Storms to final
Unfortunately, the Surfboard competition was missing the reigning world champion and one of the biggest names in the business. After the opening round, Italy’s Airton Cozzolino had returned to his Cape Verde home spot and aggravated an old rib injury, ruling him out of the title fight.
The men’s Big Air Twin-Tip was a mouth-watering match-up of the young guns who have revolutionised the discipline. Even the loss of number one seed, Liam Whaley, in the semi-final failed dampen the prospect for fireworks.
Reigning champion Andrea Principi stormed to the final. But when when he got there, he had a faltering start, crashing twice and giving rivals the upper hand. The Italian kept his composure and began throwing down breath-taking tricks that were enough to take the win in Tarifa and back-to-back crowns.
The Netherlands’ Cohan van Dijk was the sensation of the competition. He had taken down Whaley in the semis and came out firing in the final, throwing extreme double kite loops with front rolls, back rolls and board offs that the judges loved.
Van Dijk quickly netted a total of 25.57 that exactly equalled to Principi’s score. Under pressure, the Dutchman failed to stick any more tricks and Principi took the win courtesy of his higher trick score—a 9.07 for a remarkable S-loop board off.
Current Red Bull King of the Air, Italy’s Lorenzo Casati, 17, looked dangerous on his path to the final, as he racked up big totals for extreme tricks. But in the final he could not quite find his groove and finished third, just slightly adrift of his rivals on the scoreboard.
That’s a wrap for the 2023 GKA Big Air Worlds in Tarifa. Next up are the GKA Kite-Surf battles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August. Join us then.
words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas