Kite Clash 7 goes down in history in Canada!

watching the action

Big names, tangles, bigger crowds and a stunning backdrop for non-stop action!


Words and Images: Caroline Morris

Video: MADIC Media


Last week the 7th instalment of the mighty ‘Kite Clash’ event was held at Squamish Spit, Canada. Set against a stunning mountain backdrop, locals and international pros battled out over 3 days as the wind ramped up after a lull on the second-day, building to over 30 knots for an exciting finale.


Local star Sam Medysky

Local star Sam Medysky wows the crowd


Big names such as Aaron Hadlow, Eric Rienstra, Steven Akkersdijk and Canadian star Sam Medysky wowed the crowd who were literally arm’s length from the action. The expertly run event seamlessly delivered a long list of heats featuring over 70 athletes and proudly offered equal prize money coffers for those talented enough to bag a place on the podium.


First, the national freestyle championships crowned Jack Rieder as a new men’s Canadian champion after a succession of heats, with Lauren Holman taking the crown once again for the women. Next, the international freestyle contest played out which saw some of the competitors podiuming twice! See below for full results.


Race action

Up close to the race action


The kite cross twin tip race event was one of the highlights down to the fast and furious action and unexpected tangles. Lewis Crathern initially demoed the racecourse explaining the rules to the competitors and audience via his Bb TALKIN’ headset. It was clear it wasn’t going to be easy and the lighter winds and unusual direction meant some would struggle to stay upwind enough to transition around the buoys or jump the ‘flamingo’ easily. 


The heats of up to 10 men or women racing all at the same time with a tight starting line meant tangles were inevitable. We watched in anticipation as the women raced first and even some of the tipped favourite riders went down meaning the race title could be anyone’s!


The men’s heats played out much in the same way and we could see tactics starting to develop as both Aaron Hadlow and Steven Akkersdijk approached the starting line with speed and timed precision hoping to gain the lead. Jack Rieder had a collision with Lewis that managed to get them so tangled that Jack was trapped inside Lew’s bar causing a parasailing effect with Jack pinned halfway up the kite lines in the air. It was jaw-dropping stuff watching the pair wriggle out of it, but the safety team were on standby as always and everyone escaped injury.


Kite cross race

Locals and pros battle it out to cross the race line


The Big Air air event was the real show stopper and saw the biggest action as the Southerly wind kicked in with the best-boosting conditions ever seen in the history of Kite Clash. The riders wowed the crowd as they hit the ultra-flat patch of water named the ‘honey hole’ right next to the bank, then boosted big over the crowd. 


Rarely is there ever an event where the public can get so up close to the action and it showed as the crowd were there in numbers. The Big Air final was jaw-droppingly non-stop and 5 of the 6 competitors were former Red Bull King of the Air athletes (Steven Akkerdijk, Luke McGillewie, Aaron Hadlow, Lewis Crathern and Sam Medysky), with Chris Bobryk (Slingshot, USA) joining as the 6th pro. 


Hadlow in the Big Air final

Aaron Hadlow’s debut ‘Around the World’ board off


Some of the worlds best put on such an action-packed show that it was literally like watching a carousel of action as one rider after the next took it in turns and performed flawless megaloops and board offs as if it had been choreographed. Hadlow completed his first-ever ‘round the world’ board off that put a massive smile on his face and became a photographic dream for the rest of us watching. Luke McGillewie really worked the crowd making sure they were connected to the action and the seamless moves he played out. Not just the audience enjoyed the action but the riders were also beaming.


The spit

Squamish Spit right before Lewis jumped it


Despite losing out to the podium, Lewis Crathern continued to be the friendly crowd-pleaser after the final when all of a sudden he soared above the crowd jumping the Spit with the ultimate steeze. It was clear that everybody loved being there and the ultimate natural stadium made sure that the public and the riders were deeply engaged with the action.


Over 1000 people made up largely of the general public showed up and were treated to a spectacular non-stop event expertly executed and driven by great commentary by Lewis Crathern and organiser Steve, and a DJ spun summer tunes that got everybody in the mood. Great food, beer and an amazing raffle brought everyone together and if that wasn’t enough then the nightly parties made sure everyone had the best time whether competing or not.



The judging panel: Aaron Hadlow, Craig Cunningham, Sam Medysky, with Lewis Crathern on the mic


Clearly, a lot of work was put in from the organisers to make it so successful. Kite Clash is a fantastic example of what a well-run kite community can achieve – congratulations on the event Squamish Windsports Society, we hope to see you again!




Canadian National Freestyle Junior:

  1. Shaymus Finlay
  2. Jordan Tulk
  3. Tayne Steven

Canadian National Freestyle Women:

  1. Lauren Holman
  2. Crystal Veness
  3. Alex Waterson

Canadian National Freestyle Men:

  1. Jack Rieder
  2. Lucas Arsenault
  3. Sam Medysky

Junior International Freestyle:

  1. Shaymus Finlay
  2. Nicolas Farrar
  3. Jordan Tulk

Masters International Freestyle:

  1. Mark Koenig
  2. Loren Parfitt
  3. Philipp Schonger

Womens International Freestyle:

  1. Lauren Holman
  2. Marie-Eve Mayrand
  3. Crystal Veness

Mens International Freestyle:

  1. Lucas Arsenault
  2. Jack Rieder
  3. Chris Bobryk

Women’s Kiter-Cross:

  1. Corrie Coons
  2. Marie-Eve Maynard
  3. Lauren Holman

Men’s Kiter-Cross:

  1. Steven Akkersdijk
  2. Sam Medysky
  3. Eric Rienstra

Women’s Big Air-Style:

  1. Corrie Coons
  2. Lauren Holman
  3. Marie-Eve Maynard

Men’s Big Air-Style:

  1. Aaron Hadlow
  2. Steven Akkersdijk
  3. Sam Medysky



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