New Year, Same Island

Tomorrow’s the last day of 2013 and as I sit in front of my computer after a long rainy day on the island, it makes me think on everything I’ve done those past 12 months. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a completely different person than a year ago. I know she has travelled a lot, I know she’s made some wise and unwise choices, I know she had some absolutely amazing moments in her life and some really bad ones too. And I know she came out of the bad ones as a winner and picked up the pieces and made something really good out of them and I think I am a little bit proud of her. This girl in the mirror is stronger and wiser and, most importantly, one year later she is still doing what she loves the most in the whole world and she has people who recognised her passion and decided to support her in it. I don’t know if she’s a better person, it’s not like I can be a judge of that, but even if she is not, I really hope she’s close to becoming one.

It’s pretty funny to think that this year has started and is gonna end on Boracay. I’ve been to many amazing places, but this is the only one that captured a part of me big enough to force me to come back. I don’t really know what is it because I have seen islands more beautiful than this one, with clearer water, tastier food, better weather… and still, this is the one that I couldn’t get out of my mind. Interesting how these things turn out sometimes πŸ™‚

Our life here is still magic, with enough work, surf and partying to keep us all entertained. Some days are lazy and some, like yesterday, are crazy busy, but all in all it’s good. I might be simply easy to please, but as long as I have enough time to squeeze a small freestyle sesh in or just go and play in the waves on the reef, I am happy. People were telling me in the past that I shouldn’t put so much effort and money into kitesurfing because, just like any other hobby, it will pass. But when you get in there with your kite and you know you can go anywhere and do anything and you’re free and it’s only you you you and years later you still want to scream with joy every time you hear the sound of waves, this is not something that will pass. This is a part of you and even if you wanted, you can’t just cut yourself open and get rid of it. And I still get called silly sometimes when I try to explain it to people, but I also know that every person who has found their true passion in life understands how it feels.

And so, I’d like to wish you all a happy New Year. If you already have something you love the most, I wish you enough courage and determination to pursue it no matter what. And if you haven’t found it yet, I hope 2014 will be the year when you do πŸ™‚ I’d also like to thank my sponsors – Cabrinha, Sklep 24surf.pl, Evokaii and GoPro – for having my back this year. Knowing that there is someone who thinks I am worth supporting is amazing, it makes me push myself even when I think I can’t do it, so thank you πŸ™‚

Until next year and may wind be with you!
Zuza

It’s more fun in the Philippines!

After nearly 40 hours of traveling, five airports, two long night transfers, re-sending my luggage 3 times and repacking it totally in the middle of the airport once, taking a bus, a boat and a tricycle, I am back on the island of Boracay. It’s been the longest one-direction travel I’ve ever done, but even though pretty uncomfortable and exhausting, I already know it was wort it. I am sitting on the beach, staring at one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, pumped out after a sick sesh I had on the water the day before, and I think to myself that this is where I belong. I do not know what tomorrow will bring but I am touching the crispy, white sand with my hands and it’s slipping away between my fingers, making this little crunchy sound I love so much. And the water is touching my bare feet and there are no restrictions, no obligations, no constraints, everything is free free free and it just stares me right in the face and I really can do nothing but laugh. In material terms I do not really have much, my bank account is below zero and everything I own can be fit into one travel bag, at 25 to some people I am probably a failure. But to be honest, experiencing all these beautiful things makes me think I am the queen and own the world. And I would rather have this kind of ‘owning’ than all the money out there πŸ™‚

But. Enough with the philosophical ranting that makes everyone roll their eyes at me! Facts girl, stick to the facts. I’ve been here for more than a week already and so far it’s been everything I’ve expected and more. It feels so different to be back with no attachments elsewhere this year, I can just cut the outside world off and live in the little islandish here and now. It’s better. It’s healthier. It makes me happy and I love it. It’s been sunny most of the time, the wind is not so bad and the people this year are great. The sunsets on White Beach are still my close second favourite in the world (first being the sunsets at my homespot, which are better than anything else). The party scene is as lively as always. Our kiteschool has grown compared to last year and hanging out there even on days with no wind is so much fun. You don’t really understand how blessed you are to have this kind of life, with all its highlights and disappointments, until you go for a few months without it. I don’t think I would ever be able to give it all up for any reason, but if everything goes well, hopefully I will never have to πŸ™‚

