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DRIVEN BY KITESELOI RONDEAU

Gin Kiteboarding is lucky enough to be able to count on passionate and relentless riders who perfectly embody the brand and its values, like Eloi Rondeau.
He is definitely the type of person who would ride day and night if he could, constantly pushing to master new tricks and techniques, but never without a good dose of fun. As a matter of fact, everyone wants a slice of Eloi in their life! A super-active dude with a constant smile on his face no matter what, always in for new challenges, and who will always leave his door open for others. He loves pretty much any sport kite-related, but snowkite holds a special place for him. As our most active snowkite rider, he will always be seen as Gin’s French Snow King!
As a well-established Gin Tribe rider, can you introduce yourself to the ones who may not know you yet?
Hi guys! My name is Eloi and I live in Auvergne, the middle mountains in the heart of France. I have been kiting since 2005 and it very quickly became a passion. In 2018, I had the chance to join the Gin Tribe, which is one of the few brands to offer equipment that is suitable for all my types of practices.
Where does your passion for sliding sports come from (especially the ones hauled by a kite)?
As a child I caught the kite virus which, as I grew up, turned into a regular practice of kite and paragliding. It turns out that my region offers perfect conditions for these activities; wide areas, wind, lakes, mountains, … Auvergne is a perfect playground to juggle between disciplines like snowkite, kitesurf, foil, paraglide, … As I liked skiing, I had a preference for snowkiting from the beginning, which is now my specialty. This led me to take part in many competitions on snow in racing or freestyle disciplines. I was the French Champion of snowkite Freerace in 2019, and second of the World Snowkite Masters 2021 in freestyle skiing.
How much of your time do you spend on your passion?
Too much according to my relatives, but never enough for me! The good thing about practicing on various supports, is that I can easily adapt to the weather conditions, which allows me to do something almost every day. In the summer, I can practically fly or glide every day. In the winter, it depends more on the weather.
Do you have a treasured secret spot? (kite and/or snowkite)
A secret spot is meant to remain secret, right? Of course, I have a crush for my home spot, Les Estables, a small village surrounded by wide spaces covered in snow and overhung by the mythical Mont Mézenc. But there are many magical places that I would be happy to help riders discover. Without being chauvinistic, when the snow is there, Auvergne offers some of the most beautiful snowkiting spots I have ever ridden: Cézallier, Sancy, Mont Lozère, …
In which direction do you see kite and snowkite evolving?
The arrival of single-skin kites has really facilitated the practice of snowkiting. Nowadays, we almost exclusively see these types of kites on the spots. On the water in our country, the foil has clearly revolutionized the kite practice. This kind of support allows to make the most of recurring light conditions on our lakes. The association of a half-single-skin like the Marabou and a foil seems to me like the perfect combo for the majority of riders around me.
Speaking of evolutions in kiteboarding, Gin Kiteboarding also support Alan Roura, a world-class sailor who recently took part in the Route du Rhum. I could easily see those big boats towed by a kite some day! I participated in the development of a kiteboat in Brittany, and I can say that the feeling of piloting a kite while sitting in a boat is truly amazing!

And while we are at it, let’s dream a little bit more. Maybe we will see snowkite at the Winter Olympics?!

Do you think that snowkiting can be a viable solution to possible energy shortages?
On my side, I see snowkite as a great tool to move and play around in the mountains, especially in the context of the current difficulties of ski resorts. But it seems that we even produce great energy with kite sails!
How do you personally wish to evolve in this/these sport(s)?
I would love to have the opportunity to travel again with the purpose of discovering new spots and landscapes, and to meet other snowkiters.
If you could, would you like to make a living from kiting?
I have always decided to keep kiting as a passion, and not to make it my job. When I glide or fly, it is for myself only, without any imperatives. But if I ever got tempted by a nice project, maybe one day I would change my mind!
Which Gin kites are you currently using?
For me, the strength of Gin Kiteboarding is to offer kites adapted to every discipline, so I use almost all of them!
Thanks to its reduced weight, its minimal bulk and its secure 5th line, the Shaman is perfect for high-mountain rides or multi-day hikes on the vast plateaus around my home.
The Marabou 2 is for when you can’t choose: kitefoil, snowkite, kiteskate, all in perfect safety.
I use the future Quiver tube kite to face the strong Tramontane in the south of France, specifically for freestyle, unhooking or big kiteloops.
And of course, the Spirit, my favorite kite that goes with me everywhere. The 10m could actually be my only kite, both on water and on snow. By playing with the line length, it goes from a race kite to a freestyle and slope-flight kite.
Probably the best kite I have ever had!
I would like to thank Gin Kiteboarding and the whole Team without whom I would most certainly not live my passion the same way. I owe them a lot and I really hope to keep being involved with them for a long time to come!

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