Last winter we decided to explore a new spot for kitesurfing: Watamu in Kenya. It’s not an exaggeration that this place is truly amazing! Not only that it offers perfect kite conditions … also the surroundings, the landscapes and the culture are so worth to discover.
Here we go with Vol. 2 of the series “annoying kitesurf characters”. In fairness it must also be said that among kitesurfers there are only a few really stressful people … but some can really shatter one’s nerves! The first article was about killjoys, this time it’s about self-declared equipment experts. I must repeat that I really wrote this articles with a small wink and a large dose of humour … which is the best way to deal with complicated characters, right?
So here’s an impression of the Surf Games Podersdorf which has been an awesome event for boardsport fanatics! There has been a 4-Mile-Fun-Endurance-Race for kite- and windsurfers, some windsurf competitions and a freestyle/parkstyle contest. If you haven’t been at the Surf Games, at least you can have a look at these pics. If you have been there, maybe you find yourself somewhere here … Get more information and pics about this Stylehunters event here: Surf Games Podersdorf
Continue reading Surf Games Podersdorf: Kite- and Windsurf-Pics, 13. – 14. 5. 2017
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There are things we can be happy about when we don’t need them … anyway it’s good that they exist in case of emergency! Like for us watersports addicts this could be a self-inflating backup that might safe your life through offering buyoancy to keep yourself above the water surface – whilst it’s compact and lightweight in it’s inactive state and, super important, never gets in your way when you’re riding.
Restube produces such safety floats and provided me the sports version which I tested for this article.
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.
It was 2007 when Laila Puehringer got addicted to kitesurfing. The hometown of the half-austrian-half-moroccan Ozone teamrider from Vienna travels a lot and has also been living in the Dominician Republic. Since 2009 she participates in kite contests, also in the worldcup – in former times in freestyle, now strapless in the waves. In the GKA-Wave-Competition which took place in Mauritius this September she missed out on the semi finals by a single point. But she says: „I am hungry for more!“
Continue reading 5 questions, 5 answers: Laila Puehringer
… and do we want this at all?
Today I’m in a philosophical mood … for a good reason: For nearly two weeks now I’ve been at the Surfworldcup in Podersdorf – now I am back home again, but the atmosphere of these days is still accompanying me. And I don’t wanna let her go! I want to beam me back and experience all the good vibes once more. Lots of those who have been at the event in the past years will know that the SWC is not a true surfers event anymore. The biggest part of the visitors consists of totallysurfuninterested partypeople. Nothing against party – but those who are interested in experiencing the spirit of this surfevent, have to pick out special things and surround themselves with people who share the same views and lifestyles. And there are many of them. (Here you can find a post-reporting of the first SWC-weekend.)
On the same wavelength
Lifestyle. Euphoric kite(orwhateversurf)-addicts know what I am talking about: Our passion is connected to a special kind of lifestyle. Even though e. g. kitesurfing is not the supreme discipline of surfing, most people who like to ride boards find themselves in a community of guys who tick similarly – so to say they are on the same wavelength. The classical enmities – like between kitesurfers and windsurfers or Oldschool- and Newschool riders – have nothing to do with that. Maybe they speak a little different language, but it’s more similar than one would believe.
It’s an attitude to life
I don’t want to claim here that everybody who has made his first meters on a board automatically falls in love with the surf lifestyle and stay in this condition forever and ever. In rare cases the passion may not arouse at all – wether one does not like being in the water or is influenced by other external factors. But in my experience this doesn’t occur frequently.
The moment when one gets finally hooked to a surf sport could be described as follows: “Surfer, your real life starts now.” Concerning this topic everyone who gets on a board should have seen the movie “Point Break” with brilliant Patrick Swayze ( †) as surf god Bodhi. I could watch it every month 😉
As I already described in my article “How kitesurfing changed my life” after the first sense of achievement in surfing usually everything gets turned upside down. One gets hooked, becomes quickly addicted to the new feeling and wants to have it as intensive and often as possible. One gets a seeker – wether searching for the perfect wave or the perfect wind. In addition to totally new travel destinations a lot of other things may change – up from a job, a hairstyle, outfits, music taste, furniture, place to live, car up to the whole life planning. Some even leave or change their partners due to their new passion.
After experiencing the surf lifestyle for a certain time, finding an exit is very hard or even impossible. Why? Cause you feel very comfortable with it, altough very often misunderstood. Life on a board is always in your mind. Due to this you may see lots of things from a different perspective than in former times. Or you can’t even stand them anymore – like vacations in a 5-star-bunker at a destination without water and wind, shoppingcenter-marathons on weekends. Or people who want to advise against traveling in a bus and instead recommend you to get a well-behaved hairstyle, a proper settled life and, anyhow, come to your senses again. But this is not everybodys experience – sometimes nothing happens at all (I would be wondering about that).
For me the question is – what’s is the essence of this lifestyle? Bleached, messy hair, tanned skin, neverending thirst for adventure and the love for hammocks and the ocean? The feeling of freedom, zero gravity, adrenaline rush, the oneness with elements, breaking limits or just simple things like surf gear or surf music … ?
There is so much what could be a part of it. Therefore what interests me is: What does surf lifestyle for you personally consist of? In which way your lifestyle has changed due to kitesurfing/surfing/board sports?
I am curious to hear your experience! Aloha, Anja