The first Big Air event of the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour.

words: Colin Colin Carroll

Jamie Overbeek’s Kite

He left Ozone. He’s currently floating. Where’s he gonna end up? Here are the options

a) Duotone – it would make the most sense to pick the kite that is winning everything. Jamie on equal machinery to Andrea? Offt. The D/Lab Evo would look good on Jamie, for sure, but, we feel it is unlikely for Duotone to offer him a deal straight up. Their team is already stacked. So if it does happen, it’ll most probably start with just kites and boards, no cash. Which would be fine, IF, Jamie proves himself. But that would have to happen immediately for this option to not be a disaster.

b) Harlem – it is crazy even typing that, considering where this tiny Dutch brand was sitting 12months ago. They had never made a good kite, ever. They’d never been in a major competition, ever. And now look – Lorenzo lands a 2nd place at KOTA + every pro is scrambling to try this kite. Harlem makes sense for Jamie, in that it is a dutch brand, and Jamie is dutch. It doesn’t make sense in that the Force is not a lifty-af kite. It is nothing like the Ozone Edge. It is a front-line heavy, double loop machine. But then again, this is what Jamie has been missing from his previous sponsor. Also, consider the fact that Harlem have more kites in the pipeline that could/should fill the gap that currently exists: usable, commericial, lifty and loopable. I think Harlem is the most likely.

c) Slingshot. This is a brand with a history of betting on the dark horse. It is the spiritual home of the megaloop. Slingshot riders are traditionally more outsiders. More reckless. More flavourful. More rejects. More dark. More dangerous. More gritty. more innovative. More willing to stand apart from the rest. Jamie fits this. And, that Aluula Code (in the hands of Jeremy, at least), looks very good.

Pippa is back

It’s been two years since she squeezed her head through a competition jersey. And since then, she’s been riddled with knee and rib injuries that have kept her on the sidelines whilst the rest of the women’s fleet took female big air riding into the realms of board offs, double loops and generally riding with a lot more power and technicality. But, Pippa used to beat everyone. And she’ll be on the minds of the top competitors. With Mika out for LOT, the top spot is wide open.

Lorenzo is fired up

He went quiet over winter. This is odd for Lorenzo. We think that the 2nd place finish at KOTA hurt him. Which, if you look at the criteria and his riding, makes sense. No one has ever S-looped like Lorenzo in a competition. No one has got closer to landing the snake loop, than Lorenzo.

Leonardo has entered the chat

In addition to this^, Lorenzo’s brother is making his major league debut. No one knows how he will do. But everyone wants to see a Casati vs. Casati heat. Can you imagine their father, Renato’s, blood pressure?

Andrea looks to actually win

Seems mad, but Andrea didn’t win this event last year. In fact, it was the only event in which he didn’t stand in the middle of the podium. He will want to rectify this. Look out for his troobie double loop. He’ll want to be the first to land that in a competition.

Osmosis, please?

They’ve all been doing it, but who is gonna be first?

Private leagues on FANTASY

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Young Guns here to make a noise

This will be Mad Max’s GKA Men’s debut, alongside a 2024 rookie class including the likes Shahar and Ruben Swart and Svenja Peters. Will they handle the pressure? Probably not, but if they can, sheeesh.

New Kites in the fray

Flysurfer will be making their GKA World Championship debut, with the Era, in the hands of newly signed Luca Ceruti. He’s been making that thing look like the best-in-class when it comes to dacron kites, particularly at that price point.

Core will be showcasing their upcoming three stut. We saw it in KOTA in the hands of Giel Vlugt. Everyone has been wanting to try it in Cape Town this season.

Picked your fantasy team yet? There’s still time: fantasykite./com