I guess it is safe to say I am a newbie on the PKRA world tour. Having only turned professional a few months ago, the door was opened to a world filled with non-stop travel, living out of a suitcase filled with bikinis and board shorts, competitions and always in search of that perfect wind to keep on training.
Last year I was living and working in Cabarete, and along came the world tour stop in June! I was asked to take part in the competition as they needed more girls to compete – in such a male dominated sport they only had about 10 girls competing compared to 40 men!
So there I was with absolutely no clue what the rules were, what the flags meant or even where I was meant to be on the water – as a result, I missed the first two minutes of my first heat with only five minutes to go, but what an adrenaline rush though of having to show everything you have in only seven minutes!
After the competition was over, I decided to take my kite surfing more seriously, look for sponsors, and train. And so finally there I was, on a plane to Brazil for the next three months to train in some of the best conditions in the world with some of the best riders!
Brazil for me has everything to offer for a kiter looking to improve their level. It has countless with flat-water lagoons roughly every ten km and some that are free from kiters, absolute bliss! After training in Brazil I had my second ever competition in France. I faced some of the hardest conditions I have ever kited in; the strong, gusty offshore winds that went up to 40 knots were an absolute nightmare!
However, I found that kite surfing overall is a sport with a great spirit; riders help each other out when needed, bringing smiles all around and tips whenever they can offer them. Kite surfing is such a young sport, still so fresh and it is without a doubt a very male dominated sport. The level of the girls, apart from the top 4, is much lower than the men, we need more girls on the water not scared to compete or even show us what they have!
It would be great over the next few years to see the sport evolve more and more, see more girls out there on the water doing the tricks that maybe the men can’t do, and with that, only time will tell!
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