Fluid kiteboarding was fully redesigned in 2021 after being in the market for over 14 years. It’s time to catch up with Gilion Goveia the owner of Fluid kiteboarding to catch up, get some insights on the brand and the future.
Fluid was already going well why did you fully redesign the brand?
I’ve been the owner of Fluid kiteboarding since 2012. The main focus has been on increasing the quality (both build and ride) and being innovative. I felt that our build quality of the kites was superior of the looks and feel of the brand. Our boards probably are the best you can find on the market, unmatched build quality, innovative designs and great prices. Fluid kites should have been exactly that… Same innovative looks, build quality and designs. Pushing the limits of what is possible in the industry.
I’d also noticed that during the pandemic a lot of new kiters came to the beach. They seem like a brand new generation who just want easy plug and play performance from their equipment. Our kites offered a lot of options but for the new riders it would be a bit complex to get everything out of the kites. Many settings are awesome if you know how to use them!
Making the kites more user-friendly definitely was high on my list too. Everyone should have a great 1st experience. It’s the 15th year of Fluid kiteboarding so I wanted to make everything perfect.
How did covid affect your choice of redesigning Fluid kiteboarding and did it eventually go as planned?
Haha, well first of all nothing ever goes as planned! The pandemic made kitesurfing and other outdoor sports more popular than ever. So on that note covid definitely pushed me to initiate the redesign. What I’d never seen coming were all the problems with getting in product and getting raw materials to produce our new equipment.
In 2020 we were very lucky to have a very steady flow of products from our suppliers. At the end of the year our kite factory already mentioned there were going to be issues with our new triple ripstop delivery. It took much longer than expected to get the product. Not even to mention the shipping dramas.
But to be fair there are always small things to adjust after big changes.
You’ve designed most of the new equipment, did it come out as you expected?
YES! 100% and even better! For example we made some backpack samples with one factory but they were so busy due to the pandemic. They just returned our money and said good luck with finding someone who can make the bags for you. Eventually we found a supplier who believed in us, saw the difficulties of the design and made all the bags even better than we had planned. I can truly enjoy it when the suppliers helps to increase quality of the products with their expertise.
But eventually the opinion of (new) Fluid kiteboarding users confirmed we all did a great job!
Are you still running Fluid kiteboarding by yourself?
Yes and no! Fluid kiteboarding is still my brand but I have some people who can advise on certain parts. There are some parts of the job that only the owner can do. But there are also parts where you can use other people’s experience. On marketing or designs or even on the manufacturing side of things.
Everybody has a massive part in the Fluid kiteboarding brand.
Without them I can’t pull it off! That’s why it’s always we for me when I’m talking about Fluid kiteboarding.
Before you had an international team set up and multiple dealers online what’s up with that?
Our dealer network is actually increasing and renewed. Unfortunately some didn’t survive the pandemic and we just wanted a fresh start in some countries with new dealers. Our kites sold out super-fast due to all those new dealers.
I’m sure a lot of new riders and shops will be attracted to the brand.. Our network will be up and running soon again. Now you can also order online with free worldwide shipping! We believe in supporting the local shops though.
About our international team it’s pretty simple. We’ve a new direction for the brand so we need new riders too. Top level riders who have great potential. We put out the opportunity for riders to get a full sponsorship just by applying via a simple form.. It’s been insane to see how many of you responded. The criteria were pretty high but it’s great to see how many of you are pushing kiteboarding.
Soon very very soon we have news!
What are the plans for the rest of the year?
We don’t work with years but with versions! If everything goes well we will be able to launch another kite model later this year. It’s been a bit postponed unfortunately but we’re definitely working on it. Also a new bar should be ready and a lot of amazing new content will be dropped!
New kite!! Tell us more?
It’s not been a secret we will put out a kite called AIR. Right now we are working on the final details of the kite before putting it to market. We’ve narrowed our range down to 2 models that have potential to become the final version. I can’t tell you too much but it won’t be a boosting machine like the SKY.
And the new bar?
Well it’s been a pain to get the bar out! A bar has so many different parts and materials it’s very hard to get the supplychain smoothed out at the moment. Some parts are available while others take months to receive. We’re very close to a final version and should be ready with the AIR kite.
What is your favorite Fluid kiteboarding set up?
My ridingstyle is a bit wierd. It’s a mix of oldschool, freestyle and big air but also no handers and wierd boardoffs.
It requires a lot of power so for my kite 100% the SKY. Although i’ve had some fun sessions on the AIR already too.
for the board I’m going for a 134 Twoseven XTR with 4.5 CM fins. It balances out the board exactly how i like it.
on flatwater and big waves I prefer the 3.5 asymmetrical fins setup.
Why haven’t you been in competitions?
I’m a very competitive person but i also know i’m terrible at sports where judges come in. I don’t like that opinions “score”. That’s why i was happy to set the WOO record in 2015 (first over 20m in the world) and did many jumps like that on other devices. Although it raised questions at the time the facts were pretty clear. I did 1 competition, NK big air. It was fun to compete with friends and the result wasn’t bad at all 5th overall.
Now i just want to ride as i like and have fun and be creative. Inspire people to use their mind to come up with new stuff. And i’m too busy with running Fluid kiteboarding and other work.
It seems you are getting more into photography, will we see more content?
I’ve always taken pictures but since last year it’s a bit more serious. I’ve bought a new camera for filming but eventually it turned out i’m better in taking pictures than creating films. Capturing moment in time in a perfect frame is so satisfying. I’ll definitely get some more media out.
Anything you want to share with the readers?
If you haven’t tried a Fluid kite or board go out there and try one out.