You couldn’t help but notice the smiling tanned faces and incredible energy and stoke that Andy DeFilippis and his Florida crew showed up with in the Gorge this July. The crew had never been to the Gorge before, and decided to come for the 2008 comeback of the Gorge Games in Hood River to represent their brand, Transcend Kiteboarding.
With typical July wind blowing all day every day, the Florida crew didn’t know what to do with themselves they were so excited. Florida just doesn’t blow like this and definitely not all day long. Like kids in a candy store where all the candy is free, they bounced from spot to spot, taking every session that could get.
I saw Andy and his crew at Stevenson, WA, East Point Launch one day, just after getting off the water. Andy was nursing a bum knee from riding hard in the Gorge Games freestyle comp just a couple of days prior, but was still grinning from ear to ear. He was quickly learning the effects of riding the Gorge as a new visitor…
“When do you stop? We’re so used to chasing it and getting it when you can… it’s just windy all the time here and we can’t quit riding!”
Andy’s energy is highly contagious. It’s no wonder his new apparel brand, Transcend Kiteboarding, is so successful. Andy and his team don’t sell apparel. They sell stoke. It just so happens that they tote along some really cool apparel that everyone wants.
It all started when a group of kiteboarders in Florida wanted shirts that spoke “kiteboarding”, but were not associated with a specific sponsor brand of kiteboarding gear. Sponsored riders could only wear the logos of their kiteboarding sponsor, and there was nothing else out there in apparel except by the kite brands. So, Andy and a crew of regional riders started making their own shirts, and the rest, well, is history.
All of Transcend’s t-shirts, hoodies, and rash guard graphics are designed from actual team rider action images by professional photographers. Some of the graphics actually include the photographer’s name on the image. They even have girls’ tees and tanks as well, which were in high demand by the ladies attending at KB4C.
Transcend generously donated 3 packages of apparel for the KB4C silent auction — each receiving more action on the bidding sheet than almost anything else at the silent auction. They also donated t-shirts for the KB4C derby winners and the raffle.
If you are lucky enough to ever run into the Transcend guys (Florida, the Gorge or wherever else they may be spreading goodness), hang out with them for awhile… watch them ride because they all are ripping kiteboarders. Ask them about Transcend or just kiteboarding in general. Then just sit back and get ready to soak up the energy they exude.