Maxime Chabloz – this is a name we’ve been hearing a lot as of late! We’re not surprised after seeing his winning freestyle performance at the GKA SuperKite event in Brazil. That’s not to mention the range of kite skills he showed in the latest film from Manera, La mer, le vent et le cerf volant.
In a two-part mini-series, the GKA catches up with the SuperKite Brazil event champions, starting with Maxime Chabloz (F-One), the all-round athlete who took part in both the SuperFoil and SuperKite events. Maxime took the win at SuperKite Brazil, and came third at the Hydrofoil Freestyle event, SuperFoil Brazil. What a close to 2020 for the Swissman.
The GKA traveled north from Fortaleza to Ilha do Guajiru, for the SuperKite Brazil Freestyle event at Hura Beach for what was to be the first and last Freestyle event of 2020. After a long time off from competing, our athletes were ready for the action, and boy did we get it!
Our reigning World Champion, Mikali Sol (Duotone) dominated the women’s division to take the title, and in the men’s division Maxime Chabloz (F-One) owned the finals by stomping a perfect, never landed in competition, Back Mobe 7 Grab.
We caught up with Maxime while he’s still riding high on the win and training in Brazil to hear what he has to say about winning the Freestyle title of 2020.
It’s been a strange year for everyone, especially those used to having a lot of international travel in their diaries. Were you looking forward to the SuperKite event when you found out that it would go ahead?
I’ve been incredibly lucky this year, and it’s actually been really special for me. I was still able to travel around in Europe, maybe a little less international travel than I’d planned but it has been great finding new places in France, Spain, Sicily, and Greece. There are some really nice places in Europe and I’d say it has been a really sick year for me despite everything that has been going on. I was actually really uncertain about the SuperKite event, I was sure it was going to be canceled like everything else but when I found out it was going ahead I was like, let’s do this!
How did covid-19 affect your training plans or training schedule in the months running up to the event?
Like I said, I was lucky and still able to travel, and kite quite a lot. I probably kited less than I would in a normal year and I think this really helped with my motivation. I got to the event feeling super motivated, and my goal was just to win. There were no world title calculations involved, or people saying is he going to be good, is he going to be bad? It was a chance to go all-in right from the start and show my best level, and it went really well for me!
Haha yes, you could say that it went well for you, but the competition was tough at times. For you, what were the highlights of your performance?
The highlight of my performance was certainly my last trick of the comp, this Back Mobe 7 Grab. For the whole comp I knew I wanted to pull it off at some point but I never really got the opportunity, as in the first heats it wasn’t really worth trying it, and then in the round that was pretty hard I didn’t need a massive trick, so I was super happy to still have one attempt in the final where I could try to get this 10.00. I didn’t know I was going to land the trick, I was pretty confident about it, and actually, when I landed it felt pretty unreal, and yeah it was really nice!
How did it feel to be amongst your International kite friends/family after so long apart, or have you managed to train with fellow competitors this year?
I have trained with a few fellow competitors this year, I went to Greece with Luca, Val, Therese, and Pippa and we had a great time there, I also went to Sicily to train with Gianmaria. A lot of my friends are within kiting and it’s been pretty hard not to see them, but in the end, we’re all still friends and no one has changed much, and it’s really sick to see that.
That’s great to hear, kite family is forever right! What are your goals for 2021 both on and off the water?
My goal for 2021 for sure is to become World Champion, now there are no more calculations to be made I think I just want to focus and win this title! Off the water I want to get stronger this winter, ski a lot, get the most out of my season, and ride as much as I can. To stay fit, and go for that world title!
It’s awesome to hear how focused you are Maxime, you’re obviously on the right path! What were the highlights of the Superkite event both on and off the water?
Haha, the highlight for sure was to win it! I mean when you win it is always the best feeling in the world, so this was for sure the highlight for me. But, it was just really nice to compete again, to get the pressure up again, its a feeling that you can’t compare to anything else, and just competing in general, its something I love and want to do for many more years, and it was just really cool to get to experience that again after so long.
And win you did! Lastly, you competed in and won the GKA Distance Battle this summer. How did it compare being back in an actual competition to a virtual one?
Well, the good thing about the virtual competition was that you could just try to do your best heat over and over again without really having the pressure that if you crashed it was done, so this is a major difference. But, I was putting quite a lot of pressure on myself for the Distance Battle just the same. I think the Distance Battle was a really good experience and it kind of taught me how to handle a different kind of stress. I had to ride at MY best level, and not just be better than my opponent. I’m really keen to put the pressure or the feeling that I learned in the Distance Battle into practice in regular competition. I was not thinking if I crash this trick I’m going to lose, I was thinking, if I land all my best tricks I’m going to win. If I can put this mindset into practice in competition it would be great!
It’s been an impressive year for Maxime, who claimed the win at the GKA Distance Battle and the SuperKite Brazil title, we’re looking forward to what he brings to the scoreboard in 2021.
Congratulations Maxime, we hope you’re enjoying the rest of your time in Brazil before you head home and to the slopes, where he also competes at a national level in Freeride Skiing!
Next week we will be catching up with Mikaili Sol, to talk about taking the win on home turf, and to hear if she’s been celebrating this week with her Duotone teammates, on the 2021 product shoot, or if it has been all work and no play since SuperKite Brazil. We’re pretty certain there will have been a fair amount of fun going on, but make sure you tune in next week to hear what Mika has to say.
Words Kate Chandler
Images Svetlana Romantsova