Behind the scenes of TWENTY with Aaron Hadlow

Duotone Kiteboarding TWENTY Aaron Hadlow

You chose Cape Hatteras, USA, Hayling Island, UK and Tarifa, Spain to premier TWENTY before its official release. Why these ones specifically?

We wanted a few premieres to hype up the release of the movie and get the message to as many people as possible that the movie is finally ready after such a long time in the making.  It was also great to get a bit of feedback before the final online showing and it is, of course, mainly a really nice way to interact with different people and get live reviews. 

The places were a little about were I would be at the time and choosing the right setting. 

REAL Watersports,  featured in the movie, and their set up is great. There were a lot of friends so was a perfect first release. 

The Kitesurfing Armarda is hosted at my home spot and is the biggest event in the UK. We had a great British section, featuring riders like Tom Court, and I personally wanted to show this. It turned out amazing in front of the biggest crowd. 

Tarifa was originally more for the guys at Duotone. The whole team, marketing, sales etc, plus all the agents and distributors were there for the annual meeting and I wanted to give them the chance to see what I had been working on. We also made it a public event as Tarifa is one of the biggest destinations for kiteboarders. It was a really nice location and another great turn out.

Putting a final project out there is daunting. When did you know the movie was ready for the world to see?

For me personally I thought it was amazing, really well shot and put together. I had my original concept and we stuck to the roots of that. Laci put his spin on it and trusting his judgment payed off. 
At first it is hard to know how everyone will take it. We tried to make it for a wider audience and I feel it works for quite a few different people and their level of riding.  It was definitely a bit nerve racking to know if it would be a hit or not, but in the end we have had such great feedback and we are really happy with the reaction.

Duotone Kiteboarding TWENTY Aaron Hadlow Slider
Duotone Kiteboarding TWENTY Teamrider Aaron Hadlow

How did you feel before and after the first premier?

I was really exited to launch the premieres. It was a special feeling to see people engaged and loving your project right in front of you. At the same time, I was a bit nervous to see if people would like it or not. After the first showing,  I had a massive smile on my face with lots of people coming up and congratulating us, it was a proud moment.

Although you’re one of the industry’s biggest personalities, not many know that much of your private and personal life. TWENTY really showed who you are and how you got to where you are today. Was this hard for you and why did you want to tell your story now?

Not really, it was quite natural how we filmed it and I don’t think it is very in-depth like how deep documentaries can get. We were really conscious to keep it light and brief, focusing on some killer action sections. I think now was a great time to show some history too. It was more about that, but naturally some personal moments come through with it.

You’ve ridden and shot in almost every location across the globe. How did you narrow it down to those shown in TWENTY?

The concept for the action was simple; shoot my favourite disciplines. So we went to the places I thought were best to execute them, Cape Town for Big air, Cape Hatteras for park and Brazil for Freestyle. We had a couple other briefs, with an inspirational, tropical location and home. 

One of the most beautiful places to shoot was in the Grenadines, so that was the perfect spot and home was all about where I come from and how it shaped me as a rider.

Every videographer would jump at the chance of working on this project with you. What made you choose Laci Kobulsky to shoot the movie?

It is a massive project and not everyone can work around this schedule. This project was in my mind for years and it was only when I found the right person could I set it in motion. I knew Laci would dedicate his time and energy into it. Some aspects were new to him so I knew he would stay motivated by learning things on the go. Also, in the end you spend a lot of time together so this is important to get a long well and have a good working relationship. Of course the shooting is very important too, I like the way he captured the action and being a rider himself we could work well to get different shots. He would not miss one shot if we were focused on getting some more difficult tricks.

Duotone Kiteboarding TWENTY Aaron Hadlow Vegas Hadlow 2019

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome?

Managing the trips is always pretty hard, hoping to get good wind and light. We picked some very reliable locations but it was still difficult. Cape Town was actually a really tough season for wind as it never really blew like it is so known for. We really had to move around to chase the strongest wind. 

I would say the UK was the biggest challenge. Laci flew in for two, two week trips and still we had to gather some additional footage. The wind is hard to predict and we had to move around a lot. But home is the section I am most pleased with so it was well worth it.

Were there any Never-been-Done’s throughout the year long process?

Yeah at the time we had a few. It was important for Laci to show innovation. He felt people knew me well for bringing new tricks to the sport and he wanted to continue that theme. Of course that is not that easy, especially these days, but I managed to find a few things to work on and bring into the movie. 

In Cape Town I managed to throw a big Front Roll megaloop Board off, that was a great start. During the park there was a new style around at the time with some crazy landings that were kind of new to kiting. In Brazil, some of the stuff I had been learning in the park was brought over to freestyle. The Mummy Wrap landing allowed for some longer grabs and the Fake Blind brought a different dimension to some tricks. 

Duotone Kiteboarding TWENTY Aaron Hadlow

Now this project’s been wrapped, what’s next for Aaron Hadlow?

It's been a consuming project so I need some time to think about it and see what comes up. I am always looking for something different, something knew, so I am sure there will be more great projects to come.

Aaron Hadlow TWENTY - Full Movie