Words: Sophie Mathews
Luggage allowance, it’s one of life’s great burdens when looking to take a trip to your chosen destinations for action, adventure, luxury, chill or a combination of them all. Whether windsurfing, kiteboarding or SUPing, the fact is, we’ve become a generation of watermen and women looking to access all areas and do it all.
The stumbling block we’ve always encountered is that being overweight, not in body but in toys, is frustrating, expensive and detracts from the overall experience. However, with the evolution of materials and manufacturing techniques, gear has got lighter, safer and all-accessible, just pick your destination.
Recently I took a different kind of trip together with Tom Court. Normally we are off to far flung destinations with jaw dropping amounts of gear, ready to make the most of what’s on offer. However, the only way this is doable is by flying long haul, researching sport’s baggage allowances and taking a risk.
This trip was to revisit a childhood haunt of mine on the Greek Island of Zakynthos. My journey into watersports started on this Island at the Peligoni Club, as a windsurfer and natural progression introduced me to kiteboarding, SUP, surfing and now I’ll take any opportunity to get on the water.
Over the 30 years it’s existed, it has never lost its character but has grown to become one of the island’s best kept secrets of boutique accommodation, culinary delights and a beach club with master crafts, windsurfers and other watersports equipment hosted by a team of boat boys and girls to boot.
With the crackling summer heat and all-inclusive hubs in the sun, we turned left out of the airport and headed to the northern port of Agios Nicolas, where in 15 years, nothing has changed, and I love that.
This was a family trip, the first in 15 years, and as we’ve grown to become our own people, the word ‘holiday’ certainly means something different to everyone. For Tom and I, send us to a barreling beak break in Indo or an uncharted destination, this is work, our lifestyle; home would be a holiday.
After raising a family of four in the city, mum and dad want nothing more than to kickback, stay in the gorgeous house on the hill, take the boat to a stunning bay for lunch and snooze. My younger brother and girlfriend relish the Vitamin D and salt water, forgetting about the daily and relentless grind of London. Me? An air of the unknown led me to wonder what my restless sports-nut of a husband was going to do. Then it dawned on me, ‘no wind no worries,’
Our usual quiver of toys underwent a makeover and the wind-powered setup stepped aside for something new. Hand luggage of 10kg each became the new Fanatic Pocket Air Edition, plus a few cables, laptops and hard drives. Hold allowance of 15kgs each accommodated a foil and in the other the Sky Surf board, leaving a couple of kgs each for the necessities.
After all these years had we found the ultimate formula for a windless, family orientated week that genuinely met all baggage criteria, as well as the opportunity to learn something new, pump foiling, and share our passions with friends and family? Apparently so.
Day’s washed by in a haze of magic, ease and satisfaction. Watching mother, brother, whoever, learn, laugh and live a little in a way that we get to enjoy daily is unforgettable. To experience a gifted waterman get to grips with pump foiling and then inspire others to give it a go, only shows that there is not limit to the ways we can enjoy the water.
Amongst the Cicadas, Retsina, Ionian deep blue and a group of six individuals, the lightweight Pocket Air Edition has changed the game of SUP for all. Undeniably the foil played a huge part in Tom’s happiness, but the Pocket Air gave us the opportunity to share our lifestyle and sense of adventure with a family from all walks of life.
This was an Island that had so much to offer. However, the age old story for the active individual looking to combine action, adventure with ease of travel was always the problem. When working out where you want to go and how you’re going to get there without having to leave the necessities or toys at home has up to now been the big question. The new Pocket Air Edition offers a solution.