A view from across the pond – Colleen Carroll
Colleen Carroll is a pint sized bombshell from the US who joined North Kiteboarding last year. For those of you unfamiliar of her, don't let appearances fool you, she rides hard! Often found hanging out at cable parks around the world honing her skills on the features, she dominated at the Triple S last year and is on a mission to do the same again this year. We caught up with Colleen to find out what she's been up to and what her take on kiteboarding from 'across the pond' is.
“I’ve been travelling, kiting, spending lots of time at the cable park and in general loving life!
Seeing other people on the water pushing their riding really inspires me to go for harder tricks or to try out a new one. It also helps that our sport is so fun. I never have the feeling that I’m lacking motivation when I’m at a kite spot. If its windy and the water looks nice, I’m in!”
When asked how she sees the progression of the female side of the sport, she say's; “progression is kicking ass these days! In the last year I’ve seen and met many female riders who are really pushing their personal limits as well as those of women’s kiteboarding as a whole. I’m curious as to when we’ll see the first double pass landed...”
As a Team Rider it is always interesting to get an 'insiders' perspective on the North Range and more specifically for women and Colleen's style of riding: “Firstly the North Kiteboarding range is huge. There is definitely something for everybody in there whether it’s sliders, freestyle, speed, hang-time, or waves. Whatever fuels your fire. More specifically, the North range offers the perfect setup for me and I think any girl can find what she needs. The performance, safety, and durability are all time on the North kites so I don’t really know what more you could ask for! My perfect set up is a 9m Vegas on 22 meter lines with 136 Gambler and North Kiteboarding boots. Also need my ION sol harness and of course a lovely Sensi Graves bikini. If the wind is a smooth 20kts, the water butter flat, and there is a feature to session, I am in utter heaven!”
A well known rider on the American Kite scene she has never made it across the pond to test out some of Europe’s hotspots, but she is adamant that she will be making the trip this summer. Inquisitive to find out how she felt about riding for a European brand and whether it has influenced her view on the sport, she said: “ Our first kites as a family were North kites and the brand has always had such a strong presence in the Hood River/Seattle kite spots that I guess I’ve never really felt it was foreign. However, working more closely with a European brand, it has shown me how much bigger and more mature the industry is ‘across the pond.”
Looking to the future, she admits that it is best to be flexible when trying to make plans materialise, but that a trip to Europe is on the cards and that her main goal and sights are set on the Triple S Invitational, Cape Hatteras. “I was really lucky last year and came out on top. I have a feeling I’ll see even more competition this year on the girls side so I’m feeling a bit of pressure to up my game.” And up her game she did!
Colleen was crowned the women's Triple S Champion 2014. Never taking her eyes of the prize she dominated the field securing a 1st in Slicks and Sliders, and 3rd in the Surf putting her 1st Overall. Her performance in the Slicks was solid, with two clean runs and stomping technical moves such as Back to Wrapped. A day in the Surf saw her dialling some stylish grabs and unhooked moves off the kickers, scoring well with the judges. In the Slider discipline, she cruised through the heats with clean hits across the park. A stylish front side 180 tail press to blind across the flat bar put her in the Finals. She said;
“All of the girls were riding really solid and it was made even more intense having mixed heats and riding with the boys. I’m incredibly happy that I advanced through to the Finals with the North boys.”
That's a wrap! The 2014 Venyu Triple S invitational comes to an end
An amazing week of kiteboarding has come to an end here at Real Watersports, Cape Hatteras, and as riders pack their boardbags to head to their next destination, it's safe to say that the 2014 Venyu Triple S Invitational was a huge success!
The crème de la crème of wakestyle kiteboarders gathered to take on the Surf, Slicks and Sliders and there is no doubt that the did it in style. North Kiteboarding Team Rider Colleen Carroll never took her eyes of the prize taking 1st in Slicks and Sliders, and 3rd in the Surf putting her 1st Overall. Aaron Hadlow (UK) dominated in the Slicks giving him 1st in the discipline and placing him 3rd Overall.
North Kiteboarding Rider Tom Court, (UK) a bit of a Triple S regular was there for his sixth year, put in a great performance in the Surf discipline, taking 3rd place on the podium. Sam Light (¼ of the Freeride Project) took 2nd, leaving Aaron Hadlow to 1st place. The boys were stoked to have an all UK podium, showing the Americans that they too are pushing wakestyle riding across the pond.
The closing ceremony saw $40,000 being split amongst the riders and a big party to send off the riders to their next destination...Until next year!
1st Aaron Hadlow (UK)
2nd Sam Light (UK)
3rd Tom Court (UK)
1st Aaron Hadlow (UK)
2nd Brandon Scheid (USA)
3rd Rick Jensen (DEU)
1st Sam Light (GBR)
2nd Brandon Scheid (USA)
3rd Chad Worrall (USA)
1st Sam Light (UK)
2nd Brandon Scheid (USA)
3rd Aaron Hadlow.(UK)
1st Victoria Soloveykina (RUS)
2nd Hope Levin
3rd Colleen Carroll (USA)
1st Colleen Carroll (USA)
2nd Victoria Soloveykina (RUS)
3rd Hope Levin
1st Colleen Carrol (USA)
2nd Claire Lutz (USA)
3rd Sensi Graves (USA)
1st Colleen Carroll (USA)
2nd Victoria Soloveykina (RUS)
3rd Hope Levin (RUS)
Aaron Hadlow (Slick Session)
Rookie Of The Year:
Tobias Holter (Standout in Sliders and Slicks)
Mary Lacroix Samson (for a MASSIVE crash in the Surf, unhooking off a HUGE wave and pulling a large kite loop).
