Stoking it!

Oh my, oh my, I haven’t wrriten here in a really long time again, have I?

Well, where to begin.

Currently I am located in the Philippines! I have been here for over a month already and what a cool month it has been! I landed in Manila on the 4th of January and went straight from the airport to the local bus that took me on an overnight trip to Naga.

The first two weeks were really sunny and windless (it always makes me laugh how kiteboarders pray for wind and wakeboarders for the exact opposite…) so it was a perfect time to ride and enjoy my holidays. I have gotten into a certain kind of routine, where I would wake up early, have healthy breakfast, go to the cable, have a lunchbreak around 12 (and devour a whole massive meal during that time… ‘lunch break’ my ass), go to the cable again, have an evening beer, eat again and go to sleep. Sounds kinda boring, but it was actually a lot of fun! I am not that good at the cable yet, so I felt like I was able to progress every day a little bit πŸ™‚

After the initial two weeks, I have decided it was time to visit the place that has been my home for the last three winters – Boracay island. I teamed up with my super good friend Leen and after another overnight bus and yet another overnight ferry we have found ourselves on Bulabog Beach, the place where all the kitesurfers usually spend their windy days. The kitespot welcomed us with perfect wind and full sun, so it was really fun to just ride around the bay and enjoy the time on the water.

January is the middle of the high season on Boracay, so I would say there were too many people around for my liking (I am used to the half-empty spot in December and March), but still it was fun to kite. Unfortunately, there was a pretty big storm that took four days in the middle of my stay, where I couldn’t really ride, because the wind was super strong and gusty! It was fun to boost a bit in the evening when the wind became a little weaker, but most of the time it was too much for me to do anything. I treated those days as holidays though and just focused on visiting all the places on the island that I wanted to see πŸ™‚

After 10 days on Boracay, it was time for another long land travel (transportation in the Philippines can really be a nightmare – ferries and buses are rarely on time and whenever you are planning to go somewhere, you have to have at least 4-5h extra to account for any delays on the way) and I came back to CWC wakepark. I am staying in CWC for a few weeks more and after that I am afraid it will be time to go back home! Time really does fly when you are having fun, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

May wind be with you,
Zuza

New video from Sri Lanka! :D

Here’s my new little edit from Sri Lanka, enjoy!

Zuza Czaplinska – Serendipity from I KITE IT – Zuza Czaplinska on Vimeo.

"Serendipity" – the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something truly wonderful, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated

A short video from my latest kite trip to Kalpitiya in Sri Lanka. I did not initially intend to film, but this place is just so amazing I had to take the few random riding scenes I had and make this little edit just so that I can show you all how Kalpitiya looks like. Everyday wind, riddiculously warm water, very friendly people, good food and beautiful, wild nature – if you've ever wondered whether you should go there or not, I hope this little vid persuades you to pack your bag and buy a plane ticket! πŸ™‚

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music: Nina Simone – "Feeling Good" (Avicii Remix)
edit/riding: Zuza Czaplinska
filming: Zuza Czaplinska and friends πŸ™‚

Big thanks to Srilankakite (www.srilankakite.com) for having me!! You guys are the best πŸ™‚

Sri Lanka Tales

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Hello everybody!

This year I have promised myself a few things, and one of them was that I will see at least a few kitespots from my ‘to do’ list before 2015 is over. I have already been to Sardinia in April and now, as a result of a few spontaneous decisions and a clear inability to save money like a normal human being, I have found myself buying a ticket to another place that I have always dreamed of visiting – Sri Lanka.

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Well, what can I say? I’ve been here in Kalpitiya for a week now and it really is everything I though it would be… and so much more. It is really beautiful. Palm tree forests, mangrooves, salt lakes, windmills and wild donkeys strolling on the beach… Honestly, if there ever was a place I loved as much as this one, it would be the Philippines. And that really says a lot, because Philippines is my favourite place on the whole Earth so far πŸ™‚

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The wind has been amazing until now. I’ve been kiting in the lagoon every single day perfectly powered on my 8m kite. Yesterday we did a one-day trip to the Magic Spot, a tiny island about 50min boat ride from Kalpitiya, where the wind blows steady offshore and the water is as flat as it can possibly be. I was kiting the whole day on my 11m and landed a new trick in the afternoon which, as you can imagine, increased the level of awesomness by another 1000 πŸ™‚

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Life in Kalpitiya is slow and relaxed. It is so hot here that you kind of go through the motions, avoiding any unnecessary fast movements. Sri Lanka is the first place ever where I kite in a bikini and feel warm! It doesn’t even happen in the Philippines, so that should give you a general idea how hot the air and water can be over here. If you are counting on some refreshment while diving into the lagoon… well, you will be disappointed πŸ˜€ But as far as my personal feelings go, I love it. Sun, white little clouds, the heat, the boiling water, massive windmills in the background and wild donkeys strolling around – it is a holiday package I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. The food is riddiculously good too, which even though not the most important, is definitely a huge plus for a food lover like me πŸ˜€

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I’m staying together with my best friend who is an instructor here in Srilankakite kiteschool. We live in a little wooden hut with a roof made of dried palm leaves. There is one little wardrobe, one double bed with a mosquito net around it, one rug on the floor and one power socket – this is literally it. How cool is that?! When you get into this kind of lifestyle, you really start to understand that in terms of material things, you need very little in your life to feel content.

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Today is the first day with no wind since I’ve come here, and I am actually pretty happy with that, because after a whole week of kiting my body feels broken. My knee hurts from all the landings, my arms are sore at the elbows from passing the bar and all in all I feel like a young person trapped in an 80-year old body. One day of rest is exctly what I need before I go and charge full power again tomorrow πŸ™‚

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That’s it for now! I still have 8 more days over here and I am really ready to use them up to the maximum. I will try to stay connected, but it is just so difficult when you have so many amazing things going on in the real life around you. And this, my dear friends, is yet another proof that you can be broke and happy at the same time, as long as you are broke in the right place… and Sri Lanka is the right place for sure, I have no doubt about that.

May wind be with you,
Zuza

So… Am I a two-timer now or what?

Ever since I’ve come back from my trip to El Gouna (check out the Projects 2015 tab at the top of the page for the full story and the video!) I’ve been living at home in Warsaw. Unfortunately, the place where I live is pretty far away from the sea (and let’s not kid ourselves – the weather this year in Poland is not especially warm, so I don’t feel motivated AT ALL to drive across the country in order to kite in cold) and so I didn’t have any opportunity to kite the last few weeks. It would seem like a disaster to me if not for one thing – I have found something that gives me almost as much happiness and satisfaction as kitesurfing.

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Wakeboarding is a great complementary sport to kiteboarding and I sincerely regret not trying it years earlier. I’ve been going to the local 2.0 cable park (we actually have quite a few of them around Warsaw, but ‘my’ cable is OΕ›rodek WisΕ‚a, that’s where I spend all of my free time πŸ˜‰ ) and already after only 2 weeks I can feel my body is getting much stronger. It’s been quite easy for me from the beginning becuse I have a strong kiteboarding background, but the thing I have discovered almost straight away is that all the air tricks, which is what many kiteboarders like doing in the cable, don’t interest me at all! It is all about obstacles and the countless ways of how to approach, slide and exit them – I absolutely love it all! Working on style and trying to mix and combine what I have already learned is so much fun and since I am a beginner still, there are just so many things to learn!

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Every session brings me some progress and I slowly feel that the obstacles I have in my 2.0 are not enough for me anymore. I want to ride bigger and better and try more and more on various features and actually I am super excited because at the weekend I am going to a bigger cablepark together with my friends and we are going to spend full two days riding the obstacles there. That park has many features I have never tried before, so I am sure it is going to be extremely fun!

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I’ll keep you posted about all that is happening but for now – peace out!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

Shredding El Gouna with my Sista!

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After some pre-season soul searching on Sardinia (check out the KiteMag article -here-) I have decided that it was time to do something else and go somewhere for a shorter, adventure packed trip. Since my good friend Malin Amle was already in Egypt and we have talked a lot before about starting a fun project together, it was a no brainer to pack my bag, fly over to Africa and hit one of the most known Egyptian kitespots – El Gouna.

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I have been to El Gouna a few times before, both on holiday and working as an instructor, but this trip was special to me for two reasons. First, I have just recently started riding cable (and riding boots in general) and El Gouna has now a very nice cable park for no-wind days, and second, I had a chance to meet up with my girlfriend and rock it on and off the water together for a whole week. It was a chance that doesn’t come all too often to me, as I am usually always on the move and my schedules rarely match those of my close friends.

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I don’t really like Egypt in general, mostly because well, to be honest, being a tall, blonde European girl over there is just hard. I am very sorry to write this, but this is just how it is, and while some people may like this kind of attention, I am one of those loners who don’t. You don’t have much anonimosity in Egypt, people are staring at you a lot all the time and even though I am used to it by now (as I said, I’ve been to Egypt many times), it still makes me tired or annoyed sometimes. But El Gouna is different. It is a closed town mostly filled with Europeans and if not for the people who work there and the surrounding desert, it wouldn’t feel like Egypt at all. I like it, even though it’s not very ‘local’, as over there I can relax and just enjoy my stay. El Gouna has also a lot to offer, nice kitespots, good cable park and a bustling nightlife if you are into going out in the evenings.

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The first three days Malin and I have spent in the El Gouna Sliders Cable Park. She showed me around, introduced me to her friends and we had tons of fun riding doubles and filming together! I feel like I’ve learned a lot on those days, both riding and filming-wise and I had a chance to try some new obstacles for the first time! Sliders is such a cool place, they have two cables where you ride laps in opposite directions, so it actually gives a perfect chance to learn how to be more versatile! I am so hooked on wakeboarding now, literally can not wait for my next wakeboarding session back home πŸ™‚

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In between riding cable and kiting we have managed to do some sightseeing in downtown El Gouna together, trying on funny clothes and roaming through local shops in search of something interesting. We also went on a trip to the desert where unexpectedly we found an old, abandoned train… easy to guess, exploration mode was full on!

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The last two days of my stay the wind was pumping and so we had little time to do anything else but hit the water. We were filming a lot, but there was also enough time for silliness and goofing around… We even ended up tangling once and had to self-rescue back to the shore!

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Riding with your buddy is honestly one of the best things as not only you can have a good laugh together but also no one motivates you more on the water than your sista shouting “Come on, GOOO FOOOR IIIIITTT, YEEEAHHH!”. I had INCREDIBLE fun together with Malin and I am pretty sure it will not be the last time we meet up for some kite and wakeboarding fun πŸ˜‰ In fact, we have already something planned for the future together, but for now it’s a secret πŸ˜‰

A little collaboration video is coming super soon, so STAY TUNED!!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

My first Ford Kite Cup competition

fot. Ford Kite Cup

fot. Ford Kite Cup

The weekend is over and together with it, the first stop of the Polish Kite Tour – Ford Kite Cup. Pretty funny, but it’s actually one of the most consistent competitions in the world as they have been running it for 10 years already, year after year, with no cancelled stops so far. There are four stops in total and the first one is always held in ChaΕ‚upy, which is also where I consider my homespot to be πŸ™‚

