SUMMERSIDE – Two Island kiteboarders brought home hardware recently after competing in the KiteClash competition in Squamish, B.C.
Lucas Arsenault, 21, of Mont-Carmel, placed first and and Nic Farrar, 15, of Nine Mile Creek, placed second in the annual competition for the Canadian championships.
Arsenault has competed in the tournament four times.
“In my first year I was injured. In my second year I won the title. And when that happened a lot of people were like the usual winner is out hurt, so you didn’t have to go up against him. In my third year I took home second. But this year, I claimed the title with everyone in the group competing. So, it’s nice to have the title officially in a way,” explained Arsenault.
The most recent edition of KiteClash was Farrar’s first big international kiteboarding competition.
“I was pretty excited. But pretty nervous to be there. I think I was pretty prepared for competition. Lucas had helped me out and gave me some advice before going into the competition.”
Farrar has been kiteboarding for five years.
“My dad was the inspiration. He learned one time and then passed it on to me.”
Unlike past years, the 2018 event was held in one day.
“Usually the event goes over three days. Squamish is a place where there is consistent wind because it’s a thermal wind. It relies on sun and heat and it’s windy almost every day in that area from May until September. So, of course, the two cloudy and rainy days were on the first two days of the competition,” explained Arsenault.
“So, everything was packed into the Sunday. It turned into a huge day. The winds that day were so smooth and super good.”
“Because there wasn’t enough wind the organizers were worried how they were going to get the competition done. But Sunday there were some really great gusts. It was perfect.”
Farrar took home second place in the Canadian Freestyle Junior Championships.
“I had a pretty good feeling I was going to place. The guy who came first was landing some of the same tricks I was, but he was able to land one that I had crashed.
“I was disappointed I crashed but I tried to get up and go for it as fast as I could.”
KiteClash heats are made of up of seven minutes with a maximum of 12 tricks. The top five scoring tricks are counted to determine a competitor’s score.
Arsenault said his heat was like a dream.
“It went as good as I imagined it could. You always have that goal in mind and I landed the tricks I wanted to land at the exact right times. It was a really great ride.”
Farrar says it was an experience to remember.
“It was really cool. I was out there with a bunch of pros so hanging out with them, let alone riding with them, was awesome. And I was invited to compete in the men’s heat, so they could have a few more competitors out on the water.”
Farrar plans to spend the coming months working on skills and preparing for next year’s competition.
In two weeks, Arsenault will compete in a competition in Hood River, Ore., where competitors will ride floating rails and ramps.
“It’s a similar style to snowboarding competitions. It’s a kiteboarding discipline that is gaining a lot of momentum.”