A Q&A with Aaron Hadlow
Our next interview with a rider from the Red Bull King of the Air is with none other than Aaron Hadlow!
– What is your favourite kite spot in Cape Town?
“I enjoy kiting in the location of the Red Bull King of the Air the most. Big Bay is not only ideal for launching big air but also for my discipline, freestyle and technical progression. The waves roll in and they are perfect for launching off axis rotations as you can pick the angle at which you take off due to the convex shape of the bay. When you ride in, the waves make flat, shallow water in between them, this area is great for other tricks.”
– What is the longest hang time you’ve ever accomplished?
“In the past kiteboarding was all about big air, as the years have pasted the style has changed but now with the King of the Air it is making its come back in a more extreme way. I don’t exactly know how long I have stayed up in the air for but would say one of my biggest jumps must have been around 9 or 10 questions.”
– On days with little to no wind, what do you do in Cape Town?
“One of the reasons I have kept coming back to Cape Town for 12 years is the fact that I can stay active even if there is no wind. There is a cable park for wakeboarding, some amazing trails for mountain biking, good gyms and you are so close to the city but the fact is that in the summer the wind rarely stops blowing.”
– What tricks have you been working on leading up to the Red Bull King of the Air?
“I have been focusing on the PKRA World tour this season so the tricks I have been working only lately are very technical. During the last few weeks when the wind has kicked in strong I have been testing out my equipment, making sure all my gear is working perfectly and safe, then I focus on going big with some kite loops.”
– How have you found the local food?
“It is great to be able to eat nice and healthy here, the food is good.”
– Do you prefer megaloops or old school board offs and rotations?
“Kiteloops are the way forward, old school board offs have been and gone, I went through this stage at 14 and took it to it’s limits back then. For me big air is all about creating a spectacle with extreme high risk riding. Massive kite loops where you get catapulted through the air and land full speed.”
– Have you had a chance to catch some night life here? How was it?
“I haven’t been out so much in the past couple of years but for sure have been out plenty of times over the years, almost every night through the summer there seems to be something good going on. There are some nice clubs and definitely good nights to be had.”
– What makes the Red Bull King of the Air such a unique and exciting event?
“I am usually competing in events that push the technical side of kiteboarding with innovation in powered tricks, they are lower but can be done in all conditions. The Red Bull King of the Air is an event pushing height in extreme conditions, for me it is all about the risk, a high jump is not necessarily extreme but when you see riders jumping as high as possible and throwing a kite loop in there too, then it gets crazy. They are high risk and spectacular to watch, if you can also throw a handle pass in there too then the risk is taken to the next level. That’s what I hope to see and help show the public. The best thing about this event is that at least half of the field are odds on to win this event, anyone can take home the win. There is no clear rider that stands above the rest because you never know what might get pulled out the bag on the day.”