How would you define strapless big air? AC: Strapless big air used to be about sending big front rolls and back rolls, but these days my adrenaline only begins pumping when I’m doing big kiteloops, contraloops and going higher than I have ever been before; for me this is the definition of strapless big air. When the wind is pumping I also like to invent new strapless big air tricks and keep pushing the sport in new directions. When the wind is below 30 knots then I focus my attention on handle-passes off waves, for example, flat 3s and 313s. What are your favourite conditions to ride in? JC: 50-knot winds, six foot kickers and side-shore winds; then it’s game on! You pull the bar in and disappear! AC: For sure Caños de Meca in Spain produces some of my favourite conditions. We had winds up to 65 knots there earlier this year! Most of the time it’s around 30-35 knots with two foot kickers, which is perfect for training strapless big air.
Airton, you decided to start using bigger kite sizes in strapless freestyle/big air back in 2016, can you tell us more? AC: The idea came during the Strapless Freestyle World Cup and all the other competitors were riding eight metre kites. It was a tactical decision to change up to my ten as I wanted to be able to go higher than everyone else. All the other riders began to choose bigger kites after that event. Going for bigger kite sizes when doing strapless big air makes a huge difference as we are able to push the sport to another level. When it’s 30-35 knots I ride with a nine or ten metre and when it’s 40+ knots, we move to eight metre kites. Anything above 40 knots is my favourite!