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Top 3 for Crathern at KOTA

Congrats on your 3rd place! What does it mean to you to achieve such a great result? Happy to be on podium finally but wanted to win.

I’m really happy to stand on the podium after 6 years. I think deep down I was really set on winning this event. I felt this year I had really good preparation. I finally started going to the gym and didn’t accept the offer to do the commentating this year at the King of the Air event. It allowed me to really focus on everything which was a nice change, but in the end I was pretty unhappy to be standing in 3rd place.

Highs and lows of the event?

Being on the podium was a big high, but I think the main low of the event was the sub-standard conditions that I felt weren’t suitable for nearly all of the heats, especially the first three heats of the first round. I think the semi finals were hash, I mean we don’t train for 20-25knts and it’s actually dangerous because you can’t get high enough to loop the kite. It can be quite frustrating really when you’re out there and have an idea of what you can do, as well a vision of how you’d like extreme kiteboarding to be shown. I was actually pretty upset that the semis weren’t moved, or postponed to another day. It was the fifth time in six years that this has happened.

What gear did you choose and why? Vegas/ dice

My 9m Vegas is my go-to kite in big wind. More often than not I was underpowered, so I had the 10m Dice - a new kite to me - ready to go. It seems to loop very well, it has good low end performance, it jumps as good, if not better, than the Vegas in lighter winds. I still love the Vegas for the C-Kite powered loops but combined with Dice I was able to cover all ranges of the wind.

Tell us about the new location and how this impacted the event?

The new location of the event is superb, it’s where we kite all the time and has a lot of space. You could really feel that with the audience too. There was not one time that I felt there was someone in the way when launching or landing and it was nice that people could spectate from wherever they wanted. 

What are the optimum conditions for the event.

30 knots + as a minimum. The moment you start running this kind of event in 25knots or less, it becomes a totally different thing.

What goes on in the riders tent during the event?

I really couldn’t tell you anything about what goes on. I go out of my way to not be in there. For me I don’t think it’s good to be chatting etc when the comps on, i’m open to communication with my team mates about the conditions but that’s about it. This year I rented a motorhome which was the best competition move i’ve ever made in my career. Air conditioning and a space to listen to music, keep calm and focused.

What kind of media attention does the event attract? 

This event attracts International media both in and out of the industry. Extreme big air is probably one of the most attractive and unique parts of our sport that everybody can really grasp.

What next? 

I have to win this event one day, if it’s the last thing I do. However, with the current situation of no guarantee of strong wind, my future participation in the event is still up in the clouds, but I hope we can all agree on this.