I’ve been pretty lazy with all the PR/photos/videos stuff so far, but from now on I’ll try to consistently deliver some bits and pieces of our philippino paradise so that you all can have something to hate me for through the winter πŸ˜‰ For all the Polish followers, check out my recent article about Prasonisi that I’ve done for BlueLife Magazine:
CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE
and for the rest of you, here are a few random snaps taken today on the beach… enjoy and until next time!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

Inner Peace

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and things are just right. The wind is blowing outside your window, the sun is shining like it wants to burn your eyes out and the salty smell is in the air, a mixture clearly announcing another good day in the Place Where You Should Be. As I am writing these words, I am seated on a comfy couch on the beach, hiding in just enough shade to see the laptop screen and trying to focus as our school dog pokes it’s nose into my side asking for some love and attention. Besides my very good friend who is getting on the water right now, there’s absolutely no one here. In half an hour everyone else will arrive, but for now this place is just mine. I like these moments of solitude.

It’s been windy all the time for the past two weeks so our beach life was the usual routine – work, ride, eat, sleep, check the tides, forget what day it is. It’s just so easy to sink into the life here. The atmosphere at school and the people that surround me are great, I’m pretty sure by now that this place will be one of my havens where I get back to charge my batteries. It’s always the same paradox – I couldn’t live here permanently, but then again I could not live anymore without this place either. Funny how you can have a home in so many places while not really having a home at all.

I haven’t been riding too much lately, because half of my gear is still in Poland and there’s just no way to bring it here at the moment. This is how you learn patience I suppose, because on one hand I am really dying to finally ride on my own things and start proper training, on the other hand I know there is no reason to frustrate and make it uncomfortable for others. So, patience. Inner peace. I don’t really believe that good things come to people who wait (in my world they come to people who actually fight for them) but I’m gonna wait all the same πŸ˜‰ Sooner or later it’s all going to be okay, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

It’s time to go now, students are coming soon. We’ll do a bit of filming today in the afternoon, just freestyling a bit for our friend who’s making this small local movie, but I’m looking forward to it. I always perform better when a camera is around, probably because the stress factor kicks in… otherwise laziness wins most of the time πŸ˜‰

Until next update, hopefully kicking ass on my new gear by then!

stupid

molly

May wind be with you,
Suzana

2nd in Spring Jamboree and Egypt Is My Home Again

Welcome in El Gouna!

After the whole 9 months long Greece-Egypt-Asia Chapter I was more than happy to visit Poland for a while – see old friends, spend some time with my family, finally take care of things that needed to be taken care of… it was all great and I’m glad that I did it, but the one thing that I realised while sitting in my old room is that the feeling of this place being mine, being my home base, being the place which I can mark as the starting X on the map… is gone. It is gone and it’s both extremely scary and very exciting, because it means that from now on there is no turning back, no safe haven where I can return if everything screws up. The path I was testing for the past nine months is now the only one I can take and I am fully intending to follow it and rock it while I’m at it! Every day new challenges appear, like my first small pro-camps (first one today – yikes!), events for girls, competitions… and all that while continuing to write, take pictures, make movies and never ever stopping focusing on what I love. It’s doable. And if I can do it, anyone can πŸ™‚

RedSeaZone

I arrived in El Gouna almost a week ago and from that time on I’ve been either chilling out with friends or riding. I love my new kites!!! Switchblade Siren 8m is an IDEAL size for me for conditions 17knts+ and I’m sure it’s gonna be my main kite from now on… I already love it to bits, landing tricks is easy, comfortable, it responds well and has lots of small technical solutions incorporated in the bar that just make it so easy to handle! And yes, it’s pretty as well. All the people who have tested it so far like it a lot πŸ˜€ My board hopefully will arrive on Friday, can’t wait to have it in my hands! Cabrinha Poland, thank you soooooo much for making me so very happy!

