Behind the scenes of ‘Utopia in St Brandon’

Duotone Kiteboarding Dice Range 2019 St Brandon
Duotone Kiteboarding Dice Pro Whip 2019 Matchu Lopes

We dreamed of riding in St Brandon, a true utopia, but we knew getting there wasn’t going to be easy. The voyage was tough, crossing wild and rolling seas, testing us to our limits. But in the end, the journey unfolded exactly as it should have, arriving on the white shores of a paradise lost, St Brandon, knowing that this windy playground was everything we needed. Read what the crew had to say.

Duotone Kiteboarding Tom Hebert Matchu Lopes Utopia St Brandon

Tom Hebert

’Utopia in St Brandon’ is a true representation of the trip, especially the boat ride! I do a lot of deep sea trips at home in New Cal, but the ride to St Brandon was tough for me and really bad for the others who were very sea sick, but it was so worth it. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen with wind every day. The fact that it was so remote, made it a top spot to shoot.

Sometimes it’s hard to travel to places like St Brandon. It’s so far away and most of the world will never get to it or even know it exists. We were so lucky to go there, it was an utopia.

The setup they have there is pretty good. It’s basic, but it works. St Brandon is all about fishing and kiting! If I went back again, I would definitely take my fishing gear. That’s all we ate, fish and rice.

Utopia was a Rebel and Dice shoot, but I can also imagine to take my EVO’s as they are so versatile!

This trip was similar to when we went to the Cocos Islands. It’s all about give and take with Mother Nature, you can’t control her. You have to give to get there and take it all in once you arrive.

We have a really good team and know how to work together. Reno is like my brother, we’ve been doing these kind of trips for so many years together and with Toby (Photographer), Carlos (Videographer), Tommy (Head of Marketing at Duotone) we don’t really have to plan what shots we need to get, we just ride and shoot, it’s easy. I’m going to remember this trip for a very long time!

Toby Bromwich - Photographer

Duotone Kiteboarding Utopia in St Brando Episode

I loved the episode, it really showed St Brandon as it was. Tommy Kaiser always pushes for new and remote locations to shoot — if it's been done before, we don't look at it again. The journey is always a long one. It took two days to just get to the boat followed by 26 hours non stop in open ocean. Hannah should have definitely taken seasickness tablets! On a product shoot it’s always 16+ hrs days to maximise our time and the elements. For sure it's exhausting, but it's how we get the results we do. It always creates incredible memories and to visit places like this is an incredible opportunity. I think the whole team appreciate Duotone’s commitment to creating unique and incredible content.

We have a great crew and that really makes the trip. We all worked hard, but it was also an enjoyable experience in a truly unique part of the world. Thanks Duotone and Tommy for continuing to lead the way and allowing us to document these incredible trips.

Duotone Kiteboarding Spike Click Bar 2019 Reno Romeu

Reno Romeu

Utopia in St Brandon was different to the other episodes we’ve done before, because this trip was such a big adventure. We all had personal highlights. It’s really nice to see how the content we produced every day out there comes together in a final edit done by Carlos. He did a great job.

The start of the movie is less than idyllic, with a 26 hour boat ride and everyone throwing up. But the next frame you see is paradise. White sands, blue waters, everyone happy and riding in board shorts and bikinis, it was really how it was.

I have been to a lot of off the grid places in my time. The adventure and discovery that takes me out of my comfort zone keeps me motivated. I love to explore and do things that no one has done before. This is what keeps me going and it’s what I do best. I don’t care what conditions I get, horrible or perfect, it’s the experience of the unknown that gets me going.

This trip taught me how good the simple life can be. We were totally disconnected from the world for two weeks. I realised we don’t need all the things we think we do and you can have as good, if not a better time when you’re 100% engaged in the moment, people and things around you.

Adventure is what makes me tick. I’ve always had this spirit inside me. St Brandon was really awesome and the Duotone crew is like my second family. To be able to share this experience together was truly amazing.

