Break The Big Air Barrier
photo of Ryan Parsons
Ever ask ‘how do they get that much air?’ With our No Excuses attitude we’re committed to helping you get over that wall where jumping is fun, but now it’s time to fully send it and start challenging those Woo leaderboards. We asked some of our top ambassadors what they do to boost big.
What are some quick tips for those who want to truly go big?
Waves that form nice kickers will help you a lot if your looking to go near or past the 15m mark. But flat water is my preferred choice for practicing my technique.
When pushing the limits you learn quickly that limits push back and it becomes a real challenge to overcome that fear. The key was really staying focused and keeping calm. The biggest thing for me was downlooping on the descent from a large jump to smooth out my landings. Once I had it dialed in I was super confident and felt safe when going big. One thing I can’t stess enough about big air is that you can never underestimate the power of the kite and wind and don’t be over confident. Stay calm and focused and you’ll progress just fine.
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Tell me about your best big air moment.
My favorite moment was in Cabo de la Vela, Colombia. It is a great spot to practice kiteloops, and it is really gusty. One time, I sent a big kiteloop, I must have been about 7-10 meters high, and as the kite was coming back up, I got hit with a massive gust! I ended floating so high and for so long that I had to send 2 more kiteloops in order to keep the kite in front of me for the landing! I love the feeling of big kite loops! This was maybe not my biggest or highest one, but the feeling was unbelievable!
The best session I’ve ever had was on my 10m Razor in 25-30 knots of wind and throwing a megaloop between 18-20m. I had my best friend/coach (Pro rider and competitor in the King of The Air) Ross Dillon-Player see it and hearing him shout when I pulled the trigger on the loop was amazing. Having your best friend push you and motivate you really makes any aspect of the sport so much better. But what made the loop even better was as the kite came out the loop it just sat in front of me. For a split second I had time to look around and see how high I was, at the point when the kite came out the loop I felt bit of fear come in but i used that fear to allow me to stay focused and I slowed everything down and really focus on my landing and once I stuck the landing I just lost my mind. The excitement and stoke that overcame me was crazy! it was the best feeling ever to know that I trained really hard for that one moment and to get it right was a great and emotional feeling!
My most memorable session was in Rufus Oregon. It was blowing about 45 knots and I was able to get huge jumps without even edging or sheeting in very hard at all. It felt like the jumps went on forever, and the gusts in the wind made my kite down loops bring me back up another ten feet during the jump. Getting huge lofty jumps is one of the coolest and unique feelings in the sport.
Of all the places you’ve been… where do you feel is the capital for big air kiting?
Of all the places I have been, Cabo de la Vela in Colombia is definitely my favorite spot for practicing big air and especially kiteloops.
The wind is offshore, so it’s not as beginner friendly, but you can still ride back to the beach, further down where the angle of the wind is more side-off. There are safety boats too.
The conditions are: flat water, 20-35 knots 80% of days, almost all year.
Well I live in Cape Town, The most renowned big air spot in the world but I haven’t traveled for kiting yet. This year i’m off to Mauritius but I’m keen to be in Tarifa and a little place called Rhosneigr in Wales (heard that the storms get quite epic there and I can’t wait to shred it).
Of all the places I have been, once again Hood River comes out on top for getting some massive air! But of course there are legendary places like Cape Town that are even better, that’s gotta be next trip!
One more thing, the main goal in any form of kiting isn’t about being the best it’s about having the most fun and enjoying every moment on the water, stay safe, ride hard and share the stoke! Yihaa!