Saturday, June 22, 2024
From The MagIn-DepthPeer Pressure - Chris Bobryk

Peer Pressure – Chris Bobryk

For more than a decade Chris Bobryk has been on the cutting edge of the US pro kiteboarding scene. His full-on powered style is fun to watch and now that he is repping Eleveight Kites you can catch his style at a kite demo near you.

Christian Diaz and Colin Porter photos

Rygo: After ten years of professional ridingwhat drives you?

Chris Bobryk: Kiteboarding. I love kiteboarding,it couldn’t be more simple

Rygo: With freestyle/park style going underground why haven’t you conformed to big air? Props for not BTW!

Chris Bobryk: It’s easy for me to do what I like. There really is no other feeling like stomping a Mobe 5 or a Back Lipslide so there isn’t any reason to pretend like big air is my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I will still have a boosting session or compete in a big air contest but in the end I’ll push what I love first.

Kevin Wade: You’re known for consistently puttingout solid content over the years. Have you seen ashift in the content that is currently in demand?

Chris Bobryk: I don’t put much thought into what’s in and what’s not. I enjoy doing what I do and sometimes otherpeople do too. I like putting one or two tricks out onInstagram as I know I play back other riders’ tricks onrepeat when I like them.

Christian Diaz photo

Kevin Wade: You’ve recently been spotted doingdemos for the greatest distribution company knownto man. How has your experience as a pro rider aidedyou in this new venture?

Chris Bobryk: This season has been one of the most exciting having the opportunity to constantly be on the road spreading the stoke running demos at virtually every beach in Florida. My first time at many of these places was with you over eight years ago and I’ve essentially been able to become a local at each kite spot around Florida. Traveling where it’s windy, getting kiters to try the new gear? Who wouldn’t be stoked to have a kite already pumped up for them! I can’t wait to head north and meet more riders and see those I’ve met in the past.

Alexander Hughes: What’s your take on the industry?Do you think it’s realistic for a good rider to try and makea living off being a pro rider?

Chris Bobryk: It was definitely a more direct route when I started; do well in a few contests while making quality videos. Now it seems to be based more on clicks than tricks. I also think these days brands are looking for someone that can ride well and hold down a job within the company. I believe they have found they can give kites to Insta famous people and that will be enough. They can then invest the money on the rider that will also be the sales rep or on the R&D team. For example when I started I got paid to travel full time to compete and ride. Nowadays I’m involved in R&D and sales and the competing and riding is just one more thing that I do for the companies. There are still a few riders at the top level of competition that are sent around the world to compete but most brands want someone to do more than just ride. 

Christian Diaz photo

Alexander Hughes: How do you think we could help improve kiteboarding? 

Chris Bobryk: I think if all riders did what they really want to do instead of what they think people want to see, there would be more diversity in the sport. I feel that would entice more riders into it. 

Alexander Hughes: What’s your take on social media? How much gear is social media actually selling? 

Chris Bobryk: It’s tough to measure the return on social media. You can see someone that rides around and does a hair flick with 100 thousand followers get a bunch of engagement on a post but how does that compare to someone doing a technical double grab with a fraction of the followers? The consumer watching the actual athlete is there for the performance whereas the hair flick consumer is hoping for a nip-slip, so I’m not so sure who’s buying kites based on hopes of a nip-slip. 

Adam Super: What’s your secret for the continual progression over the years?

Chris Bobryk: I ride a lot. Usually the progression happens when I’m having the most fun so I go for that. 

Adam Super: What advice would you give your past self knowing what you know now? 

Chris Bobryk: I would probably just go ride with myself. We’d have a good session. 

Oliver Umpierre: What would you be if not a kiteboarder? 

Chris Bobryk: Tough one. Probably fighting MMA or teaching wrestling, that’s the last thing I remember being anywhere as passionate about. I reckon this was a good path and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Oliver Umpierre: How would you describe the feeling of kiting in one word? 

Chris Bobryk: Like busting a nut standing up, flowing. 

Drew Christianson: Where do you see yourself in five years? 

Chris Bobryk: Hopefully still having some sessions with you at Best Pro Kite in St. Pete every now and again just like we do now. 

Christian Diaz photo

Christophe Tack: If you had to choose one (air tricks/kicker, waves or park), what would it be and why? 

Chris Bobryk: There are too many reasons why wave kickers are the most rewarding. It is the hardest to line up a good take-off, you can launch a trick with no tension, and did I mention it’s also just so hard? But I love it. There’s something about the added element of the ocean that gets me going. 

Christophe Tack: Opinion on strapless freestylers who put their board between their legs. 

Chris Bobryk: Looks like they’re having some fun just like when you see someone rolling around on roller skates with a boombox; it looks like they’re having a good time. You know how we all progress from doing freestyle in foot-straps then to freestyle in boots because we realized we could hold down more power and ride harder? Maybe those strapless freestylers will realize they can ride harder with straps one day and then eventually realize boots would help too. Just a theory. It’s science. 

Christophe Tack: Goals in kiteboarding? New tricks you wanna land that are stuck in your head? 

Chris Bobryk: I have a few tricks stuck in my head. I’ve been searching on Google Maps lately and I have a few obstacles I wanna jibe. I mostly want to keep having fun with it and see where it goes. I might just go do some strapless freestyle.

Adam Super: What’s your secret for the continual progression over the years? 

Chris Bobryk: I ride, a lot. Usually the progression happens when I’m having the most fun so I go for that. 

Adam Super: What advice would you give your past self knowing what you know now? 

Chris Bobryk: I would probably just go ride with myself. We’d have a good session. 

Christian Diaz photo

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