Current South African Kitesurfing Champion
Age: 25 Nationality: South African
2010 Champion, Freestyle | 2010 British Champion, Freestyle | 2010 British Champion, Freestyle | 2010 British Champion, Freestyle
I was first interested in surfing, the place where I stayed in the Eastern Cape wasn’t so great for surfing but there were a few kite-surfers there. I was about 17 when I decided that I need to try kite-surfing and the second I saw it I said knew I have to do this. I just know I’m going to love it. I slowly got into it and got some lessons and slowly started doing it and I just loved it from the start.
It is really difficult in South Africa as well I think because it’s a big sport here so it’s hard to do it professionally here. There are only a few people who have gotten it right. I was just doing it for fun and doing it for competitions. This year I decided that I am going to stop working because I had my own studio- I was teaching pilates and things like that. I wasn’t enjoying it that much and I wanted to focus on my kite-surfing but I couldn’t. Then I decided that this year I’m just going to stop, close my studio down and I’m just going to focus on my kite surfing. It’s gone so well. It’s been going really well. It was difficult to just decide that I’m just going to do this and that I’m not going to teach pilates anymore but it actually worked much better than I thought it would.
In summer the wind blows every single day so I am on the water every day. But now that it is spring it is a few times a week that I will go kiting. And now that I am doing this full time, I can go when the wind is the best – in the mornings or when it is low tide. I can really get the best conditions. If I’m not kite-surfing then I will just go to the gym just to keep fit.
It depends on the wind as well. If the wind isn’t great then I’ll get out and stop doing it because of the wind. Usually a round two hours at a time that you will be kite-surfing. You just get so tired so it is hard to do it. In Cape Town sometimes you get really cold as well so it is hard to go on for too long. Sometimes I will try to do a morning session and then have a break and then do an afternoon session but by that time you get so tired.
After competition for the National title, I was trying to calculate – on the website you can see everyone’s points but you can’t see from the last competition – so I thought ‘what place did I get’ and I was trying to figure it out. I thought that I am probably second. I want to be first because I am very competitive but I thought let me just be okay with being second because I am probably second. My husband knew that I really want this so he kept on saying, ‘Don’t be sad if you don’t come first’. The girl that came second, that I thought would come first, she’s been kite-surfing over 10 years and is really well known in South Africa. I thought that she is really good and that she is going to beat me. And then when they said that I had come first I was so excited.
For those looking to get into the sport, I would say that you should kite-surf as much as possible. When I was still working and kite-surfing three times a week I thought that I was improving, which was fine. Then when I started kite-surfing every day for three or four consecutive days, I could not believe how much I was improving and so it makes a really big difference and I was doing things that I never thought I would be able to do. I would also say that you should make sure you go out in every single condition and try to do something. Don’t say that the wind is too soft.
Surprisingly I really like the volcano red colour of Unfold. I didn’t think I would, but also seeing the photos now, I realise it just looks so good. So, I really like the red… And maybe the green which I think might be my favourite