Elite Big Air Classic Recap - Elite Watersports

Elite Big Air Classic Recap

kites in the sky above the water

The First Annual Elite Big Air Classic has come and gone and it couldn’t have turned out better! The event, originally scheduled for February 18th, was postponed twice due to a lack of wind but, thanks to the expert forecasting done by Shea Gibson of North Carolina, and a few wind dances, was cemented for Saturday, March 4th. Conditions were beautiful with a clear, sunny sky and wind speeds of 18 knots with gust of 25. The competitors would have appreciated a bit more wind for their heats, however, the day was gorgeous which made for a perfect beach day for all the spectators. 

The day began with the captain’s meeting at 1:00 pm, where Aaron reviewed how the event would run; it was based on divisions, split into heats, and directed through a timed flag system. There were five divisions, Women’s, Juniors, Amateurs/Intermediate, Masters, and Pros. The larger divisions were divided into two heats of around five to twelve competitors; after each heat, the top few riders progressed into the final heat for their division. Along with an air horn warning, there were three flags the competitors needed to keep their eyes on; the yellow flag meant there was two minutes before the beginning of their heat, the green flag signaled the beginning of their ten-minute heat, and the red flag meant the end of the heat. There were three judges on the beach and after each heat, they tallied up the score cards to determine who moved forward into the final rounds. The judges looked for “big air” jumps, wow factor, and style; they wanted to see someone who was able to boost high, pull out a trick, and land their jump all while showcasing their own unique style.   

Immediately following the captain’s meeting, the first heat would take place; the women’s division was divided into two heats. The wind conditions at this point were not terribly favorable for a boosting competition, but the ladies still managed to perform and kill it out there. After both the women’s heats, we decided it was best to take a short pause on the competition to allow the winds to pick up. After about half an hour we continued with the rest of the heats; the event went smoothly. 

To give a short reprieve in between the original heats and the finals, we held a “Pump Up Challenge”. With teams of two, each group had to pump up and rig a kite and lines; whoever did this the fastest and correctly, won! This activity was a fun addition to the competition and enabled the spectators to participate if they wished! All for fun! The winning team took home a CORE pump.


After the fun of the Pump Up Challenge, the finals began. Again, we started with the Women’s heat, moved on to the Amateurs/Intermediates, Masters, and then Pros. The Juniors’ & Pro’s division were small so, they each only had one heat. The Juniors completed their heat after the first Women’s round. We waited for the Pro’s heat to be the finale as the winds were the best just before sunset. 

Once everyone was off the water, we announced the winners and held a raffle for the swag from our sponsors! Lots of awesome gear was given out to raffle winners and to the second place winners of each division. First place winners went home with cash money!!! We did run out of daylight, so we had to have a second raffle drawing the following business day.


The day was a huge success and we couldn’t thank all the sponsors and competitors enough for making it what it was! We can’t wait to do it again next year. The prizes will be flowing in and the cash will be upped next year, so spread the word, let’s make this an annual event for the books!! Now, enjoy some photos of the event. If you were there and took some pictures, feel free to email them to ride@elitewatersports.com and we will add them to the post. 🙂

kites above the beach
man holding a kiteboarding kite in the air
kites in the sky in front of a bridge
man in wetsuit on a kiteboard
man doing a trick in the air on a kiteboard
man on kiteboard in the sky
person wading in the water in a kiteboard harness
person doing a trick in the air on a kiteboard
group of people on the beach talking
kites in the sky above the sand
whiteboard with names written on it
kites laying on the sand on the beach
person on a kiteboard in the sky
people standing on the beach
cars and people and kites on the beach
cars and kites and people on the beach
beach with chairs kites and people on it
person in a black wetsuit doing a kiteboard trick
person holding onto kiteboard handle bar in the air
person upside down on a kiteboard in the sky
person wearing sunglasses on a kiteboard in the sky
person in shorts on a kiteboard in the sky
upside down kiteboarder
person getting air on a kiteboard
person holding onto kiteboard in the air with one hand
person holding onto kite handlebar above the water
person doing kiteboard trick in the air
person in red shorts on a kiteboard
person in full wetsuit on a kiteboard
upside down kiteboarder in the sky
person on a kiteboard in the air above the water
man holding kite handlebar with one hand
person waving on a kiteboard
person holding onto kite handle bar
person on a yellow kiteboard above the water
person on green and blue kiteboard
person on a kiteboard and in a harness in the sky
person on an orange and black kiteboard
person riding a kiteboard in a harness on the water
person riding a kiteboard wearing a hat
person holding onto a handlebar in the sky on a kiteboard
man holding on to handlebar on a kiteboard in the air
woman on a kiteboard in the air above the water
woman coming out of the water on a kiteboard
man standing on a kiteboard in the air
man kiteboarding in the air above the water
man holding handlebar kiteboarding in the air
man high in the sky on a kiteboard
woman on a patterned kiteboard above the water
woman in the air on a kiteboard
woman kiteboarding above the water in a wetsuit
back of woman kiteboarding above the water
group of people on the beach holding a large check

Congratulations to all our winners! You all killed it out there!!

Thank you to all the competitors, you too, rocked the event and made it hard for the judges, as you all did fantastically!

Huge Thanks to the following Sponsors: Slingshot, Liquid Force, F-One, Core Kiteboarding, Tampa Bay Grand Prix, WOO Sports, and of course, the Magnuson Hotel Clearwater Central.

 See you all next year!

-Elite Watersports

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