Last week the Global Kitesports Association wrapped up the first event of its kind, a comprehensive foil competition complete with both Wing Foiling and Hydrofoil Freestyle event in Forteleza, Brazil.
Slingshot’s Team Rider, Fred Hope, made the travel south to Fortaleza, Brazil to compete in the Hydrofoil Freestyle Competition. He left rainy and cold Seattle, Washington, in the middle of his college midterm exam schedule, to head to the northeast of Brazil for the first time ever. Greeted with sun, wind, and one of the most epic contest backdrops ever, this would be an event that the 20-year-old wouldn’t soon forget.
“These products paired together are the epitome of efficiency and speed, with the UFO being incredibly light in the air with insane relaunch, and the 657 giving me that little bit of extra time to complete my tricks vs the 590 wing that I’ve ridden for the past few years,” said Fred Hope
On the water, Fred quickly went to work advancing through a round of heats with his smooth and effortless style. It quickly became apparent that his riding was just so much different than the rest of the competition.
“I was super unsure what to expect as I’ve never been in an exclusively Kitefoil specific freestyle event. The GKA guys put on a great event that showcased both Wingfoiling and Kitefoiling. The goal was to show the broad range of what can be done with a foil and have an event where normal kiting would be impossible due to gusty/lighter conditions.”
Friday, November 13th, saw the finals of the Hydrofoil Freestyle portion of the event. Fred Hope went up against French, big air, foil phenom, Charles Brodel, in the two man final.
Both of these riders have very different styles and the judges had a difficult task, however, it was Fred’s unorthodox style and self invented tricks that were rewarded in the end.
One of the highest scoring tricks of the heat was a flawlessly executed “Around The World,” that capped off Fred’s victory. This is a maneuver in which Fred actually goes in a circle downwind and then upwinds around his kite. It’s a risky maneuver to pull off in a heat considering a kite crash could prove extremely costly. Although it was a tight final, Fred came out on top for him to claim the inaugural foil win on the GKA tour.
“I managed to make it to the finals against Charles Brodel, him being strapped to his board and I being strapless. This final heat was probably pretty tough for the judges to decide the winner due to our very different riding styles but in the end, I managed to take the win by showcasing the fluidity and efficiency of a hydrofoil and putting my best tricks on display. Overall it was a great event that got me amped to try new things on the foil as soon as I get home.” – Fred Hope
We’re extremely proud of Fred and this accomplishment and we can’t wait to see what is next from this foil freak. We have always known what a talent he truly is and its incredible to see the rest of the world begin to take notice!