There’s nothing better than a competition being blessed with epic conditions, and that’s exactly what happened in Fuerteventura for the 5th stop of the 2018 GKA Kite-Surf World Tour.
Sotavento, in the south of the island, is known for its strong winds and at times challenging conditions, so landing technical tricks smoothly can often be tricky. Duotone team rider, Matchu Lopes, says of the strong winds; “oh man, you have to concentrate so much through your tricks. You can send a loop and have three different stages of kite control throughout the trick. The wind is strong so you go high, but then if you catch a gust, or even two while you’re up there, you can go even higher and it was fun to watch all the other riders going up and down!”
Mind blowing action unravelled over the course of the week where riders really went for bust. James Carew was a sensational surprise. The 19 year old Aussie is a pure bred, hardcore surfer who up until last year, couldn’t do a single strapless trick. Now, he’s one of the best! Showing the crowd what he’s made of, he stomped a new move in the Big Air contest and claimed his first victory.
Matchu Lopes is a clever headed rider who manages his heats well and with a plan. Admitting he never does the same move twice in a heat, he showed the judges that he had variety in his bag with a double front, followed by a double back roll as well as a back roll kite loop. Matchu and Airton have a longstanding rivalry on the water and both riders have proven they’re capable of the top spot. With individual styles and approaches to competition there’s no doubt the judges are impressed with both, as Matchu finished in 2nd place.
“The danger with Airton is that when he wants something, he goes for gold. The competition is tough and you have to be on your A-game. You have to go with the flow, go with your instincts.” – Matchu Lopes
Everything lined up for Airton and his energy on the water just flowed. Kicking off his first heat with a massive back roll, back roll kite loop rodeo, kite loop back roll, kite loop rodeo, back roll tick tack and a front shuvit3, it was an explosive set to get the competition started. Flying through the rounds and into the finals, his super technical and aggressive moves were sweetly rounded off with smooth, clean landings. He says ‘I never have a plan, I just go for it. Quite often a mistake in one trick becomes a new one.’ We wish we could say the same!
It was a well deserved win for Airton, who’s fellow competitions and judges see him as source of inspiration. He say’s “It was a great event to be part of. The conditions delivered and Fuerteventura is a great spot for our discipline.
I’m so stoked with the new Duotone Provoke 5.1. It’s the first board of its kind designed specifically for the needs of strapless freestyle. It has incredible pop and control, while the deep channels provide grip and smooth landings. On to the next stop!”
Be sure to head on over to the GKA website where you can find event report videos of all the action.