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By Samuel Cardenas 7 copy - Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Photos from Spanish photographer Samuel Cardenas will often be found adorning the pages of TheKiteMag, and when he sent us some unique shots of Sergio Turégano in Tarifa we knew we had to run one as our next cover. Sergio tells us about the story and inspiration behind the money shot…

WORDS: Sergio Turégano & Celtia Rebolledo Heil
PHOTOS: Samuel Cardenas (unless specified)

Four years ago, in Dakhla, I had a life-threatening accident while I was kiting. Luckily my mindset is really strong, so every day I spent recovering was one day closer to going big again, and my motivation was still there. My focus has always been on freestyle but recently, just for a change, I started to combine Big Air and freestyle. It is loads of fun and gives me a rewarding feeling. Last year, watching the Red Bull King of the Air competition gave me an even bigger impulse to keep doing it. Also, living in Tarifa with strong Levante wind most days helps me to train this discipline as much as I can; I’m learning the ropes very fast. Meanwhile I had the chance to join the Airush Kiteboarding international team. I was thrilled – there was no way I was going to say no to such an opportunity!

By Samuel Cardenas 5 - Hail Mary

When I was nine years old I started this adventure just for fun. Now I have more ambitions and goals. Kiting, for me, is not only about jumping high, discovering new spots and enjoying the time on the water; it also involves frustration, injuries, a lot of training, and not always getting the conditions that you want… Since I was young I’ve been reading magazines and watching my idols at the beach. That raised more awareness of this sport in me and made me dream of new goals. Over the last few years social media has meant we’ve all been sharing breathtaking jumps, heart-stopping tricks, huge waves ridden, and action-packed sessions that make kiting more visible and allow it to grow much more. Now with Airush I want to boost even more and put a lot of effort into everything I do. This led me to want to create unique and original content.

“It meant bending the rules because it’s actually forbidden to kite there…” 

I had an idea, that I knew would be something special at an unspoiled spot – an iconic place in Tarifa where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet and the statue of ‘El Santo’ is located. This appealed to Samu, my good friend and photographer, who knew right away we could secure a masterpiece of a photo. It meant bending the rules because it’s actually forbidden to kite there, but it was worth a try – the harbor is closed at the moment, so with no ships going in and out, it was the best time to try a shoot – now or never! We had to take a risk but I really wanted to achieve this goal. With 40 knots of Levante blowing, I got in the water at 6am, trying to not be caught red-handed. Samu was beyond excited, knowing that this photoshoot could stand out in his career. Getting the money shot in Tarifa, our home and the home of such great riders, would be very special and exciting for both of us.

After a hard but luckily successful morning, we went to nearby Balneario to carry on shooting, but in a safer and law-abiding way! The wind was super strong and gusty, but we got a few more shots and then called it a day. It was definitely a big day for me and one I won’t forget in a hurry. I look forward to making more memories and fulfilling more goals…

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