fot. Piotr Camel Szlagowski

fot. Piotr Camel Szlagowski

Yesterday there was a Freestyle Jam in RedSeaZone and I got 2nd place in ‘Women’ category πŸ™‚ It was a small competition where all of us went on water at the same time and had 30mins to do as many tricks as we can. You got different amount of points depending on the trick you did and they chose your five best tricks to get the final score. As I said, it was very small, but for the first time ever in any competition I did well, especially that I was overpowered and my board broke in the middle of the jam and I had to go back to the shore to fix it, thus wasting about 10mins from my time… I’m looking forward to any other comps in the future, it really is a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

fot. karolina MaΕ‚ek

fot. karolina MaΕ‚ek

There’s not much more yet to write about my stay here, but hopefully at the end of the week we’ll do a small photosesh on my new gear… now that’s gonna be interesting πŸ™‚ and as of now, I want to invite ALL GIRLS to take part in FREE demo lessons every Sunday at 12:00. Come, try to fly a kite and I assure you you will get hooked to the sport! πŸ™‚

Girls Sundays

May wind be with you,
Suzana

Asia wrap-up and I oficially GOT SPONSORED!

Cabrinha Polska

Oh boy, oh boy, what a crazy week it has been. I landed back in my freezing motherland 9 days ago and from that moment on it’s been taking care of this, doing that, meeting up with friends, spending time with my family, signing contracts… crazy CRAZY but I find some kind of enjoyment in all the chaos unraveling around me πŸ˜‰

My 3 weeks in Mui Ne have gone extremely fast, but then again, if you’re surrounded by amazing people there is always not enough time to say what you want to say and do what you want to do. I started filming in Mui Ne a bit, but because of multiple reasons (the awesomest of them directly below :D) there will be no Vietnam movie released… not this time, but I can always revisit next year πŸ˜‰ Mui Ne was fun, I spent a lot of time lazying around with friends, did a bit of riding and in general just relaxed prepairing myself for the crazy two working-training months in Egypt ahead of me… thank you Liz and Jeff from c2sky kiteschool for once again becoming a part of my Mui Ne family – you made me feel at home even when my home was thousand miles away and if that’s not magic, then I don’t know what is πŸ™‚ And as far as some other amazing people go – this is NOT a good bye, just keep doing what you love and our paths will cross in the future for sure!

And now the time has come for the exciting news I have… I’VE BEEN SPONSORED by four amazing companies – Cabrinha Poland, 24surf.pl, GoPro Poland and Evokaii!!! You can check them out in the Sponsors tab at the top of the page πŸ™‚ This happened a while ago already, but only now back home I was able to meet with proper people, sign proper papers and make it all real and official πŸ˜€ I am extremely happy and I just can’t wait to get in the water again and ride ride RIDE like nothing else matters, especially that from now on I am not alone anymore, I can focus and do what I do without worrying about the technical part of things… I would like to kite-travel more, experience more, make more movies, take good pictures, write articles from places I have visited and help to develop women kitesurfing community around the globe! Getting more crazy, adventure-driven girls into the sport has always been one of my dreams and now, with all the help from my sponsors, I believe I really CAN make a difference! So, even though I’ve said it a thousand times already, from the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU for supporting me! You will not be disappointed! πŸ™‚

I’m staying home only for 5 days more and then I’m off to El Gouna (Egypt) where I’m going to spend whole April and May. I’m going back to RedSeaZone and I’m planning to work hard and train even harder so that by the end of my stay I can land a few new tricks πŸ˜‰ There will be a lot going on in the next two months over there, some local competitions, training camps and other interesting things… I will keep you posted!

You can follow me more closely on my FACEBOOK PAGE, all the daily updates, photos and other small things can be found over there!