North Kiteboarding Team Riders style out in the Slicks at the Triple S Invitational
The Slicks discipline makes up one third of the Triple S Invitational at REAL Watersports, Cape Hatteras. Following an outstanding day on the Sliders, riders gathered to wait for the wind which lacked some punch. Late afternoon, the light winds had built enough for the Women's heats to start and rigging 14m's, competition got underway.
The Slope Style format for the event sees riders going one at a time, giving them the chance to do their four best tricks, two regular and two goofy.
North Kiteboarding Rider Colleen Carroll (US) dominated across all disciplines last year but this year, it seemed that she was going to have tough competition from Russian rider Victoria Soloveykina who landed a big KGB. With Colleen putting in two clean runs, with technical moves such as Back to Wrapped it will be a close call for the judges who will be announcing the results tonight.
Wind built throughout the early evening allowing the mens heats to kick off. Craig put points on the sheet with a Shifty to Wrapped while Tom Court had seamless runs, landing a variety of moves such as a Slim Chance, Double S-Bend to Blind, Crow Mobe and a 315 making him a contender for the final. Unfortunately, night fell and the last two mens heats were unable to be run and were postponed until the following day.
A 9am start to finish the Slicks discipline was greeted by 30knts of wind, leaving the boys to rig 7m, and test their skills in polar opposite conditions from the day before. As the riders for the Final hit the water, Aaron Hadlow truly showed how unstoppable he is unleashing big tricks such as a Crow Mobe 5, Blind Judge 5 and Back Mobe 5.
Watch the video here http://www.triplesinvitational.com/on-demand/2014/video-day-4-slicks-highlights/ and check out the Triple S website for more info. http://www.triplesinvitational.com
A Triple Success in the Sliders for all three North Kiteboarding Riders!
Day 3 of the 2014 Venyu Triple S Invitational saw the infamous Cape Hatteras wind finally arrive and the running of a complete Slider contest. The vibe amongst the riders was electric as they rigged up at the slick, and as the finishing touches were made to the slider park, spectators flocked in to watch this World Class event get underway.
The first four heats were run as a Jam session, (everyone at once) of 30 minutes each. Considering the size of the tight competition area and the amount of riders in each heat, (18 in the first two and 20 in heat three) it truly epitomised 'organised chaos.'
North Kiteboarding riders we out to dominate, with Craig and Tom riding 14m Vegas' in the first heats, switching to 12m and then 9m as the wind gradually built thought the day. Craig impressed the judges across the North Rail with a tail press, front side 5, tapping the rail as he landed. Feeling challenged by the set up of the course Cunningham said; “ The biggest challenge for me would be that the features weren’t evenly distributed for both tacks. The course never changed so, as a goofy rider, it was harder to rack up points, especially on the big 80 foot John Wayne slider, which remained set for those riding regular.”
Tom styled out along the rails, but secured his way through the heats with a big Crow Mobe off the kicker. "It was a great park set-up and the jam session format made for some intense action during the heats. Having four 30min heats to get to the final, made it about endurance. Keeping energy going for over two hours of intense riding is harder than it looks. A few upsets and some big tricks were landed but it felt good to have all three North Kiteboarding riders sitting in the final for the slider event as the sun went down," says Court.
Colleen Carroll cruised through the heats on the 9m Vegas. With clean hits across the park she pulled out a stylish front side 180 tail press to blind across the flat bar to put her in the Finals. She said; “All of the girls were riding really solid and it was made even more intense having mixed heats and riding with the boys. I’m incredibly happy that I advanced through to the Finals with the North boys.”
As the sun set on the Final, riders took turns to hit each feature in a Slope Style format. After hours of intense action over the course of the day, tired riders gave their all over two runs through the park. A momentous day full of innovative riding and good vibes. Results will be announced on Friday at the closing ceremony.
Watch the video round up http://www.triplesinvitational.com/on-demand/2014/slider-highlights/ and stay tuned with event updates on the Triple S website http://www.triplesinvitational.com.
Court, Cunningham and Carroll make waves in the Surf, Slicks and Sliders!
The Triple S Invitational is underway here at REAL Watersports, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and riders have flocked in from all across the globe for the world's most prestigious Kiteboarding event. With a jaw dropping $40,000 up for grabs competition is hot!
The event is all about wakestyle and progressive riding, so riders will not only be competing against one another, but will also push each other and the sport to the next level. With the reintroduction of the original Jam format riders will gain a sense of 'Freeriding' over competition across the three disciplines of Surf, Slick and Sliders. For 2014, North Kiteboarding has a Rail that will feature in the event, challenging the riders to style out and tally up as many point as possible.
North Team riders, Tom Court (UK,) Craig Cunningham (Canada,) and bombshell Colleen Carroll (US) are representing North Kiteboarding in an epic way and are all in the running for the podium. After Colleen cleaned up across all disciplines with a golden result last year, all eyes are on her to dominate once again.
As the event continues to be on hold awaiting the arrival of the outstanding wind Cape Hatteras is famous for, riders made the most of the conditions that were on offer. Vegas' and Gamblers were the weapons of choice for the North Kiteboarding riders and with Tom and Craig rigging 14m's, and heading over to the park, Colleen was already on fire with her 12m hitting the features and showing everyone why she's the girl to watch.
Watch the official video from the Freeride session on the official Triple S website http://www.triplesinvitational.com/on-demand/2014/video-day-1-freeride-session/