Lately I talked to Maroean Mones who is the founder and owner of Girlzactive, a company who organizes women’s only kiteboarding camps and boardsport events all over the world. While working in the corporate banking/financial world after university she took her first kitesurf lession in 2013. Finally she asked herself “Is this all?” and officialy started Girlzactive in November 2014. She did the kite instructor license, teaches and organizes the Girlzactive trips together with her team. Currently she lives all over the world while her house is in Utrecht/Netherlands.
It was really amazing to hear the thoughts of a women who just DID it – she decided to take a risk and followed her heart – and now lives the surfing lifestyle everyday. Which doesn’t mean that this isn’t also a lot of work, it’s even the opposite!
Read more about the spirit of Girlzactive, Maroean’s rituals, the kitesurf-boyfriend-thing and the cliché about catfights in women’s groups in this interview.
Was it hard for you to quit your „normal“ job and getting into your own business? How did it change you, your personality, your lifestyle?
Its the hardest thing I ever have done in my life. Quit your regular monthly (well) paid corporate job and jump in to something completely insecure. But my mind kept telling me, if you don’t do it, you will never find out if it would have worked.
Well look at me now. From wearing a suit daily and being in my expensive lease car, working 60 hours per week as a project manager, to a young woman owning her own company, traveling the world ten months per year, with out with our my labrador Dino and campervan (yes, one of those hippie vw busses) and I never felt so myself like I do know. My lifestyle changed in a way that I don’t have much money to spend anymore and the social life is completely different as I’m gone all the time.
Looking to the sportive side, I’ve always been a girl that did a lot of sports, healthy food and live aware of the world around me, but of course my current lifestyle makes me even more aware. Personality? Well now i work 80 hours per week 😉 but I do what I love the most and that is teaching other woman how to kitesurf, but even more important, how to be one with yourself, to enjoy the forces of nature and be happy with the person that you are.
I think for friends, I became a more relaxed and pure person. In the past I could have been busy with having gadgets and some hipster habits as well, now a days i’m enjoying live as it comes and am what I am, no filters, no populair behaviors, the only gadgets I have now are boards, many many boards and my kites <3
How does a normal day look like for you from the morning till the evening? Do you have kind of special rituals?
This would be a cool one to aks one of my guests … They will all agree on my morning coffee moment addiction. So. Wake up, take time for good coffee and than the day can start 🙂 Next to walk and travel loads with Dino, every morning there is some kind of me moment without guests (at least I try my best, this is a big weakness … i need to work on) this can be yoga, a surf session, going out with my camera, well at least create a empty mind and don’t think business for half an hour.
After this my coach life starts, which means Im there for my guests every single day the whole day to help them out with anything needed. No schedule here, as every day is decided by wind and the daily questions there are. After diner in the evening, someone needs to answer the emails, keep the marketing running, etc etc. I always end the day with a little moment to over think how lucky I am and have a drink at the sea if the option is there and there is some energy left. As i’m working all the time, I sometimes forget how lucky I am.
What do you think are the main boundaries that keep girls from starting a thing like kitesurfing?
Most woman love self control, kitesurfing isn’t, at least not the first months while learning it. And still after all the hours on the water I would never ever say my kite can’t surprise me anymore, which is also part of the sport. Of course I think I have full control, but still. So this is the reason for most to find it hard to start. You have to let go… I do believe it isn’t dangerous if you have a good teacher and stay calm, but you need to be able to adapt to that mindset.
Guys are more, let just do this, where woman want to know ‘what if?’ on forehand. So the fear of not being in control is a big boundary for most girls. And the patience you need to learn it. It’s like riding a bike, no one can do it straight away, but once you there, you will remember it for ever. Learning it takes time, which also is a hard thing for woman, they want to be able to do it straight away! You need to accept that one session your riding upwind and the next you find out your’e not there yet. My advise: Let go, enjoy, every hour under that kite you learn new stuff.
Are there many girls who start to kitesurf even though their boyfriend does not?
We are getting more and more girls that start without this luckily. I would never start it for a guy 😉 and Kelly, Vera and Lidewij (the Girlzactive crew) didn’t either. But yes, let’s be honest, most want to learn it because their guy does it. Thats ok, but the fact they stop as soon as they break up is one of my goals to push them to continue. Kitesurfing is a social sport, but on the water you’re an individual and for sure every woman should try it! With or without a boyfriend kiting. Next to that, most kite boys aren’t the perfect boyfriend 😉
Some say it’s complicated when many girls get very close together … cause catfights are preprogrammed. How do you experience this, is it true or is it a myth?
Its a myth. The girls are amazing together. The sport is a common interest. Most join alone and are very open for new contact. Next to this, everyone is new, which makes them easy to adopt to each other. Of course not all become friends and that’s totally ok. Its the same in daily life, some persons you like, some aren’t your type, but at least you can respect each other. Of course we make the room dividings based of every thing we know about the girls, and after 16 long camps you kind of know what is a match and what not.
Funny fact tough, we did snowboard and surf camps before as well. Snowboard chicks are kind of similar, surf girls tend to have catfights easier. Let’s say Im very happy with my kite ladies. And perhaps the fact they are all 25+ is helping out as well.
What do you think is the main difference between women and men learning a new sport or new tricks?
Simple: Guys just go and then think. Woman want to know exactly what is going to happen and when, which is hard with a sport like kitesurfing. I truly believe you have to be the type to teach woman. Loads of guys think it’s hard and don’t get all the questions. I love it. It’s like daily life, we need more words to make the point and thats totally ok.
What are your plans for the next years for yourself and for Girlzactive?
Well I need some time off for sure, some time to reflect and understand better that Im a very lucky person being able to do this. Find a balance between private and work to be able to keep doing this, as my life is all about work now. So if someone knows how to get to this point, please contact me 😉 No, just joking, but yes I need to work on balance, let others do more of my daily work and be able to take some breath and breaks in between the trips.
Keep on going for sure, let the brand grow into a lifestyle. Kitesurf on the first place, but we want to create a community where it’s not only about vacations, but about the way of life. We want to take our guests in to this life and let them experience what ‘dangerous’ individual board sports, healthy food and time to be who you truly are can do for you.
We want to give them our surf lifestyle, share the boardsport and enjoy life ; soul and share all the social aspects of others having the same believes/meet these others. Girlzactive is a life project, not a company to become rich. Be who you want to be and stop doing what others expect. The only one that can make you a happy person, is….. Correct, yourself. Sounds spiritual, but we truly believe it.
Girls (and boys) – if you are still not sure if you should start to kitesurf let me recommend those articles to you:
And if you want to read more about how to deal with kitesurfing and relationships, find it here: