Evolution of the TRIPLE-S INVITATIONAL

Not many kiting events have pioneered and blazed new paths for the sport like the Wind Voyager Triple-S Invitational. In fact, none have. With a vision and style all its own, this innovative mainstay of the sport has relentlessly shaped and inspired the face of wake style throughout the world for a solid ten years. 

2002 REAL produces “Windsurfing Has Been Cancelled” bumper stickers. REAL Watersports holds the Glass Masters, the first precursor to the Triple-S.

2004 REAL holds the No Contest Weekend, the second precursor to the Triple-S.

At first SSS was a way for like-minded riders to get together to push each other and try to get some coverage. It was laid back and everyone had a blast. —Sam Bell

“At first SSS was a way for like-minded riders to get together to push each other and try to get some coverage. It was laid back and everyone had a blast.” —Sam Bell

2003 to 2005 REAL holds an annual qualifier event for Red Bull’s King of the Air.

The huge Redbull Fun Box was a favorite. It was the biggest thing to be built in kiteboarding and it was heaps of fun too. You could take lots of different lines over it. Gapping from the ramp to the rail wasn’t one for the faint of heart. —Andre Phillip

“The huge Redbull Fun Box was a favorite. It was the biggest thing to be built in kiteboarding and it was heaps of fun too. You could take lots of
different lines over it. Gapping from the ramp to the rail wasn’t one for the faint of heart.” —Andre Phillip

2006 First ever Triple-S Invitational. Judged by the riders. REAL produces a 2006 Triple-S Action DVD. Notable invitees included: Andre Phillip, Susi Mai, Shannon Best, Greg Norman Jr., Jason Slezak, Davey Blair, Sam Bell, Moe Goold, Andy Hurdman, Dimitri Maramenides, John Modica.

2007 The infamous “Camel Toe” rail is built, and Dre goes ballistic. Notable new invitees included: Billy Parker, Sky Solbach, Dylan Thompson, Clarissa Hempel, Kristin Boese, Damien Leroy.

It was all a blur with the parties and non-stop riding. I think the strongest memory was seeing Triple-S in it’s infancy. It felt like it was just an excuse for a bunch of solid riders to come together and shred. No money on the line, no heats, just bragging rights and the opportunity to feed off your peers and have that naturally push your limits. We did it for the love. —Andre Phillip

“It was all a blur with the parties and non-stop riding. I think the strongest memory was seeing Triple-S in it’s infancy. It felt like it was just an excuse for a bunch of solid riders to come together and shred. No money on the line, no heats, just bragging rights and the opportunity to feed off your peers and have that naturally push your limits. We did it for the love.” —Andre Phillip

2008 Wildcard video contest introduced, where winner gets coveted invitation to event. On the eve of the 2008 event, REAL Watersports receives their permit to open their gigantic new 21,000-square-foot shop and host the event on site. Notable new invitees included: Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten, Brandon Scheid, Marc “Marley” Ramsier, Denver Coon, Bertrand Fleury, Alvaro Onieva, Tom Court, Joby Cook.

2009 Measuring in at 82-feet long, the John Wayne A-Frame rail arrives, built by famed wakeboarding feature designer Pat Panakos. Notable new invitees included: Bruna Kajiya, Jake Kelsick, Petter Johnson, Ian Alldredge, Sam Medysky, Robby Naish, Kevin Langeree.

2010 Rather than two parties, REAL introduces, “Seven days, seven parties, seven bands.” And a house nearly gets destroyed due to after-party madness, with a DJ on one floor, full band on another floor, and Ruben Lenten DJ’ing on a third. Plus, competitors ride 15 out of 24 hours one day. Notable new invitees included: Sam Light, Eric Rienstra, James Boulding, Josh Mulcoy, Chad Worrall, Brian Smith, Mauricio Abreu.

2011 The annual Sunset Swim Charity Fashion Show begins. And action on the water really ramps up. Notable new invitees included: Patrick Rebstock, Niccolo Porcella, Mark Miedama, Adriana Harlan, Rick Jensen, Chris Burke, Kris Kinn.

2012 First cash prize: $10,000! REAL Slider Park gets demolished by hurricane Irene in the fall of 2011. Joby Cook and company rebuild mind-blowing, state-of-the-art park. Notable new invitees included: Alex Pastor, Gisela Pulido, Colleen Carroll, Craig Cunningham, Sensi Graves, Claire Lutz, Bear Karry.

2013 Prize purse ramps up to $20,000 and a panel of judges are introduced. Slider format turns into slopestyle. Data storage company, Venyu, signs on as title sponsor. An open event is introduced, where one lucky male and female earn a last-minute invite to the main event. Notable new invitees included: Alex Fox, Victoria Soloveykina, Rick Jensen, Ewan Jaspan,

2014 Prize purse doubles to $40,000. The surf event morphs into wakestyle in the surf. Freeride jam-style format is introduced for the slider discipline. Notable new invitees included: Finn Behrens, Maciek Lewandowski, Tobias Holter, Chris Bobryk, Hope LeVin. Notable new invitees included: Christophe Tack, Artem Garashchenko, Karolina Winkowska.

2015  Traditionally features three disciplines — surf, slicks and sliders — in the spirit of celebrating the ten-year anniversary, organizers dished up a slider spectacular for 2015, going all-in on sliders. SSS stands for three times the prize money for sliders! To celebrate ten years, organizers also upped the nightlife ante too, delivering ten bands and ten parties!

2016 Triple-S  Stay tuned!

Originally published in the Summer 2015 issue of Kitesurfing Magazine. Compiled by Brian Wheeler and John Bryja. photos Real Media archives.