Big Air Gets Underway
Competition from day two of the Tarifa Pro Kite Surf 2014 officially kicked off this afternoon with the crowd-pleasing Big Air discipline. In winds that averaged 20-27 knots. One round of the men’s division was completed before faltering winds forced the event to be postponed for the day.
Due to winds expected to last throughout the day, the competition was scheduled to begin later in the afternoon to accommodate the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Spain, as many spectators and competitors had registered to participate. In a critical mass, 352 kitesurfers completed the one-mile course, surpassing the former number of 318 and setting a new world record in a momentous accomplishment celebrated by all.
At 4:30 the first heat of the Big Air competition hit the water. As the second discipline, Big Air is an exciting component of the event that showcases the most spectacular side of the sport of kiteboarding with big jumps, lofty hang time, and an irrevocable wow factor that easily captivates any audience.
With the wind proving to be strongest in the early heats, riders achieved jumps of up to eight meters high, creating immediate roars from the enthusiastic crowds. As the heats continued into the afternoon, the wind began to back-off and the height of the jumps began to as well, with jumps of 4 to 5 meters being the maximum that the fading wind would allow. With the intent of waiting for better conditions in the coming days, it was decided to postpone the competition and call it a day.
The action saw a combination of old-school and new-school tricks, which included multiple spins, big aerial handle passes, board offs, and monster kite loops. With the judging criteria consisting of 70% height and 30% technical difficulty, the strategy was definitely to go big at all costs.
Noteworthy performances came from Maxi Gomez (ES) who adapted his freestyle repertoire with exaggerated height and creative executions, including a big one-footer in his wakeboard boots. Eudasio Da Silva (BR) consistently went huge with his fearless Brazilian style and former world champion Aaron Hadlow (UK) showed off some big jumps and stylish kite loops as well. Airstyle aficionado Toby Braeuer (DE) put on a great show and was clearly a crowd favorite, landing inverted multiple spins with board flips and varials, garnering the loudest cheers of the day.
Strong winds are expected for tomorrow and hopes are high to finish the freestyle trials and continue on with the Big Air or begin the freestyle main event.