Making my filming life A LOT easier!!!

Making my filming life A LOT easier…


...and making sure I'm warm and comfortavble while filming and riding! Yes!!

…and making sure I’m warm and comfortable while filming and riding! Yes!!

May wind be with you,
Suzana

Rockin’ Bulabog edit and bye bye Philippines!

I’m a little late with this update, because exactly on the day of my second video’s release my computer and my tablet have simultaneously decided that they have lived long enough and that it’s time to die. And so, for the next three weeks I’ll be able to post online only when I borrow a computer from my friend…

I’ve left Philippines already and arrived today in the morning back in Mui Ne, Vietnam. I have already had one awesome session, looking forward to all the next ones! I can see my time spent on Boracay has not been for nothing, because my kiting is much better now (even though all the chop makes me feel really unsteady) than compared to two months ago πŸ™‚ I’m going to push it and learn something new in these 3 weeks I’ll be spending in Vietnam!

Below is my latest video edit, fully shot on Bulabog Beach on Boracay. It’s a great place and if you ever consider visiting Philippines to kitesurf, you definitely have to check it out! Big thanks go to Ocean Republic Kite Centre and to all my teammates and riding buddies – you are all a real inspiration to me!

may wind be with you,
Suzana

Seco Island, the land unknown

Sun. Scorching sun. Nowhere to hide, nowhere to sit so that it does not touch my skin. Its rays burn my arms, my legs. My hair for sure will get even more golden highlights than before… but I don’t mind. How could I mind when I look around and all I can see is beautiful white sand, crystal clear blue water, crabs, birds, a few bushes, one little tree and nothing, NOTHING else? When you are in paradise, a few sunburns seem a fair price to pay.

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Seco Island on Philippines is a small piece of land in the middle of the sea, about 3 hours boat ride from the mainland. It is just a sandbank really, about 400m long and maybe 100m wide, but the most amazing thing is that it’s completely wild, with no houses or any other traces of civilization whatsoever. A few kitesurfers who, just like us, have wandered into this desert place at some point have built small shelters, but they are just some palm leafs tied together and supported by two or three bamboo poles… on the island there is no electricity, no cell reception, nothing. The nuclear bomb could shred apart half of the world, a war could break out, aliens could land on Earth and conquer us all and you wouldn’t even know. This is amazing and I love it. I love the feeling of being independent, of being my own, of not having to care about anything besides food, water and… kitesurfing.

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Seco Island is a perfect place to kitesurf, as over there you get consistent winds and flat water. On one side of the island, where you have offshore wind, the water is butterflat and on the other side you get small to medium kickers which can provide endless fun as well πŸ™‚ If you wish, you can kitesurf around the whole island in circles, it is just 400m wide after all… It’s a perfect place to progress and try new tricks and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing during our 3 days long stay there. I have a feeling I’ve learned a lot! In the mornings sometimes there are jellyfish on the onshore-wind side of the island, but as long as you stay on the butterflat side you will not get burned…

If you're trying to learn you are meant to fall, but that's OK!

If you’re trying to learn you are meant to fall, but that’s OK!

If I wasn’t riding, I spent my time filming and the results you’ve seen already in the video Savages on Seco Island (and if you haven’t, go to my previous post and check it out NOW!) which received a very positive reception and has been published on all the major kiteportals online πŸ™‚ Makes me really happy to be able to share this amazing adventure with so many people!

Last look on Seco before we go home...

Last look on Seco before we go home…


On a native Philippino boat in the middle of the sea, ready to set out on another adventure!

On a native Philippino boat in the middle of the sea, ready to set out on another adventure!

Seco Island trips can be organized through a few schools on Boracay, so if you ever wander into Philippines you just HAVE to go. If not, you will miss seeing a piece of paradise and let’s be honest – what could be more amazing than becoming a real Robinson Crusoe for a couple of days?

May wind be with you,
Suzana

PS. More pictures can be found on my FB Fanpage HERE