You may have seen some recent images of Team NOCQUA ambassador, Blake Olsen flying through the air on a NOCQUA lit kiteboard. We talked with him a little about his experience jumping over White Street Pier in Key West, working with Billy to customize NOCQUA to his own particular needs, and his upcoming travels.
The NOCQUA system is not designed to fit a kiteboard, but that didn’t stop Blake. “When I saw NOCQUA lights for the first time, the only thing on my mind was to figure out a way to get the lights onto a kiteboard. I met with Billy Rossini, and shared my ideas. It’s great working with such an amazing athlete and inventor because he can take your ideas and make them a reality.” The two used an extra AXIS Kiteboard that Blake had at his home in Key West and started playing around. The final model looked a little something like this: “Billy epoxied a light strip in the bottom of the kiteboard and wired the battery cord through the board. He put the battery in a waterproof bag that straps to the handle of my board. With the push of a button, my kiteboard would turn on and illuminate the water beneath me.”
From there, Blake and photographer, Mike Freas headed over to the pier. The photos of the jump itself are incredible (check out the full album here) and using the specialty board that Billy created, Blake was able to light the way on his kiteboard. He explains, “My favorite part of this experience has been being able to do what I love most (kiteboard) anytime of the day. It gives me such confidence going out on the water in the middle of the night knowing that people from shore can see me and know that I’m safe. Also, it’s amazing to see the ocean wildlife – like turtles, dolphins, sharks, eagle rays, and bioluminescence – illuminated right under my feet. It has definitely provided me with some of the most amazing experiences of my life.”
In the coming weeks, Blake will be traveling down to Central America to spend some time in Nicaragua and Costa Rice (and show off his new NOCQUA Sport), before completing an American road trip ending in Michigan where he is a college student.
In September, he will be moving out to Maui, HI, “in search of more epic adventure.”
Keep lighting the way, Blake! We are looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring.