Category Archives: Interviews

Push your kitesurf progress with Sensi Graves

Bringing your kitesurf skills to the next level isn’t always easy – but one thing is for sure: It’s way easier and more effective to follow a reasonable learning curve. And to have expert advice! Check out these useful tips from pro kiteboarder Sensi Graves and get them first hand at her kite camp in Dakhla/Morocco together with Colleen Carroll this October.

Often women are afraid to try their first unhooked tricks – what’s the best way to overcome this fear? 

Great question! It can be really intimidating to start unhooking for the first time. The best way to overcome this fear is to start small. Start by just unhooking for a few seconds and then hooking back in. Start with the kite at 45 degrees off the water, release your edge and head slightly downwind, keep your hands close together, pull the bar in and down and unhook. Keep riding downwind toward your kite, then hook back in and re-engage your edge. 
Make sure you’re with people who are encouraging and supportive and can give you tips. This is beyond helpful!

Sensi Graves in Dakhla, Morocco
Progressing is so much easier if you have advice from a pro like Sensi Graves! And of course great conditions are helpful too. © Debbie Jean Hollmon

If it’s about to start park riding, which basics skills are essential?

The number one basic skills needed to ride in the park is comfort unhooking and staying in control. You have to be confident in approaching an obstacle, bearing off to flatten your board and then just doing it. It helps a lot if you’re able to get some time in at a cable park. Cable parks are excellent cross-training playgrounds and super helpful when first getting up the courage to hit obstacles. 

Sensi Graves knows how to rock obstacles!
Park riding opens a whole new world of kitesurf experiences. Sensi Graves knows how to rock obstacles! © Vincent Bergeron

What’s your personal approach to learn new tricks? 

Just keep trying! It can be really easy to get discouraged when trying new tricks. It can take a long time to learn something new! It’s important to allow yourself to fail and not be super discouraged by it. If you find that you’re just getting frustrated, it’s time to go in and take a break and come back out when you’re fresh. Reaffirm that you can do it, believe in yourself and keep going for it!

Kite retreat in Dakhla, Morocco organized by Sensi Graves and Colleen Carroll
Being in an engouraging and supportive environment (like Sensi and Colleen offer at their retreats) helps to feel more confident on the water.

What can participants expect from your kite retreat in Dakhla together with Colleen?

Participants can expect an empowering group environment that allows for connection, progression and fun! We find all women’s kite camps to be really supportive of the individuals and allow for tons of encouragement and connection. It’s always really fun to meet like-minded women, cheer each other on and bond over kiteboarding in a new location. We’re really looking forward to Dakhla for it’s charm, excellent wind conditions and easy access to kiteboarding. 

Check out everything you need to know about the retreat in October from Sensi Graves & Colleen Carroll here:

https://www.sensiandcolleen.com/dakhla-2019

For those who have never been to Dakhla before – here’s a glimpse on Morocco’s kite paradise:

Cover shot: Rider Sensi Graves, © Vincent Bergeron


Interested in more tips and tricks for your progress? Then you might like these posts:

Getting unhooked – tips from the pros
How to pimp your kite sessions
Unhooked basics: Pro tips from Lauren Holman

Inspiring women in kitesurfing: Miriam Tymiec from Wake Up Stoked

Maybe you have already heard from Wake Up Stoked which is a great kitesurf blog founded by Miriam Tymiec, a travel addicted kitegirl who works as a graphic designer all over the world (depending where her wind chasing journeys lead her …). If you want to know more about Miriam’s lifestyle as a digital nomad and in particular about her new project together with her brother – the Wake Up Stoked camps – then you should definitely read on …

Continue reading Inspiring women in kitesurfing: Miriam Tymiec from Wake Up Stoked

Inspiring women in kitesurfing: Agata Dobrzynska

Welcome to the next part of the series “Inspiring women in kitesurfing”. For this one I talked to Agata Dobrzynska (Aggie) who you might know from the advertorials of the Ion Muse wetsuits as she’s the face of the Muse collection. Her current homebase is in Sicily, Lo Stagnone where she’s teaching at Prokite Alby Rondina. But Aggie also travels a lot to follow her passions – not only kitesurfing but also snowboarding and snowkiting (for example she takes part in the Red Bull Ragnarok each winter). Next to that she founded her own business Love2Kite where she organizes kite camps for women. Read more about how it is to be a business kitesurf lady and the next Love2Kite girls camp (21 – 25 September in Sicily) in the following!

