Extreme Technical Big Air explained by Colin Carroll
“Everyone can do a massive kiteloop with front-roll and board-offs. Come December, most of the fleet will be doing double loops, too. So, the question is, where does it go next?” – Colin Colin Carroll
The Red Bull King of the Air is the world’s most extreme Big-Air kiteboarding contest. Riders are judged based on the height of their jumps, variety of tricks, and style. For 2022 the pressure is on to take technical Big Air riding to another level. We asked Colin Colin Carroll for his expert opinion on what it will take for riders to dominate at this year's event. Here's how he sees it going down...
The Double Loop?
A double loop is what it sounds like, and it isn’t a good idea - but it has been necessary for the new generation of riders to break through. Until 2022, riders had never attempted it because it was widely thought that the kite would produce too much line slack on the 2nd loop. It was considered an impossible move. And in the past, on prehistoric kites, it probably was. Today, kites like the Orbit are so adept at catching you and re-generating line tension that it has unlocked these new moves. At the moment, it is regarded as impossible on an 8m, scary on a 7m, and very achievable on a 6. Expect this to change as riders become more comfy with sending the kite around the window twice.
“You go one way, then, just when it’s getting hairy, you go the other.”
It’s essentially half a megaloop - and then you drive it back around the other way, creating the shape of an S with the kite. It has never been done or even attempted at KOTA. Expect to see it in the opening heats, should the wind suffice. Marc and Luca both have the S-loop on lock and are adding rotations to it. Expect these to score high, well into the 8s, if not in the 9-point range.
Snake Loops?Okay, if you have a pencil at hand, draw the following: An S, and then, when you are coming to the end of it, you continue to draw a circle on the bottom half of the S, retracing your steps. So, in essence, it is an S-loop with another loop. Which is actually crazy and may never be landed due to the sheer amount of slack it produces. You are really playing with fire on this one. At present, only one person has attempted it, and no one has ever landed it. Expect to see it appear in the finals if it becomes time for desperate measures.
To put it too simply, there are 3 Italian teenagers who are very, very good at Big Air. And, if they don’t choke under the pressure of kiteboarding’s biggest competition (which they could well do), they are going to be hard to beat. Hard. Not impossible - but the only way to do it will be via handle passes. Why? Because the Italians can’t do them. Or they can do them, but not very well and certainly not at the heights Jesse Richman or Marc Jacobs do them.
- Tune in live with North to the 2022 Red Bull King of the Air here
- Watch Jesse Richman's break down the Board Off, the Boogie Loop, The Late Back and Board Off Rotations.