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Bio / Interview

Name: Denver Saxton Coon
Aka: "Coon", "DC", "Mile High Ni**a"
Born: Kula, Hawaii...also known as Upcountry Maui
Reside: Maui, HI
Height / weight: 5'9" / 145lb
Kiting Since: 2000

Your 08 LF Setup: 134cm Recoil Comp, Union Bindings, Hi-Fi's and Havocs

Music Playlists:
Before Riding: "Club Foot" by Kasabian, "Showdown" by Pendulum, "Sleep" by 2 Pac, "Pressure" by Swollen Members, "Rythm" by Awol One, "Mike, Aaron, and Eddie" by Haiku D'Etat
After Riding: "Hold On" by Just Jack, "Meu Destino" by Thievery Corporation, John Mayer's Live Album

Favorite energy source/motivator for kiting: Good friends and good music

What is your cross training sports(s): Surfing and Golfing

Describe your first kiteboarding experience: I think my first kiteboarding experience happened when I was about eight years old. I was flying a stunt kite in my yard with my cousin Riley when the wind really started to pick up. I don't remember who was flying the kite at the time, but I do remember one of us holding on to the other guy as both of us got dragged across the entire yard on our stomachs until the kite tangled in a tree...pretty much the typical day of kiteboarding ten years ago. However, it wasn't until I was fourteen that I got the chance to be dragged over water instead of my front lawn and experience just how awesome kiteboarding is.

During the summer of 2000, my dad asked me one day if I wanted to try kiteboarding since his friend Martin Kirk was opening up the first kite school on Maui. I hadn't seen the sport at time but the words "kite" and "board" sounded like the perfect fit for a kid that loved kites and every other board sport out there. So, a few days later I met up with Martin at Kanaha beach on Maui's north shore and had my first kite lesson. I flew a stunt kite for a few minutes, then moved on to flying a two line Wipika Classic on the beach. After a few figure eights at the edge of the window Martin said I was ready for a body drag. Two body drags later I had a 145cm O'Brien wakeboard strapped to my feet and with a quick dip of the kite I was up and riding. Ever since that first moment of harnessing the wind I have been addicted to the sport and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Describe your best moments in kiteboarding: I think I could write a book on all the great moments I have had kiteboarding, but I'll keep it short and highlight just a few. One would be my first 540. Since we didn't have leashes in the beginning years of the sport, the two outcomes for messing up on an unhooked trick were hold on for dear life and get dragged endlessly or lose your kite and swim. After doing both those for countless times I was beyond stoked to land my first handle pass trick and keep on riding so I could do it again. A second moment would be the time I did probably the biggest tantrum to blind of my life and after stomping it, Lou rode past and gave me a quick shout of praise, which coming from him made me the most stoked rider out on the water. Another great moment was a jump I had this past year because it reminded me of how unique and exciting kiteboarding is. When I first learned to jump I would always get a big rush of adrenaline when I had a high enough air, but over the years I lost that feeling and I started to think that boosting might be getting boring. Then one day on Maui I was out riding my 8.0m Havoc when the wind went from 20 to 35knots+. Before going in to get a smaller kite I decided I would do some airs. After a few solid 35-40ft jumps I was just about to head in when I nice wave rolled in setting up a perfect ramp that I just couldn't pass up. Heading toward the wave I thought, "Alright, last one, let's make it a good one", and lit out of my mind I boosted off the top of the wave just as a giant gust came through. At the apex of my jump I looked down and instantly I got that adrenaline rush again, along with a strong feeling of not doing anything stupid. After steering my kite all over the sky to avoid a hard crash and even more years being taken off my knees, I landed and immediately remembered why the first trick I learned is still one of the coolest things out there.

What is the best location you have kited and why for:
Flatwater: Coche Island in Venezuela – Steady 15 to 20knot offshore winds create the perfect place to set up kickers and sliders without ever having to worry about any chop other than the wakes created from other kiteboarders.
Scenery: Tahiti – It's kiting in a postcard
Waves: North Shore, Oahu – good waves, good wind, warm water, and a lot of good riders to push you
Sliders: Cape Hatteras, NC – Had a sick set-up for this years Triple-S
People/Atmosphere: I think one of the best things about the sport of kiteboarding is that almost everywhere you go there are cool kite crews at each spot that are stoked to meet and ride with other kiteboarders to check out different styles and what other kiters are doing from around the world.

What drives you to get up in the morning and go kite: It makes my life better. While I was going to college on Oahu, I'd go kite at around 7am and get in a session before school, after kiting I could sit through all my classes and still be happy at the end of the day.

What are your personal goals for kiteboarding: Keep riding, keep working on wake tricks, keep getting better in the waves, and don't get seriously injured.

Where do you want to travel that you have not been yet? The Tuamotu Islands in the South Pacific – Sick waves, great scenery, and it would be an awesome boat trip there from Hawaii.

Where have you been that will always remain in your mind? Everywhere. Each place is unique and there is always something worth remembering about a spot, good or bad.

Why do you choose LF: All the products LF makes have been developed with a commitment to quality, functionality, and style. I love being able to take a new kite out of the bag with the knowledge that it is going to work great and do everything I want it to do. You put that along with Jimmy Redmond wakeboards, Pat Rawson surfboards, and sick graphics and there really isn't a reason not to choose LF.

What makes LF different and special: The whole LF team, from the riders, to the designers, to all the guys at the office. Everyone is stoked on wakeboarding or kiteboarding and want to see LF be the best company in both sports.

Where do you see kiteboarding in 5 years: More people riding, harder tricks being thrown down, and bigger and better waves being ridden.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years: I stopped making predictions for myself a long time ago. Life is crazy and you just never know what will happen, so eat happy, die happy, and kite as much as you can.

Myspace/facebook pages: www.myspace.com/denvercoon; Facebook- [email protected] or Denver Coon

Describe the ultimate day of kiting- conditions, friends, gear, location, etc: Kite Beach Maui, 20knot northeast winds, a north swell, 9.0 Hi-Fi, 134 Recoil Comp, Union bindings, and Kenny Campbell, Andre Phillip, John Romais, and Bobby Bosch out on the water…sick day.

What else is in your life outside of kiting: Good friends, a great family, an awesome dog, and everything else Hawaii has given me.

Denver's riding shots