Hmm this obsession with ”new” tricks bugs me a bit. While I aggree new and innovative tricks are exciting, they should only be rewarded if they. 1. meet the judging criteria, 2. meet a certain standard.
In relation to judging criteria, this fx. means that no matter how technical or innovative the trick might be, it is not going to be rewarded if there is no height. So if a rider does, lets say a grabbed dobbelt hartattack 9 with a low kite, it is innovative and the level of technical difficulty is through the roof, so it would definitely score high on the freestyle tour, probably a perfect 10. But in KOTA it shouldn’t be rewarded because here the judging criteria is different, and the trick just doesn’t have enough hight.
In relation to my point of a certain standard. I mean that no matter how new or innovative a trick is, for it to be rewarded, it has to be as or more difficult than the existing tricks, if not, it is not progressing anything. This might be a silly example, but is shows the point. If new is just rewarded without setting such a standard. Then imagine a rider on his way out hits a kicker goes high scratches his ass with his right hand, never seen before in Kota. He turns on the way in he does it again but now on the opposite tack, never seen before in Kota. He turns, on the way out he jumps again, but now he scratches his ass with his left hand and so the story continues. Should this rider really win Kota?
To be honest I found the judging to be really good, and the best riders won the´re heats. I love watching Janek as he is an incredible rider, he is just not pulling really powered loops. So if according to the judging criteria, low angled powered kiteloops are what the judges are looking for, he just fails on both the above points. What he does is certainly new and technical, but doesn’t meet the judging criteria, it is without a doubt hard to pull off, but just not harder, than what is already done, because of the higher kite angle.
What people find to be the right judging criteria is of course purely subjective, and therefore everybody is entitled to the’re point of view, but in the end, it is up to the organizers. And this year they chose to reward powered kiteloops, and the riders will have to adapt to that if they want to win. In my opinion Kevin Langeree was a perfect example in this years Kota. He is such an experienced contest rider, at it clearly shows. Kevin in early Kota’s pulled really high loops, but they were usually pretty powerless compared to many other riders. But this year he was definitely pulling them earlier with lower kiteangle and more powered than before.