MEET THE ZIAN TEAM


Exceptional performance at an exceptional price. That’s our motto here at ZIAN Kiteboarding, and it wouldn’t be possible without an equally exceptional team to make it all happen. 

Driven by passionate expertise and decades of kite industry experience, our dedicated team shares the relentless stoke of kiteboarding. Team ZIAN also shares the mission of “engineering to empower,” producing user-friendly high-performance products that make the sport easier, safer, and more enjoyable.


Robert Berends 

Owner / Founder

Location: Netherlands/Austria/Sri Lanka


After serving as CEO for one of the world’s largest kiteboarding and windsurfing sail manufacturers, Global Sports Lanka (formerly North Sails), Robert decided it was time to bring his own dreams to life. Founding ZIAN Kiteboarding in 2012, Robert assembled a powerhouse team of the industry’s most passionate, experienced and visionary minds. If a world-class team wasn’t enough, Robert built a state-of-the-art factory (Velumtec Lanka) to match, streamlining the manufacturing process and guaranteeing premium product quality. A passionate and technically-minded kiter, Robert plays a crucial role in research and development.

Craig & Gemma Olde

Oceania Distribution

Location: Australia & Sri Lanka



Involved with ZIAN since the early prototypes were developed, Craig and Gemma spent the past 4 years distributing Zian within Australia.

With his life-long passion for the ocean, Craig feels at home on a board, whether it be kiteboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, skateboarding, windsurfing, or snowboarding. Drawn to the sport because of the never-ending progression it offers, Craig also loves connecting with the wind, water and beauty of nature. Craig holds a degree in commerce, and specializing in retail.


Experienced in business development, project management and marketing, Gemma spends a large percentage of time overseeing the smooth sailing of the factory in Sri Lanka, as well as managing the operational side of the business and everything in between.  She equally loves kiteboarding too. Grateful for all the unique places kiteboarding has taken her, Gemma loves to boost on her favourite kite, the Kima.

Sebastiaan van der Velden

Research & Design
Location: The Netherlands / Sri Lanka


With over 15 years of R&D and product development experience, Sebastiaan understands the importance of exceptional product design. As Sales Director and part of the core team of ZIAN, he is the perfect bridge for listening to what customers want and staying attuned to what the market needs, helping ZIAN develop the most user-friendly performance kites possible.

Having worked for ZIAN since 2013, Sebastiaan is a die-hard kiter. He loves the sport for a number of reasons: the rush, peace, community, fellowship, and freedom that it provides, no matter the conditions. Plus, kiteboarding is his favourite way to unplug.

Siril Piyarathna
Production Manager & Supervisor
Location: Sri Lanka

As head production manager at our factory in Sri Lanka (Velumtec), Siril has an unparalleled wealth of knowledge in kite manufacturing. Highly experienced, Siril’s kite production experience spans 17 years and includes working as senior supervisor at one of the world’s largest kite factories.

Laksiri Munaweera
Bar Production & Logistics
Location: Sri Lanka
Laksiri has been manufacturing kites since kiteboarding first became mainstream in 1999! He manages all aspect of the bar production and is highly experience is kite production. Lakrisi is also our Logistics Manager, ensuring the import/export department runs smoothly.

Javed Booso
Research & Design / Quality Control Manager
Location: Sri Lanka
Javed’s technical knowledge of kite design and pattern making, makes him a superior Quality Control Manager. Javed’s attention to detail ensures that only the absolute highest quality kites leave the factory. Javed also works alongside Sebastiaan, designing and assembling samples for testing, and overseeing their seamless implementation. Javed is also a passionate graphic designer.

Zian uses SBS101 Double Ripstop canopy from Sakai Techfibre (Japan).

Sakai Techfibre (Japan) is home in the top end acrobatic paraglider and spinnaker fabrics which are manufactured exclusively by Sakai Ovex in Japan. For their SBS101 double ripstop kite canopy they use high tenacity polyester yarn manufactured by Toray Japan exclusively for Techfibre. Toray Japan is a multinational corporation specialized in polymer chemistry. This makes SBS101 the ONLY full Japanese canopy on the market.
 The canopy production is based on a new process that gives multiple benefits over conventional canopy.
The quality consistency from batch to batch is of a level we have not seen before. Special attention is taken to avoid “chalking” of the canopy after some use, a visual problem seen on many kites on the market. Rather than one sided coating, SBS101 has adopted a double sided multilayer coating technology for longer airproof canopy