The REAL Slick's First Double-Loop, with Austin Leder
REAL Coach and team rider Austin Leder has been pushing his progression for years, and recently the hard work paid off big time. Leder took advantage of a perfect Spring Session blowing 40+ and laid down the first ever Double-Loop in the REAL Slick.
From being in Cape Town to witness one of the first ever Double-Loops courtesy of Giel Vlugt, to crossing it off his own "to-do" list, we caught up with Leder for a quick chat on how he made this happen:
Can you describe the double loop and what makes it so challenging?
"The double loop is a big air trick where you essentially jump as high as you can then at the apex of your jump you loop the kite twice in front of you. What makes this so challenging is overcoming the fear and getting the right conditions to line up, if you are at the point of trying double loops you are most likely very comfortable doing single loops so the act of actually executing the trick is not inherently difficult, but the consequences are as high as they get in kiteboarding if you don’t have the height to complete both loops you essentially plummet to the water from 50 plus feet in the air. The minimum wind threshold for a double loop is around 35-40 mph average wind speed. These conditions without storms line up maybe a handful of times a year in Hatteras, so getting blue skies this day was a blessing."
What gear were you riding? What made you select those over your other options from CORE?
"I decided to ride the Nexus 3 6m because it jumps high for that style of kite and the turning radius of the Nexus 3 is very tight making for quick loops. The Nexus also is very good at recovering after the loop which other kites are not as good at making for a very safe kite to do my first double loops on. When ever I’m trying any new mega loop tricks I do them on the nexus because of all those reasons. I choose 24m lines because it keeps the loop “relatively” high in the wind window making it less likely for the second loop to slack the lines. The Choice twin tip has been my go to board from Core, it’s channeling and shape give you really good grip to the water in over powered conditions and having a little more rocker in a board helps so much with landing at fast speeds in choppy water."
How did you prepare for this? Were there specific things you practiced?
"It’s been a very long process leading up to this with the consequences being so high on big air tricks I tend to only learn a couple new tricks a year. I try to really get comfortable and confident with every trick I can do before moving on to new ones. We were actually in Cape Town two years ago when Giel Vlugt landed one of the first double loops that was a big inspiration for putting this trick on the todo list."
What was going through your mind as you attempted and then landed the trick?
"I knew in my head from trying new tricks in the past that I had to go for this first try (no test jumps) or I would psych my self out, like ripping the bandaid off. The first one I went for went way better than I thought it would, I landed it but with too much speed and ended up cartwheeling across the water. The second attempt I knew I just needed to go a little higher and I had it, that was the first one I landed. I landed every one after that, probably doing around 6 of them. I had one which is both the video angles that was way bigger than the rest the free fall was insane. It feels like you are on a 60 foot high swing set. I was stoked I had all my friends out there supporting me, big thanks to Nick Baines, Zoe Simpkins, Joey Harpstrite, Cody Hammer, and Karen Ritter for pushing me and getting some awesome shots of one of the best sessions of my life."
What is the next trick you plan to work towards?
"I’m really not sure yet I have a lot of things I’d like to do with single loops there are so many variations of this discipline and sport that the progression never stops."
Photos from Cody Hammer
If you have questions about taking lessons or the Core gear from this video, contact a REALPro at 252.987.6000 or REALpro@realwatersports.com.