Origins of the Tiki in Kitesurf

This winter, Sylvain Maurin “Momo” for his friends, gave us the great pleasure to leave his beautiful Camargue to join us in Tarifa.

It was a great moment to enjoy some good sessions on our Tiki. Also, this meeting allowed us to learn a little more about the genesis of this beautiful wooden board. What is a Tiki? Where does it come from? Who is the tiki for or why?

We tell you everything!

Since 2016, and in an almost confidential way, the tiki is progressing little by little in the kitesurfing landscape, showing that it has perfectly that it has not only its place there but carries with it a whole new style and dimension to the practice of kitesurfing.

With the current trend of all-technology based on advanced composite materials, where the kite foil for example, is akin to the formula 1 of kitesurfing.

The Tiki is a nice counterpoint that gives a soul to kiteboards, here forget about words like SLS, X-Perf, or special materials like carbon

But “just” or almost just wood underfoot and experience.

The origins of the Tiki

Designed by Sylvain Maurin in 2012, the Tiki is largely inspired by the first Polynesian surfboards that date back to the dawn of time. The oldest currently found dates from the 14th century.
The boards were then called Alaïa or Olo for the larger models. These boards were cut directly from tree trunks and then impregnated with coconut oil.

Tiki Kitesurf

Sylvain’s idea was to create a board, not for surfing, but for kitesurfing, with a clear objective of comfort in navigation.

Starting from an Alaïa of 270 cm, the first prototype was born in April 2013. History to confront the object to public criticism. He was taken by Sylvain to an event co-hosted with Takoon in Beauduc.

The prototype passed constantly under the feet of the kitesurfers present during the event which lasted 3 days. That’s about where Sylvain understood that the object had a future.

Before the first Tiki came out in serial production, it was necessary to wait for a commercial agreement and the first serial model was produced in 2016 by Takoon.

Since then, there is a nice community of Tiki present on facebook under the name Tiki Mafia which continues to grow. The community also serves as a handy database for building Home-Made Tikis.

As for Sylvain, he has now been collaborating for 4 years with Patrick André Shaper of the Flywar brand, whose workshop is based near Avignon in France. The objective being the development of new Tiki, always more beautiful and efficient.

Sylvain Maurin et Patrick André Shaper Flywar

A great week of sharing around kiteboarding

We spent a very nice week with Sylvain. It must be said that, as usual, Tarifa offered us ideal conditions with a moment of changeover between Poniente and Levante, which allowed us to sail on different spots, from Los Lances to Valdevaqueros via Getares or Canos de Meca.

We discovered in Momo a sacred character, a great navigator. Don’t be fooled by his sea bear look, once the Tiki is under this guy’s feet, he spins against the wind like a latest generation catamaran, you have to hold on to follow him. And then also, a great generosity, in what he transmits, both on the water and on land.

Thank you Momo

Where does the name Tiki come from?

“In 2014, the word tiki first came out of the mouth of a 12-year-old boy who was at our table. took us out “and why don’t you call him Tiki?” I stopped talking, made him repeat his suggestion. And immediately, I said to everyone, “That’s what his name is going to be! !”


Surfing in all this ?

That’s the whole point of the Tiki, the glide and nothing but the glide your honor “I swear it!”

A remarkable tool in light wind thanks to the lift, and loving big winds just as much, the tiki has an exceptional ability to go upwind. It allows you to travel on the spots without getting tired while allowing you to enjoy the scenery that is offered to you. Amplitude and lightness, that’s how we can describe the feeling taken under the feet.

It allows you to take even very small waves with great ease, to feel their schedule and to tease the swell very close to the edge. All these advantages make it a very good alternative to the Kite foil.

Easy to learn Tiki Kitesurfing?

Definitely yes!!!

The Tiki is an excellent tool for learning strapless kitesurfing, it forgives foot placement errors where a smaller board leaves you in the water. Thus, the natural feeling it offers allows you to concentrate more on piloting the kite.

It is these reasons that have led us to offer tiki lessons in our kitesurfing school and we even offer it as a first base for those who wish to learn strapless kitesurfing.

“The most difficult part of the Tiki is not getting on it, but coming down.”


The wood which now seems to be unanimous for its design is the Paulownia, or imperial tree which offers the tiki a flexible behavior while being reactive, also, it has the advantage of not really being afraid of water and of being light. However, it is not uncommon to see other species used for Home-made Tiki, everything must be tried.

The dimensions of the Tiki are generally between 210 to 235 cm depending on the desired program, it is possible to give it different shapes of nose, rails and tails depending on whether you want to make it a specialist in light wind, speed or waves.

The inconvenients ?

Obviously, the first one that can be mentioned is directly related to its size, not everyone necessarily has a vehicle that allows them to reach their favorite kitesurfing spot with a board that exceeds 2 meters.

The second drawback, is a little more vicious, sneaky, I would even say. The greatest danger after having tasted the Tiki is to leave all our other boards almost totally abandoned.

Tarifa kitesurf school
école de kitesurf Matos Tarifa

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