Continue reading Inspiring women in kitesurfing: Agata Dobrzynska

How to jump higher: Some hints from Big-Air Champ Bibiana Magaji

After riding stable into both directions it’s usually just a small step to land the first jumps with your kite. But … there’s a huuuge difference between a jump and a real high big-air-jump! Of course it’s not only the wind force that makes the difference … it’s mainly technique that catapults you in giddy heights, says big-air-champion Bibiana Magaji who will reveal some important tips for higher jumps below.

Continue reading How to jump higher: Some hints from Big-Air Champ Bibiana Magaji

Business, lifestyle, boyfriends, catfights: Interview with Maroean Mones from Girlzactive

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.

Continue reading Business, lifestyle, boyfriends, catfights: Interview with Maroean Mones from Girlzactive

5 questions, 5 answers: Laila Puehringer

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

5 questions, 5 answers: Julia Castro

Hi @ all,

time for another “5 questions, 5 answers” interview! Lately I asked Julia Castro, Teamrider for North Kiteboarding about how kiteboarding changed her life and how she starts practicing new tricks … but enough, I don’t want to tell you everything before. I just tell you: It’s definitely worth reading it, cause the half spanish/half danish prorider answered very detailed and personally! I could learn a lot from what she was telling me and I’m looking forward already to getting the opportunity to ask her for tips again.

Julia Castro Beach
Julia Castro, Teamrider for North Kiteboarding

Continue reading 5 questions, 5 answers: Julia Castro

5 questions, 5 answers: Malin Amle

Hey kiteaddicts,

welcome to my new series “5 questions – 5 answers” for which I will talk to proriders from all over the world and share their kite experiences, tipps and tricks with you.
Number one of the interview partners is Malin Amle,  Liquid Force Teamrider from Norway which is traveling around the world the whole year.

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Malin Amle, Liquid Force Teamrider from Norway

5 questions for Malin Amle

When and why did you decide to compete in contests?

  • To be honest I’m not really a competitive person and I have always kited simply because I love it and want to share the passion with my friends around the globe. Even so I like a challenge, so I decided to give the World Tour and European championship a go in 2014. It went well and it was great fun to experience it. I got the chance to ride with many talented riders that inspired me to the next level, however I realized that my big passion is in freeriding and producing content that inspire others to join this wonderful sport. Now I compete in fun events to connect with people in the industry, create quality content and share good experiences on the water with old and new friends!

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(c) Vincent Bergeron

Do you think that it is harder to be accepted as a female rider in the kite community, especially inbetween the pros?

  • I think it’s probably easier! As it’s such a male dominated sport, I find that the few girls that are in it are greatly appreciated.

A lot of kiters find that it’s somehow “uncool” to ride with straps and they only ride boots. What do you think about this – and do boots really help in increasing the performance?

  • Haha, I think that this is just an assumption by the collective. Most professional riders went over to boots as it allowed them to throw down technical tricks with power and style and not really because it was cool. To speak for myself I was crashing my tricks all the time with straps as the power that I had did not really allow for straps. Once I changed to boots I was landing them way more often. It was like a new world that opened up to me after I changed to boots! I do think that boots also add a lot of style to your tricks. However, I would not recommend it before you have a decent level in unhooked tricks. There are still so many fun moves that can be done with straps and switching to boots to soon will not allow you to explore that!

    (c) Helmut Fuchs
    (c) Helmut Fuchs

Do you think that it’s important to do basic oldschool moves first or can someone also start directly with unhooked tricks and wakestyle?

  • Exactly as I said above, I think you will definitely have more fun if you enjoy basic old school moves first. I think if you start directly with unhooked moves you might get a bit discouraged and also you will be missing out on a really fun part of kitesurfing. I like to mix it up and am really happy that I didn’t skip through the old school part. It’s all about the journey, not the destination 😉

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    (c) Vincent Bergeron

What would you recommend to someone who is afraid of trying kitesurfing (which is often the case for girls)?

  • My biggest tip is just to go for it. Most of us are afraid of trying something new, but all of us will get through that fear when we take one step at a time towards our goal. Once you have taken the first step, you realize that it’s usually the fear itself that is scary and not actually the very thing you are frightened of. I’m really one to speak on this topic as I was literally crying myself through my first lessons, because I was SO afraid!!! So there you have decent proof that we all move through our fear by taking one step at a time and this is how we slowly overcome it.

If you want to know more about Malin, check out her pages:

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(c) Laci Kobulsky