Pete Cabrinha - The Visionary

Known worldwide as surfer, windsurfer, and kitesurfer legend, Pete Cabrinha is one of the few athletes to successfully crossover from sport to sport and garner respect from athletes for his riding and the industry for his contributions to the progression of each sport.

Early Windsurfing Days
Pete helped define the shape of professional windsurfing for nearly two decades by bringing his own class of surf style, eventually winning the world title in the surf category. Not one to be content with the equipment being handed to him, he began to design his own boards and accessories. Setting up a shop in his backyard, he started to churn out board shapes under his own label Cabrinha Design.

Surfing with the Strapped Crew
In the following decade, Pete got reacquainted with his first love in life.... surfing. In the early nineties Pete was running with a pack of like minded, free thinking individuals, who were all living on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The small crew of friends were all surfers who were playing out the tail end of their professional windsurfing careers. Their spirited surf sessions were an almost toxic game of one-upmanship.

Through that effort, strap surfing and tow surfing were born. They pioneered the use of a personal water craft and a strapped up surfboard to effectively tow each other into waves which couldn’t be physically paddled into. The band became known to the world at large as The Strapped Crew, featured in the popular surf films, Riding Giants and Step into Liquid.

With their new tools in hand, their collective focus shifted to the pursuit of a single idea. To ride the biggest waves in the world in a way that no one had done before. Lucky for Pete and his friends, there was a little known, mythical big wave spot located just off the coast of the North Shore Maui. Jaws as it is now most commonly known, had until this time remained a secret, even to most of the surf population in Maui. It wasn’t so much a secret but rather a wave that no one wanted any part of.

The Strapped Crew set out to tackle Jaws one wave at a time. On January 10, 2004, during the swell of the decade, Pete Cabrinha towed into a 70’ wave at Jaws, Maui on a specially designed Cabrinha surfboard. Earning him the coveted Billabong XXL award and an entry into the Guinesss Book of World Records for the largest wave ever ridden.

 


Kitesurfing Innovation
It should be no surprise that Pete did not stop his journey there. When the first inflatable kites made their way to the shores of Maui, Pete found himself a new thrillcraft for the summer months. For the third time in as many decades, Pete found himself on the ground floor of new sport. One that would require a pioneering effort to build into legitimate industry. As in the past, Pete began to design his own boards and eventually started a custom kiteboard brand under the Cabrinha label. Thus Cabrinha Kiteboards were born.

Experimentation, adventure and the appreciation of industrial product design are the things that have followed Pete Cabrinha since the beginning of his career. In the summer of 2000, these elements finally found a place to call home. During a fateful meeting between Pete and Neil Pryde, of Neil Pryde Limited, the idea to take the Cabrinha brand globally came to fruition. Since 2000, Cabrinha, a subsidiary of the Pryde Group, has climbed the ranks to take the position as the leading kitesurfing brand, selling in over 40 countries worldwide.

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