Tom Bridge rocks the Boat
3 heats. 6 tricks that had never-been-done. Not one of them scored above 7.0.
Colin Colin Carroll follows the multiple World Champ into his first competition back after a six-year hiatus.
The 2022 GKA Freestyle World Championships was a significant moment in the history of kiteboarding. For the first time, a Brazilian lagoon would play host to the best riders in the world. It was also the moment when Tom Bridge chose to re-enter the competition world after a 6-year departure.
He was the most dominant junior freestyle rider ever, with six World and European Championships to his name. And now he’s back.
Tom has done 319s, KGB7s and every standard-competition-trick thousands of times. He could double pass aged 11.
Now, Tom Bridge sees Freestyle as a form of self-expression:
“It’s about doing whatever feels right and natural to you. Going out with no limitations - being yourself, being free, doing something different that people haven’t seen before. Freestyle is about being yourself, going where you want, going when you want, and not really going by any rules.
“Freestyle is anything. It’s everything. Not doing just handlepasses. It’s being yourself and being free on your water.
“Freestyle doesn’t mean just go out and do a handlepass, that’s just what it has been categorized as. It is your free – style. I wouldn’t categorize it into tricks or technicality – it’s what YOU do. How you’re going to ride.”
What we saw at this event was a showcase of outside-the-box riding, in pursuit of something more traditional freestyle riders could perceive as mad.
Tom’s ability to rise above the noise and often repetitive-feel of competition Freestyle, whilst being entirely surrounded by it on all sides, was impressive.
Everyone, from judges to opponents, was willing him to conform.
View the Freestyle collection here