Hydroflight Athlete – Chad Bell
Hydroflight Competition Results
2015 North American Flyboard Championship – 6th Place
2014 XDubai Flyboard World Cup – 17th Place
The X Dubai Flyboard World Cup was a great stage to finally display the Pro Flyboarding skills the CanFly boys had been working so hard on in the months prior. Of course everyone was very familiar with Brody Wells and it was awesome to see Adrian Boucher leave Qatar behind and show us what he can really do. The newest member of the team came into the event highly praised by his teammates but with no prior competitive experience so it was very exciting to see Chad Bell land smooth doubles and fly so well in his Qualifying Run. It was so good we released his video from our hotel room in Dubai.
As winter kicks the sh&t out of most of Canada right now we pulled Chad away from both his shoveling and exams and got an exclusive interview with a hydroflight athlete we think will be making a major move towards the podium in 2015. Ladies & Gentlemen this is Chad Bell…
H2RO MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
H2RO) Chad, give us your back story, where did you grow up, what is your sports background and how did you get introduced to Flyboarding?
My Name is Chad Bell, I am 19 years old. I am from a really small town called Athabasca in northern Alberta. Growing up in a small town, hockey is everything and I have been playing almost all my life. I moved to Red Deer, Alberta about a year ago, where I study Kinesiology at Red Deer College. Red Deer is located about 30 minutes east from Sylvan Lake, which is where I work for Alberta Flyboard. Sylvan Lake is the first of our five locations here in Alberta. I got introduced to Flyboarding when my roommate stumbled upon an ad on the internet looking for possible employees. As soon as I saw what Flyboarding was, I was hooked. I got in touch with Brody and Rodney, and that is how Flyboarding all started for me.
H2R0) What has your progression been like on the board from first flight to the X Dubai Flyboard World Cup?
My progression on the board was actually pretty fast, as I picked it up quickly. I had only been Flyboarding for about six and a half months before competing in Dubai. My first time on the board was amazing! Brody actually took me out just after the ice had come off the lake in May. It was so cold, but totally worth it! At first I was so concentrated on just standing up on the board and now after one season that concentration is focused on perfecting my tricks and combos, while keeping good hose control.
H2R0) Talk to us about the Canadian Flybrothers and what role your teammates have played with regards to your flying?
I owe everything I know about Flyboarding to my team. At the start of the season, I was the rookie and didn’t know a thing. They had the patience to teach me everything from my first dolphin dive to perfecting hose control throughout advanced combos. Their help is the reason I caught on so fast. Once we all kind of got to the same level that is when we would push each other to do better everyday and if we watched one another making mistakes we would help correct them for each other. This, in the end, helped to make me and my teammates better riders.
H2R0) Staying with your CanFly crew for a second, you must have at least one crazy story about the team or one of the guys from your time on the road together?
With Three Canadians road tripping throughout the states there are bound to be some crazy stories. Any time the Banana, Pickle, and Horse costumes came out, something crazy was bound to happen. (Halloween). Camping in Arkansas with Giovanni, constantly being attacked by Skunks (Stinks as he would call them), and loading a truck full of 16 people for a late night Waffle House run were definitely some memorable events. Pretty much our whole trip was crazy, especially with the luck we had with equipment, but it was definitely the best experience of my life!
H2R0) Your first competition was the 2014 X Dubai Flyboard World Cup. Going into Dubai what were your expectations for the competition? Had you been doing much research on your competitors?
The competition was awesome and it was great to see the different styles of all the other riders. When I first started Flyboarding I was always on H2R0 Magazine looking at all of the rider profiles, kind of in awe of what these guys could do on the board. To be honest my biggest goal was to make it to the Professional status by getting accepted into the World Championships to compete, and get to have my own profile on the H2RO site. Once we actually got to Texas we got to train with the people I looked up to everyday so that was really cool. After when we got to Dubai, I actually already knew a bunch of the competitors, which was unreal!
H2R0) During your runs in Dubai I felt like you were super solid on the board and smooth with your tricks. You flew into your doubles from both directions and even made a 540 double combo look effortless. How would you describe your flying style and what are the most important physical and mental attributes needed to be great at this sport?
I think I would describe my style as smooth like you said. I feel like I really try to make tricks look like they are easy, even though they are incredibly difficult because to me that looks good. I always focus on the angle of my doubles and which way I circle the ski so that I can have the best hose control possible, and so I don’t have my hose hitting the hood of the ski or even possibly rolling it. I think that all comes from training on our own equipment, mainly because we didn’t want to damage our own stuff. And in the end it turned out to be a good habit as well for competitions. As for the physical aspect of Flyboarding I feel like competitors especially have to be really fit, especially when just a five minute round going as hard as you can, can be completely taxing. Strong legs and strong
core are necessary for sure! The mental part of Flyboarding is by far the most important aspect in my mind, because you need to be completely focused or else you could get hurt doing some of the high level of tricks that people are doing now. Once you do get hurt on some of these tricks you might even be scared or hesitant to try them again.
H2R0) Let’s look to the future and I’d like to get your thoughts on what you expect to see at the next major competition? The level of flying is progressing so fast I’m curious when we hit the next North American Championship what do you think guys will be landing?
Flyboarding is progressing so fast, seeing what people were doing in the first world championships to now is crazy! We have all seen Suksan’s Triple backflip in Dubai so I think there will be others that have that trick, and even guys that combo into and out of it. I also saw a lot of cool tricks people made up so I expect to see a lot of creativity at the 2015 Flyboard North American Championship.
H2R0) Every Pro Flyboarder has a close relationship with the equipment involved in their sport and so I’d like to know if you have any tips for equipment set up, maintenance or even recommendations for changes to how things currently work?
The main thing in my opinion that I’d like to see changed is the strap that connects the hose to the front of the ski. In Dubai it was only looped once which lets the hose come up onto the nose of the ski so much easier and can even roll it. Lots of the competitors that got disqualified for rolling their skis, rolled it on dives, which to me shouldn’t happen that often. If we were to double loop the strap it would keep the hose tighter and off the nose, so I think competitors would have the confidence to throw bigger harder tricks without worrying so much about rolling their ski.
H2R0) Let’s jump over and get your thoughts on the Hoverboard? Have you flown it yet? Do you have any intentions on adding it to your competitive repertoire?
I have flown on the Hoverboard a few times now, and it is really fun! It’s a totally new feeling. I feel that the Flyboard has way more possibilities for new tricks than the Hoverboard. I will probably just focus on Flyboarding, but who knows, if I get good enough on it to compete then I will for sure!
H2R0) Finally, share with us your goals for 2015 both on and off the water? What can we expect to see from Chad Bell in the future?
My goals in 2015 are simple. I’m staying focused on training and progressing my skills to get better. To successfully compete in the North American Championships is one thing, and to return to Dubai for the 2015 World Championships. I’m just going to keep Flyboarding, and try to learn new tricks that people haven’t seen before and at the same time, have fun with it eh.
Top Eight Video from the 2015 North American Flyboard World Championship
See you soon,