 2010

A fantastic start to the day with breakfast served up at 5.15am this morning.

It felt like the longest offshore wind that I have experienced so far and with really light wind conditions.  The wind dropped down to 7 knots at times leaving me with no option to concentrate on keeping the kite flying at all costs. Eventually I made it back into land after 1.5 hours of being so far out I was only 3-4km from the oil drilling platforms. The reason for heading out so far out was to avoid the nearby river system and wind shadow which could have caused me lots of problems.

Globo, one of the big Brazilian TV channels ran a story on my trip a couple of days ago which has made me a bit of a celebrity out here.

So now when I land in what I think is the most random and remote place, people run up to me asking “are you the crazy guy we saw on TV.

The wind swung in the afternoon and picked up to a pleasant 17-20 knots which gave me an afternoon of stress free kiting right next to the beach.

I’m could get used to this stress free kiting, I’m so over the harsh offshore winds, sharp reefs, sharks and rain.

Day 21 –

22 08 2010

Every day has its ups and downs and today was no exception. This whole trip is one big adventure and today is one of those days I will be talking about for a long time to come. So it all started out well, with Jon Brands from Pointa Negra Gym loaning me his Cabrinha 140cm Custom board in exchange for him being able to ride my directional board. The Cabrinha Custom is my favorite board for freestyle but wasn’t my first thought for a long distance speed mission.

When I started riding I realized this board was the polar opposite of what I had been riding. Its tiny 3.5 cm fins, super rocker and designed for freestyle sliders made it feel like I was switching from driving a fast racing car with good tires to a using a skateboard. After 25km of riding and changing the binding setup to something more “normal” I finally got to a point where the board felt good.

Everything was going well until I rapidly felt my eyes deteriorating to the point where I was struggling to keep them open. Thinking it was a combination of sun and salt water I made a bee line for the nearest beach which was only 10m wide. There was nowhere to self land so I tried to control the kite with one hand and open my bag with the other. I got out some water for my eyes and a T-shirt to act as a sun shield and waited for 10-15 minutes to see if my eyes would settle down all while trying to control my 11m kite in 25 knots. I headed out again hoping my eyes would improve and to find a better landing spot but my eyes deteriorated to the point where I could barely see and I was forced to close my eyes them, kiting only by feel alone.

Spotting the next inhabited beach I made a dash towards some boats to a spot where I could self land. With the turbulent wind and my poor eyesight I only barely managed to do this. My eyes were painfully stinging and I noticed that my had nose blocked up, so I self-diagnosed an allergic reaction and dug through my first aid kit to find some antihistamines. It was the right call and over the next hour my eyes improved to the point where I could see again without pain. I’m not sure what caused it and have never experienced anything like it before, but I’m glad it could be resolved relatively quickly. The next part of my journey was uneventful and I felt that I had made real progress when I kited around the curve of Brazil today.

A large lighthouse at signaled the tuning point, but to me it also signaled how far I had come.

Around 4.30pm, just before my destination of Sao Miguel do Gostoso, both my front lines broke about 800m offshore while I was mid kiteloop. I pulled the kite in by one line but my previous experience had taught me to be really careful around floating kitelines. Eventually I was forced to let go of the kite make a 800m swim for the shore while trying to keep an eye on the kite. Once I got to the beach I made a 800m dash down the beach to asses the situation and saw the kite floating half way out to a reef just under 1km away. Sensing this was to be a crux moment of the trip I stripped everything off (apart from my NPX board shorts) and made a swim for it that even Danyon Loader would have been proud of. The kite bar eventually hooked up on the reef and I managed to retrieve my undamaged kite. With only 30 minutes of daylight left I still had to get the kite back to the beach in a 15 knot offshore wind. I saw a windsurf instructor from the Dr. Wind Center come out to help but I tried to signal to him to keep an eye on me which he translated to mean some crazy guy is wanting to practice self rescue at 5.30 at night. I managed to get back to the beach with my new swimming stroke of one hand on the kite, the other attempting a one handed breaststroke just as the sun set.

Anyway the day ended safely with only a mildly stiff calf from kiting 80km of the 120km toeside which I am sure my friend Ali will be pleased to hear ☺

Hope tomorrow has a little less drama in it.