Summer in the Hamptons isn't complete without its requisite leisure sports. There's nothing like a wonderful summer afternoon spent in an easy-going volley of badminton, or watching a lolling round of Bocce while sipping rose champagne. But what about Kadima, that perennial Hamptons favorite of the hot summer months?
Sometimes known as “beach paddleball,” this tennis of the sands can awaken the ferocious competitor in us all, even while being just steps from the cool Atlantic waters. The Dune Hamptons Kadima Championship is an annual event held on a private Sagaponack beach, attracting some of the sport's most celebrated players.
[Caspian Lansell, Oliver Franks]
Caspian Lansell got his start on the beach scene quite early, and at the age of 12 was the youngest player to ever win the Dune Hamptons Kadima Championship, beating out summer veterans such as Oliver Franks and El Tibarone twice his age. Today Caspian’s accomplishments have yet to stop him from trying to break his own records, which is exactly what he aims to do in this season’s championship. The American bred Kadima devotee is known from Townline to Mecox as the most challenging opponent. He’s even personally hand shellacked and grip-tapped his own paddles for the games. Talk about chic!
Far from the usual stereotype of a playboy beach-goer, Caspian is dedicated to helping out his charity of choice, Volley for Teens, which donates leisure-sports equipment to children and teens up-island. The funds for this championship will go directly to help in the formation of summer leagues and mentorship programs to truly allow this sport to impact these children's lives. This year, the Dune Hamptons Kadima Championship Final Round was composed of three teams, Caspian Lansell and Oliver Franks, Zombie Jones and El Tibarone, and Roy Troutman and Valentino.
[Zombie Jones, El Tibarone, Oliver Franks, Caspian Lansell, Roy Troutman, Valentino pose for a post match photo]
Q: What is your involvement in “Volley for Teens”?
A: It’s completely unimaginable, having a child be unable to partake in the fun of Hamptons beach sports, and for me, that’s inseparable from Kadima. But I know there is more than just one way to have fun on the beach, and that's why I'm always working to fund new and exciting games for kids who have been less fortunate than myself. It’s such a pleasure to really raise money and awareness about this, and we try to spread that message of fun. I’ve worked with the Championship several times in the past, and I’ve been humbled by being able to mentor some of these great kids, and I’m thrilled to help their efforts in any way that I can. ‘Think global, act local.’ That’s what we try to do here in Sagaponack.
Q: Is there anything about this match that will be different from prior years?
A: Every year the event grows more and more. You’ll find the who’s who of the Hamptons scene often just happen to be at the beach that day. Last year, the Dune Hampton Kadima Championship attracted tons of socialites, leasure-sport fans and even some celebrities, all anxious to see an exciting Kadima match and raise money for such an amazing cause.
Q: What is it about the Hamptons draws you out each summer?
A: It's everything, really there's absolutely nothing I don't like about being in the Hamptons during the summer. The mood is so laid back and mellow. It’s one of my favorite places to be. Plus, Labor Day weekend is going to be so busy this year. I can’t think of a better way to spend it than on a Sagaponack beach, playing a match, having drinks with friends, and knowing that, because of today, we raised some money for a charity that’s so close to my heart. The benefit scene here, it's just so deep. You really don't get these feelings elsewhere.
Q: Can you speak a bit about your history as a Kadima player?
A: I guess you could say Kadima is in my blood - my father really loved Kadima when he was my age out here, and his father taught him how to play when he would visit in the summers like I am today. History is everywhere. I grew up on these beaches, and my experience playing tennis during the year at Exeter really helped me when I was younger to reach a new level. I think that becoming the youngest person to win this Championship is just a product of being able to live out here during the summers and really soak in this life. I’m just trying to carry that forward today, and maybe even push harder. Its a blessing. From day one, I’ve been able to travel around the Hamptons doing what I love. I’ve played in three townships, visited some of the most amazing places and met the most incredible people. I have played all the top tournaments in the area except the Montauk Beach Games. But that’s definitely on my bucket list!