Meet Gunnar “Chinatown” Biniasch, a professional kitesurfer, videographer and coach living in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain. Gunnar has been a water sports enthusiast for years and is out on the water on a daily basis kiteboarding, foiling, windsurfing or stand up paddling. His titles include Spanish Formula Kite Spanish Vice-Champion 2018 and Spanish Formula Kite Cup Champion 2019.
Being part of the BUOY Team Rider team, Gunnar has been sporting BUOY’s floating hats since they first came out - you can spot them in most of his photos and videos. His daily posts on social media of sunny skies, clear blue water and fun in the ocean make you want to head out and enjoy the outdoors yourself. Get to know more about Gunnar and his active life in paradise by reading the interview below.
How long have you been kiteboarding?
What first interested you in the sport?
I was already really into flying kites, so it was a natural evolution. I was kite buggying at the time and our local spot in Blackpool, England would flood on spring tides, and we could not buggy, so I started experimenting with old surfboards and wakeboards.
Why do you love it so much?
Ever since I picked up a kite when I was 10, I was hooked. I love all things that fly on strings. Be it a single line toy kite or a high-performance race kite, they all fill me with childlike wonder when I am holding one.
How did you get into foilboarding?
I tried a friend’s, back in early 2010 and immediately fell in love with the sport. The foil I tried was so badly made, so me and my shaper friend quickly came up with our own design and after that there was no looking back.
What is your favorite place to kiteboard and foilboard?
I love my home spot Flag Beach here on Fuerteventura. Every time I go away for a trip or race, I miss it. The water is clear blue, the beach is perfect, and the conditions are always good.
What’s your greatest achievement?
I really don’t know how to choose. Overall I consider it an achievement being 41 years old and still managing to be Spanish Vice-Champion in kitefoil racing.
What would you tell someone who is considering learning the sport?
- Kiteboarding: Get some lessons from a good teacher first. It is safer and saves a lot of time. Once you learn, your progression will be very fast. Make sure your significant other is ok with spending a lot of time on the beach, or better yet, learn together :)
- Foilboarding: You don’t need to be a great kiter or surfer to learn to foil. Foilboarding is so different to normal “on the water boarding” that your old board skills won’t be a huge advantage. Start out learning with a SUP foil behind a boat with a short mast. Most schools use this kind of setup to get people started.
What do you enjoy doing when not out on the water?
I enjoy listening to and playing music.
Do you have any hobbies?
I play guitar, drums and bass.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I get up in the morning, get my daughter ready for school and drop her off. If the waves are good at Flag Beach, I head there to have a morning SUP foil session before the wind starts. Then I head home and do some work. In the afternoon I check the wind and go to the beach and ride. Then pick up my daughter from school, take her to the beach and do some tandem kiting with her. After a great day kiting the whole family heads home for dinner.
What inspires you?
Progressive people with fresh ideas. I am always into trying and inventing new things.
What's your motto?
I will not change who I am just to “fit in”.
Where would you love to travel to?
Pacasmayo, Peru. I dream of foiling that super long wave.
Any favorite food?
What are things you can’t live without?
My daughter, my girlfriend and my cats.
Any future goals?
Get a Onewheel :)
What are your thoughts about BUOY WEAR’s products?
I love the BUOY WEAR hats. Before I got them, I would constantly lose caps in the ocean. Also, the bright colors not only make it easy to find them, but also makes it easy for people to find you on the water in case of rescue. The hats fit really tight so they don’t fly off when going fast.
What’s your favorite item?
The floating hats.
Is there anything you would love to see in BUOY WEAR’s collection?
Proper old school boardshorts that go over the knees, with a waterproof key pocket and with proper flex so they don’t interfere with riding.