Kiwi kitesurfer flying high after champs
After suffering a season ending injury last year, professional kiteboarder Marc Jacobs is now reaching new heights in the sport.
Jacobs, 25, who lives in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden, won the second round of the Virgin Kitesurf World Big Air Championships on June 13.
Big air is a new event on the world tour, with Jacobs being only the second person to have won a stage.
Jacobs also competes in freestyle on the tour, he says the two events are quite different from one another.
‘‘Big air we have our kites high as we are judged on 70 per cent height and 30 per cent technical difficulty. While in freestyle we ride fast and try to keep our kite low as it’s more difficult ... the higher the kite is, the easier it is to do our tricks,’’ he says.
Jacobs has been kitesurfing for nine years, however his first year was a rather dry one.
‘‘I couldn’t afford a board for a year so I used to play around jumping off sand dunes, flipping on the land, and getting used to flying and handling a kite.’’
From these humble beginnings Jacobs went on to win the New Zealand national junior division when he was 16 years old and the men’s open division two years later.
‘‘I am currently still undefeated, having won seven national titles so far.’’
Jacobs started competing professionally in 2011 and in the same year finished third overall on the world tour.
Injury ended Jacobs’ 2014 tour when he ruptured his meniscus in his knee half-way through the season.
‘‘That was super hard for me as I was currently second overall and still in the running for the title,.’’
Training for kitesurfing is similar to gymnastics. You need great muscle memory and reflexes while rotating and flipping, he says.
Jacobs’ goal this year is to win the big air world tour and to place in the top three for freestyle overall.
Marc Jacobs has just won the Virgin Kite surf Big Air event held in Venezuela.