D.O.B: October 1990
Kiting since late 2005
Home: Sunshine Coast
2010 PKRA World Champion
2010 Australian National Champion
I have been a keen surfer since I was 7 years old. My favourite place to surf was out the front of my house on an open beach break where there were groups of kiteboarders who frequently did downwinders past me. The sport of kiteboarding always intrigued me solely because the thought of controlling a kite to power you on a board seemed so revolutionary. I watched the kiters very intently as they passed. I wanted to do what they did.
For my 15th birthday my parents bought me my first lesson. Soon after I bought an 8 metre kite and a board. The days it was windy I was out on the water, and the days it wasn’t I was practising jumping on the beach. Regardless of the conditions I was constantly practising and flying my kite.
After I was up and riding, I went to Perth, Western Australia for a family holiday. Here I got a lot more sessions than I would normally get at home. When I returned home I knew that kiteboarding had taken over my surfing.
Six months later I started to compete in the Australian National competitions. I got some good results in the junior divisions in both waveriding and freestyle. Although I liked both, I decided to focus mainly on freestyle.
I spent the next 18 months kiting at home and going in as many national events as possible. I also got the chance to go to Vanuatu with the Australian Kiteboarder Magazine to shoot for the next edition of the magazine and was selected to participate in the North Young Blood Camp 2007 in Egypt. These were my first experiences of kiting overseas and I found that I really enjoyed kiting at these new, more challenging locations.
Late 2007, I returned to Perth to kite at Woodmans Point. It is such a good spot to both consolidate on your tricks and learn new ones. From Woodmans I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to kite with world class kiters like Aaron Hadlow and Ruben Lenten. It was such a good experience to kite with these guys and I learnt a lot from the trip.
In 2008, I did a few events and had some great results but it was really in 2009 where it all started to come together. I set myself a goal at the start of the year to finish in the top 5 overall and after competing in every tour event for the year, I achieved my goal and finished 5th.
After a great 2009 season, my goal that I set right at the start 2010 was to finish in the top 3 for the year. I was stoked with my 2009 result, and I knew a top 3 finish would be harder to achieve. Coming into the year, I hadn’t yet beaten the top guys in a heat. The first event for the year was in Thailand. I came into the event feeling good after a good summer at home training at my local spots. I went straight to the final after beating Kevin Langeree in one of my heats. It was at this event when I realised that I was able to beat all the guys I had looked up to in the years before. Where in previous heats I was nervous against them, I now went into them feeling confident, for I knew I could ride well and easily beat them. This event gave me so much confidence and set me up for a great year.
In the middle of the year I took my brothers with me to the European events. Europe is the hardest to get to for me and always feels far away. The support from my brothers was amazing. It was on these trips where I really solidified my place as the tour leader. I had my first event wins in France and Canary Islands, and I came back home with the current number 1 ranking after both trips.
From then on I continued to keep on doing what I had been doing. I was always really confident at every competition and I think it showed in my riding. I always seemed to pull out the heat when I really needed it. I also had some good luck along the way.
The World Title pretty much came down to the event in New Caledonia. I needed a win at this event to secure the World Title. After winning the Single Eliminations, I had to defend it in the Double Eliminations. Alex Pastor and Youri Zoon, the two competitors who were also in contention for the title got eliminated relatively early in the Singles, so I watched eagerly to see who I’d end up versing in the final. As it turned out, it was Youri.
Before my final against Youri I was quite confident. I had seen him riding really well in his previous rounds but I knew I could beat him. I gave it my all in the world title final, I went for all my tricks and didn’t hold back. I won the final, the event, and secured the World Title from that heat. Yeww.