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When intuition, anticipation and concentration merge, Jake Montandon twirls into the air.
And while suspended in the midair, the champion freerider uses his jet ski to pull off the most eye-catching moves imaginable.
All too soon he would plummet back to the unforgiving waves below.
On the Montalivet beach the predominantly French crowd goes wild, but Jake stays focused.
The 29-year-old freerider from Table View wants to be the best in the world, but coming second isn’t half bad!
Needless to say when he claimed the runner-up spot in France this month he returned home as a hero.
Third

Jake finished third in the 2012 IFWA Freeride World Championship Tour, and if he consistently performs at this rate, others will soon be measured by his high standards.

The World Tour comprises three international rounds a year of which France is the first. During these rounds competitors compete in a head-to-head double elimination format, while a panel of judges scores them 50 % for their wave surfing and 50 % for their aerial manoeuvres.
TygerBurger caught up with jet-setter Jake to hear more about his latest achievement and this audacious sport.
“This was the last championship of the guy who came first, so even though I’m currently second on the log, I will basically be going into the next competition with the most points,” he explains.
Jake has come a long way since he first started freeriding at the age of 12 while he worked for a jet ski rental company.
A fellow competitor once said: “The sport of jet ski freeride alone is best defined by taking the world’s best surfing contest, the world’s best motocross freestyle tricks, and blending them all together to create an intense and exciting sport.”
Variations

YouTube is full of of clips of people doing flips, turns and other gravity-defying tricks. Jake knows all of these and might even have come up with a couple himself.

“There are so many different variations out there. The Madonna flips, one-hand-one-foot, the can cans, the super-flips… And then we are also judged on normal surfing, such as big slashes off the top of the lip and things like that,” says Jake, adding his favourite is probably the Madonna flip.
He had to pay to get this good – either in time, sweat or ligament-wellness.
“I’ve been in and out of the doctor’s rooms lots of times: ankles, back, shoulders, teeth… at least I still have all of them!”
When he is not at the doctor’s room, you’ll probably find him preparing in the gym or flirting with the waves.
He concludes: “On the waves timing is everything. One has to improvise, think quickly and find the trick that works best. You’re up against Mother Nature, you know!”
***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***
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