Have you ever wondered what an internship at Cabrinha looks like? Product Engineering intern Augustin spent the last 6 months at the Cabrinha headquarters on Maui. We spoke to him during his last week of testing, surf sessions and Maui adventures.
Hi Augustin, you just completed your internship at the Cabrinha headquarters in Maui. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I am 23 years old from Bordeaux, France. For the past 4 years, I've been studying mechanical engineering and numerical simulation in Paris. I didn't get much time in the water during these years so I decided to continue my studies and choose my destinations kitesurfing wise. That is why I moved to New Zealand for a year and worked on a project on CFD (computational fluid dynamic). When I left New Zealand to go back to France I already had Hawaii in mind. I lived six months in Lyon to finish my master and to be close to the French Alps for the snow season, and left for Maui at the end of the winter.
What were the things you worked on and what did you learn during your internship?
During my studies, I learned a lot about the theoritical aspect of mechanical engineering. Here at Cabrinha I applied all my knowledge of CAD and strucutural analysis to be able to model the problems and be able to run simulations. I have worked on the entire process of product development, from sketching ideas, to CAD modeling, prototyping (3D printed mock-ups and functional CNC machined parts) and technical drawings. The internship also provided a great insight into the opportunities and limitations with working with a supply chain based in Asia. I had the chance to follow the development from the earliest stage to preparing for production implementation, where I learned a lot about materials, production processes and the inherent limitations due to these factors. I was also involved in refining the components of the Cabrinha foil and developed new features for 2020.
How did you get into kiting and what is your riding style?
As a kid, I spent all my summers close to the sea. I started sailing when I was 5 and soon I got crazy about being on the water, and I wanted to try every type of riding. I started windsurfing at 14 and then kitesurfing at 16, in the meantime I was racing Hobie 16 catamarans, and was part of the French Youth team. Now, I am mainly kitesurfing because it is easier to travel with the gears, but I am still sailing and windsurfing when I am going back to my home town. Before arriving in Maui I was mainly riding twin tip because I was riding on flat water. Since I arrived in Maui, I got the chance to try all the gears at Cabrinha and as I said above I have always wanted to try everything on the water so I started surf foiling, kite foiling, waves etc. It is hard to choose one type because you want to ride different style in different spots, but if I had to choose on I would say wave riding. Surfing with a kite allow me to catch bigger wave and land bigger maneuvers than regular surfing, and this is pretty neat.
How did you land this internship?
Basically I called Cabrinha head quarter in Maui and ask for an internship, then I got in contact with Lars Moltrup, the Product Development Manager. I sent him my resume and all the projects I have already worked on and he decided to give me the opportunity. When I said to my kite buddies that I was moving in Maui for six months and that I will be working for Cabrinha they where a little bit jealous. Maui is seen like the paradise for surfing and kitesurfing, and it is truly the place to go for any surfer. I didn't get much time in the water at the beginning of my studies, so I took all the opportunity that I could have, and over the last two years I have been able to ally studying, kitesurfing and traveling. I kited in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, New Zealand and now Hawaii, that is the dream!
How do you like kiting in Maui? What’s special about it?
I think I have been kitesurfing more in Maui than all my life before, and that because it is amazing here, the wind is consistent and the water is warm. What is really awesome too is that it looks that when the conditions are good, Maui is whispering it, you don't even have to check the surf report to know where it is good because there is always someone that already have check the spot for you and can give you a live report. One time we got an unexpected South swell and by 8 in the morning everybody knew about it even if the forecast didn't say anything about it!
How was it to work behind the scenes of a kite manufacturer alongside Pete Cabrinha and the Cabrinha staff?
It is inspiring to work with Pete Cabrinha because he was at the beginning of windsurfing and kitesurfing, and when through all the evolution that affect the sport. Here in Maui we have a team from different part of the world, but everybody is driven by the will to live with the ocean and make the products we use, better year-by-year. Working in the kitesurfing industry was my dream job, and I loved being part of the team. Here at Cabrinha, you get the chance to go out on the water with all the team and grab a beer after work, and that is all you want for a place to work, nice colleagues that shares the same passion!
Where are you headed to next and what are your future plans?
I am back to France in a week, and my brother will be stoked that I come back, so we can go kitesurfing together, our plan is to kite from Marseille to Corsica this autumn or spring next year. In the meantime we will go for smaller raid in Hyeres which is the place to be for kitesurfing in France. I do not have a clear plan for my job though, I am considering looking for a PhD or a position as an engineer, but I want to stay in the kitesurfing industry.
Will you be back in Hawaii and visit us at Cabrinha?
Of course I will be back, there is still a couple of islands that I have to discover in Hawaii, and I would love to have a good winter session with the team here if I am around!
Thank you, Augustin. We wish you the best for your future and will miss the flamingo shorts. See on the water!