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Bridge's Debut - 2018 KOTA

What made you decide to give the Red Bull King of The Air 2018 a go?

I’ve always wanted to do the King of the Air. It’s definitely the biggest event in kiteboarding and i’ve working hard on being more of an all-round rider, not just freestyle focused. As soon as I was able to submit my video entry I did. I was second on the Reserve list, so I thought it was extremely unlikely i’d participate in the event, but I got the call the day before it started. There was such a great atmosphere with thousands of spectators, I wish every kiteboarding event was like it.

Getting to Cape Town sounded like a mission! What happened?

I had to make a decision fast as we we’re already up against the clock to make the briefing, let alone be in a good state to compete after a 12 hour flight. I was at home with my brother while Mum and Dad we’re away running a coaching week. I robbed my savings account, packed and pulled the trigger on a flight out of London a few hours later with Olly.  It was all a bit hit-and-miss since we had been told that as an unaccompanied Under 18, you have to have written consent from your parents, as well as an original copy of your Birth Certificate! The limited Wifi in Boa Vista meant that it was almost impossible for Mum to get me what I needed and I had no idea whether we’d make it through Customs in SA. We did. 

How does this style of riding differ to your usual focus?

Big Air is so different to my normal style but it’s super fun. You need to be overpowered, and the speed you need to go big is on tap the whole time. You can basically do whatever you want.

You were the youngest rider in the event. Was that intimidating or do you think it gave you an advantage over the rest of the fleet?

It wasn’t intimidating, but it was unreal! I only found out that I was the youngest rider about 2 hours before my heat, when being asked about my insurance details, but it is something that i’ve gotten used to throughout my career. There’s no doubt that I wasn’t in my best shape for the event, and I was a bit nervous - especially for my first heat where I held back. All the other competitors were riding 9m and I took an 8m. I wish I’d been able to get some practice in before the comp. By the time I went back home I felt way more dialled into the conditions.  Fingers crossed for next year! If I can get and entry i’ll get out there a few weeks before and prepare to attack the event.

Were there any names you were looking forward to riding with and why?

 Yes of course! Riding Aaron is always great as well as the dutch guys who are all at an amazing level. It was my first experience riding with Ruben Lenten. He’s a real hero in the sport, I mean he basically invented the mega loop! Legend.

In your opinion, what makes Cape Town special?

Cape town is such an amazing place! It’s one massive kitesurfing city. The wind quality is insanely good; strong, fast and smooth. I was really lucky to stay at Cape Town Kite Club which is an epic house right next to the beach. We were really well looked after. 

Photo Credit : Red Bull Content Pool.

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