We caught up with the multiple kitesurfing world champ from Germany to find out how her season went and how the girls in kitesurfing are exploding right now… Interview by Anna Langer
Hey Kristin, you just got back from a kite surf contest in Mauritius, how was it? It was truly incredible… Mauritius is stunning on its own but the conditions that we got for the competition were just mind blowing. People were watching the live stream from all over the world and could not believe their eyes. Check out kspworldtour.com/live for the livestream recordings and the whole action! How has your season been in general? This season is about as crazy as the last one… I have been busy with lots of different projects, like the Kiteboarding in the Olympics Campaign, the KB4girls foundation, the KSP, a book project and more. I really miss spending more time in the water but am trying to compete whenever I can fit it in… I was very happy to place 3rd in the Slalom World Championships and 2nd in the Air Style World Championships but I am still hoping that I will be able to focus more on actually riding myself again in the future. Do you enjoy competing a lot? Haha, I never actually thought I did… I was always getting so nervous and even though that helped me to focus more and ride well when it was needed, I did not like the feeling of it. Now I love competing as it is just so much more fun and relaxed than everything else I do… And hands down, I have always been somewhat of a competitive person. What’s your favourite contest on the KSP tour? That’s a tough question, I like each of them in their own way as each of the events offers different conditions. In Portugal we had onshore winds which made it possible to show the so called “Aerial Manouvers”, in Maurtiius it was just perfect side offshore wind and peeling waves. In Ireland we have a movable event, so we will be searching for the best conditions on any given day which makes it super exciting and on Maui we will have wind from the right which is my natural site and I am very much looking forward to that too… so not possible to pick one favorite for me. What can we imagine a kite contest like, don’t the kites get tangled a lot? There actually are not many tanles at all and especially pro-kiters can controll their kites pretty well. What to imagine it like depends on the discipline though… If you were to imagine a KSP contest it would just be like picturing a surf contest but with more continuous action due to riders not sitting in the lineup but riding the entire time – it simply is surfing with a kite. If you were going to imagine a course race event it would be more like a sailboat fleet race for example…
It seems like quite a challenging, powerful sport with loads to take into account like wind, waves, etc – what does it take to get as good as you? Kiting is actually a lot easier than it may seem. All you need to do is take controll of the kite and develop a little bit of a kite feeling… And that usually does not take more than 2-3 days. Because you hold the kite with your whole body weight you don’t need much strenght in the beginning. Everyone should learn with a professional kite instructor though to learn how to use the safety systems to keep kiting as safe as it has become. To become a pro rider it then takes a few years of hard training and determination and a little bit of talent will always help too. You’ve won several world titles and countless other events – what’s still missing from your trophy shelf? I would be pretty stoked if I could win the 10th title as 9 just sounds so incomplete, but let’s see what the next couple of years will bring. Of course now that kiteboarding is also an Olympic sport, there may be a possibility to make it into the Olympics in 2016. You’re part of the Surfrider Foundations ambassadort team, what does that involve? The role of an Surfrider ambassador really involves to spread the message of a waterwise way of living. The guys at the Surfrider Foundation are doing such a great job by educating kids about their planet and I just hope to be able to help the younger generation to get things right. With beach clean ups and passing out educational materials Surfrider ambassadors help to achieve this.
Is the environment a big issue in your private life too? Because of all the things I have seen traveling around the world I certainly felt like I got a wakeup call! The protection of the environment has become a true part of my live and I really think it should be in everyones lives! What do you do to do your part? I have organized a few beach clean ups and at the KB4girls events we educate the participating girls about the environment they so enjoy to have fun in. The Surfrider posters work perfect for that, especially because we can also pass these on at events and have our participants continue to spread the word further. Anything else you’d like to get off your chest? I actually think this included pretty much everything. Just don’t forget to enjoy what you do and do what you are passionate about! Follow Kristin on her blog kristinboese.de and learn more about the Surfriders Foundation on surfrider.org or surfriderhamburg.wordpress.com for the German branch of the organisation