Chris Bobryk, AKA ‘The Sledgehammer’ – Bobryk gained his nickname after throwing down so many ‘Hammers’ in his video parts and competitions!
He is one of the best all round freestylers in the world and is an all-round knowledgeable good dude who will help you out on the beach whenever you need it! Bobryk’s vast experience is the reason why we have him in as our chief tester and marketing work horse! We couldn’t be happier to have
‘The Sledgehammer’ on Slingshot.
Team Manager, Sam Light, catches up with Chris during his busy summer.
Hey Dude, hows it going? What have you been up to the last few months?
Hey Sam, good to hear from you, I love seeing you get so creative with your kite during your time at home lately!
The last few months I have been staying put at home at Miami beach. We’ve had our beaches closed for a while so we started exploring some different spots in south Florida and doing a lot more foiling lately. It’s actually been quite nice exploring more and doing something different for a while.
What equipment have you been using lately and why? What gear have you been most stoked on lately?
The wind is extremely light in the summer in south Florida so I have mostly been on my light wind quiver which is my 15m Ghost and 143cm Misfit. I am most stoked on this set up because with some flat water and 12-17mph of wind I can have a good freestyle session and when the wind dies any lower I can just keep the same kite and take the foil out for a cruz to maximize my time on the water. On any other windy day you can find me on the RPM V12 which is my go to kite.
I saw you do a sick wrapped line on instagram, I love the progression, is that the first time you have landed that? Whats it like riding and popping with the bar behind your back?
I learned this one during lockdown and have it pretty consistent now. The bar is pulling a lot on your arm that’s wrapped behind your back, I finally realized you have to use your other hand to grab your de-power line to take tension off your wrapped arm till you unwrap yourself halfway through the trick. This trick definitely feels a lot different than a normal heel side pop with your arm behind you and feeling like you’re almost getting wrapped up in your lines, it feels pretty intense.
I heard you going to Hood River soon, what is your plan when you are there?
I am going to Hood River to work with the rest of the R&D team to develop all the new kites coming out later this year. On a normal day we would start our morning by showing up to the Slingshot office and setting up all the gear we need for the day. We’ll have a chat with the rest of the team relaying the information we got from the previous sessions and talk about what changed need to be made to the gear. Around noon we will have some lunch and decide which spot is best for the gear we are testing and we will spend the rest of the day testing the prototype there. Slingshot has such a wide range of gear for all disciplines we end up riding all styles while testing. For example if we are testing a big air kite we will be jumping our faces off that day, if it’s a beginner kite we will be making a point to be slamming those kites in the water. The job is to make sure the kite fits the characteristics we want from it. After the day of testing I normally try and sneak in a session at the Hood River slider Project Park for a sun set session, and do it all again the next day. It’s a pretty ideal schedule for me.
Has the lockdown period made you think about kiting any differently?
The first month of lockdown was pretty harsh because we were in full lockdown with no kiting in south Florida. After a while things became more relaxed and we started to explore new spots such as sandbars and small islands around Miami on paddle boards and boats instead of just going to the same designated kite spots that were temporarily closed for the lockdown. I definitely enjoyed the added adventure it took just to get a session, it really makes you strive to make the most of the session when you have to work so hard just to get it!