Hey Jack – hows it going?
Hey, it is going good at the moment, I’m still stoked to be 15 and have won the UK under 19s championship. Apart from that I am slightly stressed about my GCSE’s which are creeping in closer with every breath I take.
Who are your main sponsors at the moment?
North kiteboarding, Rhino Wetsuits, Prosurf Kenya, MBS, Zeal Optics and I am working on some clothing brands.
You started off as a landboarder – I remember when you were tiny and I would hold onto your harness when you launched your 5m frenzy and you would shoot up into the air, then I would pull you back down to the ground. Do you still spend much time on land?
I remember those times, I miss them alot. I dont really kite as much as I would like to. I kitesurf when im in intensive training for competitions and when im away on trips, and get the occasional session in at my local spot. But when it comes to landboarding I dont get out very much at all, but the last time I went out I really enjoyed it and seemed to impress the audiences at BKSA Ayre.
A lot of the riders who learnt on land find the transition to water hard – did you?
Well I don’t really remember much except my first go which was on a 5m frenzy 2006 and I was using a custom 115cm brunotti board. It was quite easy to pick up, but when learning to jump and other tricks it was really wierd and I had alot of bad crashes. But now when I try go back to land, I have the same problems and when I edge and I expect my tires to go into the earth and somehow generate pop, which almost always ends in a faceplant.
You have attended some of the BKSA organised youth camps – tell us more about them and how they have helped you.
The youth training camps are a really good place to get yourself out there and to learn some great new tricks. Some of the friends I hold closest today I met when I was just a little kid walking into the kiteshop at Fleetwood for the first time to see what these training camps were all about. The way they teach you is a really well thought out and clever process. You meet every morning and discuss the plans for that day and the spots you want to ride and the conditions you expect to encounter. Then you each have 3 tricks you aim to nail by the end of the weekend, one for light wind, one for moderate wind, and one for high wind, so no matter what you can learn something in the camp. Then you go to the spot and ride, and you are filmed doing all the tricks you are trying to learn. Once the session is over we go in for lunch, then re-convene and go back out for another quick filming session before we head back to the shop or whatever facilities they are using. All the riders watch through the day’s footage and can see what errors they made, and what they did right, and can just generally have a good time watching each other bail or nail some big tricks. After this we get homework, which is to make a table of all of your tricks you can do, and in what conditions and on what kites you can do them on, which really helps you for competitions and just to know what your capabilities are.
The next day we decide on around 12 tricks to put in a heat, and then each rider has a heat which is filmed and will be watched and evaluated later on that day, this helps alot for competitions, because normally the only practise of heats people get is when they are doing the real thing. After this day and all the heats, and throwing some new stunts using the knowledge gained from reviewing the mistakes from the day before, everyone says their goodbyes, and departs there seperate ways back to the far corners of the UK with the knowledge and new found skill to make a mark on the competition scene in this country.
A lot of the UK riders have been spending time abroad training over winter – what have you been up to?
Well i have to admit, i haven’t been kiting or wakeboarding or anything since the Rhossy Park Jam in late October, so i have just been winding down after my win in the under 19s last year and taking it easy. I have been riding my bike alot and just chilling out enjoying time with friends and family. And of course doing schoolwork for my GCSE’s this year, which I am taking very seriously after quickly realising the dream of being a Pro kitesurfer and making a living out of it was not very likeley and it was much better off to get some good results to fall back on in later life.
I’m not quite old enough to be going away to OZ or Brazil or the other places all the Pro’s go to escape our bitter winters, so I guess now as we get back into this season I will have to get back into shape and into training for the BKSA and hopefully another win this year.
With the terrible wind last summer you spent a lot of time on the cable – how has that worked out?
The cable has really helped my riding actually, from the amount of power and speed in it and the sheer amount of balence needed compaired to kiting i have become much better with board controll and stomping hard landings. My wakestyle tricks have been helped grately by this and I pretty much owe my 2010 title to Sheffield cable, as i spent almost every weekend there last summer! I honestly believe i wouldn’t be half the kitesurfer I am today without the influences this sport has given me.
You are now part of the North Youngblood team – what does that mean?
Quite alot to me – North take their youth team very seriously, and they try to drive forward with us and get us into competitions and keep us on the latest and best gear all the time. With the team manager Dave Ibby just happeing to live on my street, i make regular visits to his house to send North emails and reviews on gear and also to get loads of free stuff. We regularly go on roadtrips around the UK in Ibby’s van, and this winter just gone we had some amazing snowkiting sessions on a golfcourse ontop of the huge cliffs in saltburn. So yeah, North do alot for me.
What do you get up to when there is not enough wind to kite and no one to drive you to the cable?
I ride my Bmx and my scooter alot nowadays – its just something different from kiting and cable that can help me wind down in the winter, also i do alo of trampolineing with my kitebar attached to an oak tree in my garden, which really helps me keep all my handlepasses dialed through winter.
Who do you look up to in the kiteboarding scene?
Mostly Aaron Hadlow. I know he is the biggest name in this sport and you may think that is the reason I look up to him, like onlookers assume every skateboarder still looks up to Tony Hawk, but i look up to Aaron for the way that he has been the best in world, and now he is doing what he wants to do with the sport, not comforming to the latest competition standards. I think the way he is pushing the sport is a really good way to go, but even if I disagreed with him I would still respect him for having the balls to say â€˜right, this is what i want to do with our sport so I’m going to do it’
A lot of the pro riders have been moving more towards the media side of the business – do you think you will do this or are you still more into competing?
I like the whole video and press side of the sport, but I still enjoy competeing alot. The Adrenaline rush from a heat is something that cannot be described, 7 minutes of pure mayhem, or 7 minutes of glory, depending on how your heat pans out. The exhilaration of competition will inevitably fade from me as I get older, but I think I will always have a place for it. Will Makinson and myself have done a small amount of filming last year, but not enough to make any decent sort of edits like the ones all of the Pro’s are churning out day by day now.
Thanks for your time Jack – do you have a website or a place people can follow your progress?
Thankyou for a chance to express my opinions, and yes www.jackdaykinkitesurf.weebly.com. See you on the comp scene!