Reno´s insight view about Red Bull King of the Air!
Oozing style both on and off the water, Reno Romeu is North Kiteboarding’s Brazilian smooth operator. Residing in Rio De Janeiro he first started kiteboarding in 2002, progressing at lightning speed hitting the PKRA tour a few years later. Having cruised through the heats in last years event, he was invited to participate in the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa for a second year running. Always looking to improve his performance on the water and push the boundaries of the sport we caught up Reno after the event.
How is it coming from the PKRA into a competition like the Red Bull King of the Air?
It's truly great! All year I’m travelling on the PKRA tour and there is a lot of pressure that comes with it. It’s refreshing to participate in an event where I feel so relaxed. The Red Bull King of the air is one of the best events around with such a great atmosphere, hype and extreme conditions. It’s great fun and I get a lot of enjoyment out of doing it with friends and other riders.
Do you rate this style of riding even though you are more technical?
I would say that the this event requires technical riding, just in another way. The PKRA requires a certain style and the tricks are very technical so you really have to be focused for the duration of the event, even when you are not in the water. The Red Bull King of the Air is more like a momentum. It is a competition but, you are just trying to go bigger then the other riders on the water. With all the adrenaline pumping through your body your mind set is different, it’s almost like you go a little crazy. You just have to go for it!
You chose to ride in boots for the competition. Why is that?
I actually tried riding straps in the first heat as I was afraid of hurting myself and compromising my year ahead on the PKRA, but it was awful. After only using boots for a longtime now I couldn’t ride as I wanted. I still made it through the heat but as soon as I got out of the water I put the straps to one side and grabbed my boots. In this event, you go big or you go home. There’s no doubt that with boots I have more control of the board, can ride faster, land harder and hold more pressure from the kite. All important factors for the King of the Air.
What was your set up for the event?
I rode the 10 meter and 8 meter Vegas with the back lines on the ‘wakestyle’ setting. My bar had 22m lines which was great for high jumps and aggressive kiteloops and I rode the 137cm Team Series with the NKB Banana Boots, of course.
How does this ‘hangtime’ set up differ from your usual wakestyle set up?
I didn’t actually change anything. I love to go big anyway, so often after a training session I go for a freeride and catch some big airs. The Vegas is a great kite for both styles, the key for this event is to take a bigger kite then normal and hit the water totally overpowered.
How do you prepare for an event such as this?
Drink a Red Bull. It gives you wings!
Do you think we will see a return of the ‘old school’ riding as there has been so much emphasis on ‘wakestyle’ over the past years?
I don’t think so. In my opinion, every activity you do, you look to improve the technical difficulty of it. It’s the natural progression of sport and I don’t see big air doing this. Big air is a show and I don’t think it can become something like a World Tour as its not really that technical or difficult, it’s extreme!