2018 Triple-S Invitational
The Triple-S Invitational has been a kiteboarding rite of passage since it started over a decade ago. The crown jewel of wakestyle competition, it showcases the talents of the world’s most progressive riders. Hosted over 5 days in the never-ending trick pool at REAL Watersports, all eyes were on the $50,000 in prize money and the glory of being crowned the 2018 Wind Voyager Triple-S Invitational Champion.
The line-up of industry heavyweights included members of our elite team - Craig Cunningham, Aaron Hadlow, Artem Garashchenko, Colleen Carroll, Noe Font, Manuela Jungo and Julia Castro - all of who were in with a chance of a spot on the podium.
‘They’re innovating, so it makes sense that their at the top of the competition’ - say’s Judge Alexander James Hugh-Lewis - and performance is based on technicality, style, and amplitude.
The less-than-perfect conditions saw a reshuffle in the format which meant there was no room for error. With everybody giving it their all, it was a shame not to see Craig, Hadlow and Manuela advance through to the finals.
Julia Castro’s Triple-S story was that of a plucky underdog. Over the past 3 years she’s been attending the event but always fell short for one reason or another. This year she got into the main competition and finished in 2nd place. Just goes to show the persistence pays off.
Also in the women’s division was Colleen. A favourite in the event, things sadly didn’t go her way missing out on the podium and taking 4th place. “Overall this event was a huge challenge for me. In the lead up to the competition I felt my rail riding was stronger than ever yet with the gusty offshore conditions and the shortened event format we ran in order to get a result, a mistake early on in the competition didn’t allow me the chance to recover. While this would be a ‘low’ for me, as professional kiters, we have to be ready for anything in competition and I think in the long run it will help me as I’ve identified new weak points in my rail game that I know will only improve from here.”
Noe Font was another rider to make it onto the podium. The stylish spaniard brought his creative flare to the water and kept his cool against the more experienced riders finishing in 3rd place!
Artem “ The best moment in the event was when I landed the Pete Rose with Seat Belt grab from the kicker. I only learnt it 2 days before the comp started and got the highest score in my heat! The Triple-S is definitely the most prestigious and famous kite event all over the world, I suppose not only in park riding but among all disciplines in kiteboarding. The organisers also produce great media of photos, daily videos and episodes about how the park judging works.
Be sure to watch the 2018 Triple - S highlight reel. It’s major.