Hadlow’s Crucial Mega Loop KGB

Aaron Hadlow's mega loop KGB in the final of the Red Bull King of the Air 2015 kitesurfing event
This is an excerpt taken from a behind-the-scenes feature on the 2015 Red Bull King of the Air, by Kiteworld editor, Jim Gaunt, that appeared in Kiteworld issue #74. Aaron Hadlow won the event with an immense trick, a mega loop KGB… 

The ice man. I interviewed Aaron a couple of months before the event at the end of the PKRA season and, although he gave the impression that he was anxious about the contest, he made no hesitation in reinforcing the fact that the King of the Air was more about just having fun and putting on a show than risking jeopardising his hope for the world tour through injury. Aaron clearly has another world title in him and all six of the big contenders are fit at the moment (for the first time a long time), and we could be looking down the barrel of the best PKRA season in many a year.

However, put Aaron close to a final on good gear when he’s feeling great and his experience as a wily competitor comes to the fore; even at the risk of an injury that could ruin his season.

Other riders may be really, really good to watch, but keeping cool and being precise while taking calculated risks in every part of your heat in difficult conditions takes real composure as well as immense ability.

At the end of a long, drawn out waiting period and having moments earlier witnessed Ruben going down in a huge crash, to then bring something really progressive to an event (that was otherwise in danger of standing still this year), is a true mark of the shredding master craftsmen that we have in the five time World Champion, Aaron Hadlow.

Lewis Crathern is a good friend of Aaron’s and they must have discussed under what circumstances Aaron would be willing to throw a move like the mega loop KGB.

He clearly sensed that the semi-final was the right time and as Lewis commentated to the crowd, describing Aaron’s approach to the beach, everything seemed to slow down all around us in the crowd.

The length of a mega loop KGB is a long time to hold your breathe, but the collective gasp was audible over the raspy excitement in Lewis’ voice. Aaron hadn’t attempted the move since bailing on it at last year’s event. It’s a big deal.

As he boosted off the water and sent the kite into what on its own would be considered a massive back roll kite loop, he then unhooked from his chicken-loop as the kite was still climbing through the top half of its loop and passed the bar behind him. My eyes nearly popped out of my head as I hopped up and down awaiting his landing. He just missed the bar but with his leash on suicide he was high enough that kite could catch him somewhat so he didn’t hit the water too heavily. He immediately went back out, tacked, came in to exactly the same spot, threw the trick again and nailed it.

He threw it again at the start of the final, showing that it was safely in the bag.

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