Hannah Whiteley

Duotone Kiteboarding Jaime Dice 2019 Hannah Whiteley

The episode shows my biggest lesson I learned from the trip to St. Brandon. From now on, I will 100% be taking seasickness tablets with me on all future boat rides! I totally underestimated the journey; I did not think it was going to be that hard.

It’s difficult to say what I enjoyed most about this trip; the adventure, the challenge, the aspect of living so basically. There were only two houses on the Island and we ate fish and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No fruit or veg, or connection to the world other than a satellite phone. I loved being present in the moment, enjoying each others company and interacting.

The kiting was great there. We found some cool spots, flat water and decent wind. It was the perfect place for the shoot, it was like a private island. It was special and I will remember the trip for a long time.

The episode really shows what went down and is definitely worth a watch. It brings back good memories. Yes, it was a bumpy start, but it turned into something magical. It was so special and I will remember the trip for a long time.

Tommy Kaiser - Head of Marketing Duotone

I really like the final result of ‘Utopia in St Brandon’. It was also a special episode because it was the first one from Duotone, as well as a beautiful place; a remote island, crystal clear water, a lot of birds, fresh fish every day. It was an awesome adventure which none of us will forget in our lifetime, but as you can see in the episode, it was a long and hard trip to get there.

Every shoot is different. We never have awful journeys, more experiences and adventures in many different ways. Let’s not forget, it´s not a holiday and that’s how it is.

If I could pack my bag again for the trip, I would take sweets for Hannah, vegan food for Toby and some SOP pills for Chris Müller, our drone pilot. I learnt a lot on this trip, especially that it is worth going to a place without internet. You really talk to each other, which we did in the evenings without looking at our mobile phones every 30 seconds.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Duotone Kiteboarding Neo Range 2019 St Brandon
Duotone Kiteboarding Teamrider Matchu Lopes St Brandon

Matchu Lopes

The Duotone episode from St Brandon only shows a tiny amount of what went down in the two weeks we were there. It’s an island none of us knew and a lot of people will never know. Going there with the crew, crossing the huge, rolling ocean in the rain, getting further away from civilisation was mega. But arriving in paradise made it all worthwhile.

There was a lot of action, wind and moments that were quite scary, like the sharks. It made you realise that you are in the hands of Mother Nature. If anything happened to you, the nearest hospital was a day away. It was humbling and an incredible experience that I won’t ever forget.

These kind of trips take you to places that you only ever dream about. The fact that we get to do these things, really shows how driven and cool Duotone is as a brand. It’s fearless and gives us riders opportunities of a lifetime.

If you go to places like this, just make sure you go with a good crew, other than that everything was perfect in terms of the setup. What I did really miss was speaking with my family. With no cell service, it made me realise how important they all are. I’m not talking about connecting with the world via social media, more, my father in Cabo Verde and my girlfriend, just to know that they are fine and safe, as well as sharing this unique experience with them.

I had the best kite gear, energy around me, good waves, wind and such a good vibe within the team.

Having ridden the gear in light, stronger, flat water and waves on the trip, Duotone have really nailed the designs and performance of their products for our customers. There’s nothing like the Click Bar. You can trim your kite without looking, go with the flow and really get in touch with everything that’s going on. The Dice is so good! There was one day when I was kiting on a light wind day, barely making it upwind, pumping the board, the kite, down-looping, everything possible to get out to the wave. But, once I got on the wave, I was getting barrelled, speed, turns, such good rides and the Dice just even drifted perfectly with me.

The Duotone range is such top quality and has epic performance. In my opinion it can’t get any better. That said, each year we manage to improve the designs to go harder, higher, hit the lip more aggressively, have more control, so I’m super stoked on that. I can travel the world with everything I need, chase the conditions and travel to places like St. Brandon. Duotone really has it all covered, from those first steps to Pro level, light winds, strong winds, waves, flat waters, lakes, open oceans, the Duotone range is inspiring. 

Utopia in St Brandon

Duotone Kiteboarding St Brandon Cover