André “Dre” Phillip was born on the Caribbean island of Antigua and is international teamrider of Cabrinha Kites. Born in 1980, he started surfing in his early teens and got into Windsurfing and Wakeboarding. Two years after he started kiteboarding, he won the first contest he entered and quickly picked up sponsors and recognition.
boost: Hey Dre! We’re stoked to have you here for an Interview! What have you been up to lately?
Dre: Thanks. I came back home for the holidays and to get ready for the Core jam in Perth. There has been no wind in Antigua so I’ve been rebuilding the obstacles in my park to stay busy.
boost: You were one of the first riders dedicated to Wakestyle – Bindings, Sliders, Kickers, and stayed true to your style. What are the most fascinating aspects of it?
Dre: I enjoy the lifestyle of wakestyle. I like to build obstacles and hit them. I like the feeling of being locked into my board (with footstraps it’s easy for your feet to fly out). Riding wakestyle (kite low in boots) is the most challenging part of the freestyle aspect of kiteboarding, so I guess the challenge is also fascinating.
Dre: Back when we did AUTOFOCUS in 2005 there were barely any obstacles around the world and I could count the number of guys riding boots on 2 hands. The guys involved in that AUTOFOCUS have always been showing that wakestyle is a fun lifestyle and once the dvd came out, kiteboarders around the world started to live it. Now every time I travel I meet more and more people riding wakestyle and more obstacles being built around the world. It’s great!! Wakestyle has gone mainstream.
boost:Are you currently working on any new video projects?
Dre: The last project I worked on was a short kiteboarding film called “We Did Nothing” It was shot in Antigua and basically gives you a glimpse of a day with myself and Jake Kelsick in Antigua. http://kitescoop.com/videos/video/wedidnothing/ I am currently planning to do a similar short film but on a larger scale, so stay tuned for that one to drop.
boost: What is your contribution to the new, more Wakestyle oriented Cabrinha products, and how do they affect your riding?
Dre: I’ve been helping Cabrinha work on the more wakestyle oriented products like the Switchblade and Custom ever since they came into production years ago. This is the 5th generation Custom and it’s been fully influenced by what I like in a board. The Custom can take a beating so it’s perfect for obstacles and those really hard landings that you can get from riding powered. It has good flex for presses. I’m pretty crazy about throwing turns so you can really put this board on an edge and throw some water. The Switchblade is just such a solid kite. Throughout the years it has gotten smoother and more predictable and thats a good combination for anyone who does wakestyle or anyone lookin for a good kite. The kites and board work really well together and that makes it easy for anyone riding them to improve.
boost: Which are the most important technological improvements in the 2010 Cabrinha products?
Dre: There weren’t really any major technological improvements in the kiteboarding industry for 2010. Cabrinha has gotten to a stage where we are making minor tweaks to products that are already great products. I’m happy that our gear works really well and doesn’t break easily which is important when you wanna get out on the water worry about having fun! Which setup are you currently riding? I’m on switchblades and a Custom 140 plus Impact Harness.
boost: Having your own sliderpark in Antigua, you have probably figured out the perfect setup. Is it your favorite kitespot? And what does the park of your dreams look like?
Dre: Home will always be one of my favorite kitespots but for me it’s all about riding with your friends. The park of my dreams would be at a location that is glassy with steady 20 knot winds and it would be stacked with obstacles as far as you can see :)
boost: What do you do when you don’t kite?
Surf, golf or hang with friends/family.
boost: Do you have some advice for people who want to get into obstacles and low, powered up tricks?
Dre: If you want to get into hitting obstacles then start small and work your way up. Same goes for throwing tricks with your kite low.
Thanks for the interview and take care!