fot. Ford Kite Cup

fot. Ford Kite Cup

The wind was pretty bad during the comp, as on the first day we had side-off wind, a direction which totally doesn’t work on this spot, and the wind was very inconsistent and gusty. The heats were run though and in my first one I went against two other girls, one of them our awesome world champion, Karolina. I ended up second and sadly this kicked me out of the possibility to fight for the podium, as all second places went straight into the loosers final. In that one I went against two girls again. I made a stupid mistake landing blind and lost my kite very early in the heat (the heat was only 5 minutes! Omg, so short) and before I managed to relaunch it in the gusts and go upwind in the zone enough to do another trick, the heat was over. I managed to land some more basic tricks before that though and this gave me a 2nd place in the loosers final, which overall put me in the 5th place out of 9 places in total. It was interesting to try riding heats like that, as I’ve only ever did it with just one other girl in the heat and never with wind like that… the heats were also always longer. I have a better idea now what I should focus on next time and I’m pretty eager to compete on the 2nd tour stop in a few weeks πŸ˜€ Congrats to all 9 girls who participated, you all did a great job!

fot. Ford Kite Cup

fot. Ford Kite Cup

There was not enough wind on the first day and on the second day there was no wind at all, so doubles for women did not happen. Men singles were not finished too and there was no final result in Men category. A shame, cause my Cabrinha teammate and current Polish champion Marek RowiΕ„ski for sure wanted to kick some ass after his spring training in Egypt… next time I guess πŸ˜‰

As I am writing this update, I am sitting in a train back home (there’s wifi and all that shit… wow, we ARE in EU after all). I’m going to spend five days working in Warsaw and then I am packing my bags again and heading off for another short adventure. All I can say is that I’m going to meet up with someone pretty cool and I will need a lot of sunscreen, bikinis and power to shred cause the wind over there is looking awesome so far!

Stay tuned for more fun and games with Zuza!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

I came, I saw, I conquered.

After the first 2015 session in Poland... soooo cold!!!

After the first 2015 session in Poland… soooo cold!!!

OMG, so I have done it. I have managed to spend the ‘official’ season opening, which is always the long 1 May weekend, in Poland, at my homespot. It was pretty cool and I am really happy that I went, even though the temperature for kiting was way too low for my liking πŸ˜› It was sunny and quite nice in general, but without gloves it is still pretty uncomfortable to ride… I had only one short session, but it didn’t really matter, as I went there mostly to check out the place where I’m gonna hang out this season and meet all the new people at the Cabrinha school where I’m going to stay in summer. All I can say is – this upcoming season is looking pretty good to me πŸ˜€

I am back home now until Thursday (wow, 3 days in total… looks like I’m gonna move around a lot in the upcoming months), when I am catching a train to my homespot again and heading out for the first stop of the Polish kiteboarding tour, Ford Kite Cup. I’m quite curious how it will go, as I’ve never been to any Polish competition before πŸ™‚ It will be pretty cool to meet up with all the Polish riders and catch up, especially that since usually I am not in Poland much, I always miss out on all the fun things that are going on here.

Checking out the open sea part of the peninsula... sick views this time of year!

Checking out the open sea part of the peninsula… sick views this time of year!

Right after the competition I am coming back home for another 3 days and then on Thursday the 14th I am going to El Gouna, Egypt for one week πŸ˜€ It will be SO NICE to walk in a bikini and shorts again! Besides, El Gouna has both amazing kitesurfing conditions AND a nice cable park, so wind or no wind I am sure I will have tons of fun over there.

On the way for a session.

On the way for a session.

That’s it for now, I’ll try to write another short update after the competition next week. For now, it is three days of working really hard back home (Who in their right mind makes an 8AM – 9PM working schedule for themselves? Well… *rises her hand*) and hopefully on Tuesday hitting the cable in Warsaw somewhere between work… Life is pretty busy now for me and I sometimes miss those days when I could just sit back, relax and watch a TV series, but then again, if you don’t work hard, you will never achieve the things you want πŸ™‚

Not a bad room view on my homespot :D

Not a bad room view on my homespot πŸ˜€

May wind be with you,
Zuza

PS – All the media content from my Sardinia trip can be found in the PROJECTS 2015 tab at the top of the page. Both Polish and English content is available, so if you haven’t read about my latest adventure abroad yet, go and check it out now!