So to start off with, you’re finished PKRA 2nd this year. This is the highest ranking you’ve ever achieved, what changed for you this year?
This year, I’ve been more focused. I have been improving on my consistency by concentrating more on power, stomping my tricks and riding away more consistently with good execution, speed and kite position.
The tour events this year have been more windy, except Italy- you can’t count that one haha, which I prefer as it tends to go more in my favour.
Did you make any changes to how you train and prepare this past year?
No not really, I guess I’ve been going to the gym a bit more. So I am a stronger rider, as I want to continue riding with a powered style and working on preventing injury.
What’s your typical workout regime?
Depends on the weather forecast, if it’s windy every day then I will focus on kiting only.
If the session wasn’t very long, then I try to do a gym workout in the evening with stretching afterwards. Otherwise if there’s no wind. I just focus on the gym. Maybe one or two gym workouts a day with stretching afterwards.
What is the wildest thing you’ve seen happen while at a PKRA event.
There have been a lot of the freak accidents on the tour but most of these incidents I have missed thankfully. The worst I have heard of was this French rider who went for a front roll and caught a gust of wind and sliced half his face off.
According to the PKRA website you saved up money from your paper route in order to afford your first kite,do you remember which kite was it?
Oh yeah, I Got my first kite in 2005, it was the Naish AR5 size 5.5m. Which was Naish Kite’s second generation of Kites.
Do you still have that kite?
I’m actually think I do, I am unsure where, it might be at my dad’s house in a closet somewhere? I used to hang it on my ceiling, and it was getting pretty tattered. There were holes in the leading edge.
How did you become sponsored by Switch?
I knew the guys Switch before they even started company, they were my mates from my hometown. When they started the company I was still with Airush at the time.
Then Switch asked if I wanted to ride for them.
I was kinda like, “You know, let’s see how it goes. ” When they actually had the kite, I liked it better than the Generator I was on with Airush. Basically I just started giving input into the kite designs, and helped them develop the Combat Kite, this won me over and I was now a Switch rider, haha
I really knew the guys and they wanted to help me out. Since they are my friends, it was kinda stupid not to go for it.
How much design input do you have on the Switch Combat?
Pretty much 100% as Switch changed the Combat to exactly how I wanted it. Anything I don’t like, we change untill me likey like.
What’s the change you’re most proud of being responsible for?
I don’t know, I guess it’s a whole bunch of little things. Like little touch ups and ensuring where the kite sits. For me, this is important as I like to have it more powerful than other C kites. Because that’s how I like it brah!
Switch is a smaller, newer brand, how does being a team rider for them compare to being a team rider for Mystic, a larger more established brand?
With Switch they are a home based sponsor so I spend a lot more time with them and as a result I have a greater involvement with the company. Because I was friends with Switch beforehand I feel like I am just hanging with my friends.
When and why did you decide to make the transition from straps to boots?
2012 in Venezuela, this was my first PKRA in boots.
What was the transition like?
I knew that being a powered rider was an advantage and I feel like you can only push straps so far. In contests when I was going big, my feet would slip out upon impact a lot. You know you end up landing weird or with one foot out of the straps.
When I saw that boots were actually working in competition, I knew I had to try it. It took a bit to get used to, you’re really locked in. I think it’s an advantage for landing cleaner and riding powered.
Who’s your favorite athlete outside of kiteboarding?
I look up to most professionals who go hard in their sport but I don’t have a favorite and I enjoy watching all discipline sports.
How about favorite kiteboarder, then. Other than yourself.
Back before I was professional, I liked Ruben Lenten because of his powerful and aggressive riding style. I saw his style and I realized thats what I wanted to ride like. However when I started getting good I just had to look up to myself, because that’s the only way you can progress,
Any riders out there that you wish were on the same sponsor or team as you?
Well we just got this new girl Greta. She’s a 16 year old Chick rider from Italy. It’s cool because, Switch had been looking for a Chick for a while, and she’s got great potential; Especially if she keeps on improving the way she’s been riding.
Who in your life has influenced you the most in terms of kiting?
Dave Edwards, he’s a crazy bugger from my home spot. He started kiteboarding way back in the day in 2000. Dave still till this day claims he was the first one to kiteloop. He’s insane. I ride the way I ride because of him and how he used to push me. His nickname is Mad Dave.
A lot of people know him as MAD DAVE.
Is there a trick that you wish you could do but can’t?
I’m always thinking of new tricks to try however I never pre-think tricks that I wish I could do. However when you are on tour you don’t have time to really try new tricks when you really need to be landing your best tricks to get the highest ranking. So every time the tour session finishes I always start thinking and trying new unimaginable ticks.
What’s the hardest trick you’ve ever learned?
Yeah, just the most difficult?
It’s hard because you know some days it’s not hard, but some days it is. Sometimes it just clicks. I dunno. Blind judge 7 is pretty hard. I could say the doubles, just executing them properly. There’s ways of cheating them, but doing them properly is much harder. A proper BJ7 is one of the hardest out there and I am always stoked if i can pull that off in a session.
Have you had or seen any bad kitemares?
Yea… I’ve been knocked out. I’ve been caught in a whirlwind, it’s like a small deformed water spout.
When I first started, 8 months into it, I got picked up in the sky. It felt like God was punching at every part of my kite, in every direction, and it just kept on taking me up. That’s all I remember. I fell from such a big height, I hit my head on my bar. I was lucky because a nearby kiter saw it happen and saved my unconscious rookie ass.
I’ve seen a girl get shot up and stuck in a few trees. I also witnessed a guy kite looping into a fence and then breaking the fence with his face. His face blew up to like twice its size. It looks like he had two heads when he was done.
I guess I have seen some scary shit. Those are probably the worst ones though.
You’ve been kiting for about 8 years now, what have been some of the changes in the scene that you’ve seen in the past 8 years that you’ve liked?
I’ve seen kiteboarding become more versatile, since the olden days. It used to be just freestyle, but now there’s so many different disciplines and so many different ways to ride.
What are some changes that you don’t like?
There is one thing I don’t like. I liked how extreme it was back in the day when we just had C kites. But now, there are so many safer kites out there, you can just let go of the bar and nothing will happen.
I guess it doesn’t feel as extreme as it did back in the day. I used to watch videos of guys flying around and getting tea bagged. You don’t really get that anymore but I understand it had to go that way otherwise there would be too many deaths in our sport.
Grab your music player, what’s the last song that played on your playlist?
Any last words or thoughts?
I’d like to thank Mystic and Switch for believing in my ability, all my family, friends & my girlfriend, all my fans for the support and thanks to Kitescoop for the interview scoopy doopy.
Marc’s Facebook page can be found: here
All photos provided by Marc Jacobs and belong to their original owners