Lasse Walker with a podium performance at the Cold Hawaii Big Air

Duotone Kiteboarding Lasse Walker Cold Hawaii Big Air

We catch up with Lasse Walker after a stellar podium performance at the Cold Hawaii Big Air in Denmark. His first event since king of the air, Lasse talks us through his day, the preparation and how things are shaping up with contests during a pandemic.

Duotone Kiteboarding Lasse walker cold hawaii big air

Congratulations on taking second place at the Cold Hawaii Games! How was your day?

Well the day didn’t really start off as we had hoped! There was a great forecast with 40 knots and over a 3m swell coming in, but when we arrived at the event that wasn’t the case. A gusting 15 knots offshore breeze greeted us with a lot of rain. Luckily the rain cleared and we could start the competition in the morning.
We soon discovered the event is called Cold Hawaii for a reason! The conditions were insane with super clean and powerful waves, steady strong winds and yes it was cold!

What was the judging criteria?

The judging criteria was exactly the same as with the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town. It’s about your 3 best tricks and an overall impression as the 4th score adding up to a maximum amount of 40 points.
The tricks are scored with 70% of the points going to the horizontal and vertical distance and the final 30% takes into account style, technical difficulty in combination with extremity.
This way we can really find the most complete extreme big air rider!

What set up did you run throughout the day?

I had my favorite setup for every heat! The new 2021 Duotone Dice 10m is such a machine on 22m lines. Because the Dice is so fast and direct, the 10m is a megalooping machine and it allows me to ride a bigger kite than other riders. And then riding the Jaime SLS 139 on straps, this board just gives me full control and confidence to get the perfect takeoff and deals well with the hard landings.

I hear you had a surprise celebrity caddy come help you out. How was that and did he give you any good strategy tips?

Haha yes so nice! In the morning I surprisingly saw Aaron (Hadlow) on the beach but he wasn’t competing. I asked if he could help me if I needed to switch kites and he was happy to help. Aaron obviously has a ton of competition experience and it’s really nice to just check the game plan with him. I trust his opinion 100% and that’s just that little extra confidence when your on the water. Thanks Aaron for helping out! 
Oh and Aaron if you are reading this, I expected my caddy to also help me pack all the gear afterwards!! I had to pack everything by myself whilst finishing the champagne bottle we got on the podium ;-)

duotone kiteboarding lasse walker cold hawaii big air
duotone kiteboarding lasse walker cold hawaii big air

You ride fairly often with Kevin and Stig too, were there any nerves going into the final or did it feel like a session at home? 

Yes Kevin is one of my best mates and we ride together most of the time and also with fellow Dutchie Stig. It was a really fun final to ride, almost like a regular Big Air session where we push each other to do our best moves. This was also probably the most fun heat to ride, and even when the final heat ended, we all stayed out a little longer to have some fun!

Was there a holding period for the event and were there any conditions around the pandemic effecting whether it would go ahead?

The Cold Hawaii was organized and announced a while ago, but was dependent on if Covid-19 was under control in Denmark. There was a 10 day waiting period for the event, but the very first day already gave us the conditions we were looking for so it was a green light!

It’s been a while since your last contest at KOTA, how was it being back in a contest jersey.

Great! I have this love-hate thing with competitions. If the conditions are good it’s so fun and a good way to push it even further than with a normal session. Luckily we had the right conditions and a super nice spot. When it’s a set up like this then it’s such a privilege to have the spot to yourself!

This was the first contest during the ongoing pandemic, how was the atmosphere with regards to spectators and fan access?

Denmark has everything pretty well under control it seems. People are keeping distance and everywhere you go there is sanitization to keep clean, so that was good! Besides that people loved it and were very excited that something was going on again! After all for most people it was an entertainment show, and that’s something we have all missed very much in the last months I think.

What has your training and preparation been during the last months?

To be honest not much, In April I suffered from a cycling accident and that resulted in a shoulder injury. After working hard with my Personal trainer Johan Versluis I’ve been able to get back strong and in shape in a short time and get ready for this competition. 
Having that said I haven’t had much training on the water, so I really had to be confident I still had it all in me.

Duotone kiteboarding lasse walker cold hawaii big air

What’s next on your schedule?

Not much yet! These times we can hardly say what’s happening next week with the pandemic, so everything is basically last minute to see what’s smart, safe and fun!
Still have my fingers crossed to travel to Cape Town again, but that’s really hard to say out loud ;-)

Any thanks or shout outs.

Haha yes, thanks to Aaron again and of course to the organization of the Cold Hawaii Big Air event. We all know it’s especially hard in these uncertain times to make something happen so for that we felt very thankful