Welcome to the team Liam Whaley

Welcome to the team Liam!! Absolutely amazing news for the Duotone team and hopefully also for you!? How do you feel about this new partnership?
I’m truly honored to be part of the team. I’ve always looked up to Duotone as a brand. Their products are always leading in the market and I’ve heard great stories about how well they look after their team. I’ve always had a great relationship with everyone on the team so I’m extremely excited to work alongside Duotone for many years and bring Kite Boarding to the next level.

How did the whole partnership come to an agreement?
It just made total sense. I thrive to be the best and so do Duotone so I think in that sense we are very compatible. Besides that Duotone and Porsche have partnered and I was already a Porsche athlete so the match is perfect to join forces and do epic projects together.

What are your aims for 2022 together with Duotone?
Bring the brand to the top of the podium, make some very cool video projects possibly in collaboration with Porsche and some other riders on the team, help develop the gear to make it even better than it already is and just have a lot fun traveling the world and riding hard.

What are your aims for Duotone as a brand? How do you think you can influence the brand, the products, …?
I really have this goal of taking kiteboarding to the next level. The sport is still quite new and small but I truly believe in its potential. I want to do projects that reach the mainstream and Impress people worldwide whether they are kiters or not and hopefully Influence more people to get involved.

Hopefully through my many years of freestyle and big air experience I can help develop the products even further and that will allow us riders to go bigger and keep pushing tricks that have never been seen before.

You’re from Tarifa, but also native speaker English, how come and how involved is your family in kiteboarding?
My parents moved to Spain over 40 years ago so I was born and raised here. My Dad is English so that's why I speak fluently and my mother is Dutch. My Dad came to Tarifa in the 70s on the search for strong wind as he was a very enthusiastic windsurfer. Between him and his two brothers they invested in a piece of land and opened a hotel here together called the Hurricane Hotel. As soon as Kitesurfing was invented and became a thing in Europe my Dad got involved and of course eventually introduced me to it. Living in Tarifa he has always been very involved in the sport but it has always been a hobby for him and not a profession.

You’ll open a Liam Whaley Kiteboarding School in Tarifa, right at the best spot in Valdevaqueros, opposite of the famous Tumbao bar, how’s it gonna look like? Anything different in look and offer to “normal” kiteboarding schools?
Yesss! It is a very exciting and scary project for me. It’s always been a dream of mine to open a centre in my hometown at the beach that I grew up on and now it will finally become a reality. Opening a kite centre of this magnitude is a big operation, we will be one of the biggest watersports centres in spain offering Kite, Wing and windsurf lessons and rental.

At the moment the place is completely empty and we are reforming everything from scratch so that It looks stylish and personal.

My aim for this centre is to give the client the best kitesurfing experience ever. It’s going to be an awesome few years introducing so many new faces into the sport.

What’s your main focus in events for 2022?
Last year I decided to leave competitive freestyle on standby. I know that If I want to win I have to fully focus on one discipline so I am dedicating my time to big air and competitions in that discipline for 2022.

Some of the events that I would like to participate in are King Of the Air, Megaloop Challenge, GKA world championships and possibly a couple of BAKL’s and Invitational events such as Cold Hawaii Games.

I will continue to practice Freestyle on the side but I want to take a different approach to it and try out new innovative tricks and make some cool video parts rather than training the same tricks that I've been doing for the past 15 years that are more focused on competition.

Duotone just started a cooperation with Porsche, you started yours a little bit earlier already, any cool projects you can tell us about which happened already or will in the future?
Just being part of the Taycan cross Turismo commercials was crazy. Seeing my face big in international airports and on TV was something out of this world.

With Porsche and Duotone the possibilities are now endless. I would really like to come up with an authentic project that shows Kitesurfing in the right way and distribute it to the world.

How do you see the development of kiteboarding at the moment and in which way do you want to develop the sport? On and off the water, as an athlete, but also for end consumers?
I think we're definitely pushing in the right direction. Hopefully in the future we can get the end consumer to get more involved in the sport, really understand what is going on In the competitions and who the heroes of the sport are. I feel that at the moment there is a barrier between what us athletes are pushing and what the day to day kite surfer sees so it would be nice to open that barrier and have a better connection in the future.

I would like to push prize money in competitions and get outside sponsors more involved. We really push ourselves out there and are willing to risk an injury just to win and put on a show for the spectators so we should be rewarded for it. If we manage to give the end consumer and the media a better understanding of the sport, the riders will naturally benefit from it.

Anything else you would like to mention:

These next few years are going to be wild. I will do everything it takes to be the best, create amazing content and push the business side of Kite Surfing simultaneously.

A huge thank you to everyone who supports me and follows my journey.