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The Gearzette


- August 07, 2023

When it comes to the world of extreme Big Air kiteboarding, few names command as much respect and admiration as Aaron Hadlow. At just 34 years old, this legendary athlete has already left an indelible mark on the sport, amassing an impressive collection of five world freestyle titles as well as numerous Big Air wins and other accolades. Driven by an insatiable thirst for learning and innovation, Aaron's passion for kiteboarding has taken him to the farthest corners of the globe. In recent years, he has become ever more interested in searching for new, uncrowded spots where the wind is wild and the sky open. Not long ago we collaborated with Aaron as he embarked on a journey to Namibia's Diamond Coast, accompanied by the next generation of Big Air progressive riders, two- time world Big Air champion Andrea Principi and one-time world freestyle champion, Liam Whaley. Their mission was to experience the raw beauty and relentless winds that this remote location had to offer. Read on to hear Aaron’s thoughts on his latest adventure.​

© Craig Kolesky

The Allure in The Desolation​

For Hadlow, the allure of the Diamond Coast was irresistible. “It is so special because of how raw the place is, so exposed and, yeah, out of the way,” he explains, describing how the landscape and surroundings offered a unique and breathtaking backdrop, vastly different from what he was accustomed to, especially from spending the northern hemisphere winter in Cape Town for the past 15 years. Being far away from the bustling cities and the crowded kitesurfing hotspots made this adventure even more enticing. ​

© Hayden Brown

Unleashing the Power of the Winds ​

One of the most captivating aspects of Namibia's Diamond Coast, according to Aaron, is the abundance and strength of the wind. With the increasing emphasis on the Big Air discipline in extreme kiteboarding, this remote location provided an exciting opportunity to explore the full potential of the sport. The relentless winds challenged Aaron and the other riders to push themselves to the limits and uncover the boundless possibilities that awaited them. ​

© Craig Kolesky

​Experience vs New Perspectives ​

Accompanied by younger riders Liam and Andrea, Aaron found a unique dynamic during this expedition. Reflecting on the experience, Aaron explains, "It was nice to go with Liam and Andrea, being younger riders or different generations as well. It's just something cool." The contrast between his vast experience and the fresh perspectives brought by Liam and Andrea allowed for a balanced and enriching environment. Together, they embarked on a quest to rediscover the joy of riding, free from the distractions of busy kiteboarding hubs. ​

© Craig Kolesky

Unveiling the Contrast ​

Escaping the bustling crowds of Cape Town was a welcome respite for Aaron. He highlights the significance of having ample space to navigate the ocean and the wind, allowing riders to fully express themselves and perform their tricks with freedom. The experience not only rekindled the passion within Aaron but also reaffirmed the profound rewards that lie in exploring far-flung destinations. ​

© Craig Kolesky

An Unpredictable Adventure ​

Venturing to a place as remote as Namibia's Diamond Coast comes with inherent uncertainty. However, this did not deter them from embracing the adventure wholeheartedly. They set out with the determination to make the most of whatever conditions they encountered.​ Aaron acknowledges the element of unpredictability, stating, "You never really know wherever you go but luckily for us this trip did not disappoint."​

​Hit the link to watch their adventure unfold and get a deeper feel for where Aaron Hadlow finds his Anywhere.