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

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“Superhuman”, the Tawila Island video is out!

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Finally! My new edit from Tawila Island in Egypt is out πŸ™‚ I hope you will enjoy it and big thanks go to Phil from Fun Kite for sponsoring me with this amazing kitesafari trip!!! Check out their website: fun-kite.com/index.php/en/

Freeriding as a way of life is very different from freestyle and competitions. It is based on traveling the world, discovering new cultures, new destinations, new riding conditions. It’s the most wonderful thing and I am very commited to it, but from a professional rider perspective it can be tough in it’s own way sometimes, especially when you are stuck in a place with conditions clearly not suitable for learning new tricks and in the back of your head you know that all your friends are elsewhere, practicing and moving forward with their riding…

…but then you arrive at a destination like Tawila Island in Egypt, where this video was filmed, you look around and see this wild, mindblowing place full of birds and crabs, with flat crystal-clear water, you realise your love for kitesurfing brought you there and you think to yourself “I must be crazy! I have the best job in the world and it doesn’t matter that others move forward faster!”, which is the message I would like to send to everyone watching this short edit.

You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. You don’t have to compete if you don’t want to. If you discover what you love most and have enough courage to pursue it, you have already won. You are already Superhuman.

rider: Zuza ‘Suzana’ Czaplinska
cam/edit: Zuza ‘Suzana’ Czaplinska
music: ‘Superhuman’ – Virtual Riot ft. Amba Shepherd

Check out my amazing sponsors as well:

24surf.pl
Cabrinha Poland
GoPro Poland
Evokaii

may wind be with you,
Suzana

Tawila Island

(I wrote this update last week while still on a kite safari)
boat-kitesafari

As I am writing these words to you, I am seated with my laptop on the roof of a big kitesafari boat. The sun is slowly setting, seaguls are flying everywhere trying to catch their evening meal and the wind is gently blowing, just enough to bring some comfort after a long day under the scorching sun. Everyone else is on the island, probably smoking sheesha and listening to Bob Marley, cause that’s what we do here when it’s not windy enough to kitesurf. Everyone but me, since I just felt this time it’s better to simply find a quiet place and shut down for a bit. Just the little me, surrounded by amazing nature and vast, vast sea wherever I look.

Gods, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this happy.

I’ve been invited to tag along on this kite safari in Egypt as a guest rider and as of now we still have two more days to go. It’s been a wonderful time so far and I really do not want to go back to the ‘normal’ life I have on the shore… it really feels good to finally just wake up in the morning, eat delicious breakfast and spend my morning coffee time on thinking what tricks should I film rather than running to school and focusing all my energy and time on students. I love teaching, but for a while now I’ve had a feeling I am not developing as a rider, something that really depressed me deep down inside. Being here though has opened me up so much, I’ve already learned two new tricks and every day I can see progression in my riding, so all the dark things are now long gone and forgotten πŸ™‚ There are still a few new things I want to try on the water, so hopefully the wind stays with us for the last two days we hare here! I’m filming a lot and hopefully I will be able to release a nice edit from this trip… that would be my first ‘professional’ edit with Cabrinha and all the other sponsors, so fingers crossed it’s gonna work out and everyone ends up happy! πŸ™‚

We’re spending most of our time on an island called Tawila, which is almost as good as the desert island Seco on Philippines πŸ™‚ Tawila has offshore wind and a big shallow lagoon, so perfect conditions for riding AND filming (so easy to put my new GoPro on the tripod in the water, I love it!). We’re all enjoying it tremendously πŸ™‚ Today in the morning we did a short trip to another island, but by the end of the day the guys have decided we’re going back to Tawila, and so here we are again. I don’t mind, for me as long as I can just put my tripod in the water and go rock it on my awesome kites (Yes, I am so in love with them! They were a good choice!) I can be anywhere, Tawila or other islands…

That’s all for now and I wish time would run slower so that I don’t have to leave this place!

May wind be with you,
Suzana

Below you will find posted some screens taken out from the gopro footage… enjoy!

Inshallah, My Friend.

If living in Egypt teaches you one thing, it is patience. Being here often equals waiting: for things to happen, for people to do what they should, for conditions to be what you want them to be, for a stupid tricycle to come and pick you up when you’re already 20 minutes late. I’m one of those people who would want to have everything here and now, who would like to go and MAKE things happen, who would just try to take their dreams and force them to come to life… There’s still a big chunk of a city girl in me who blurts things out instead of thinking them through and power walks even when there’s enough time to take a lazy stroll… But it’s been almost two months and the things that were driving me crazy at the beginning don’t bother me now. I’m still a newbie here, but I guess the art of Inshallah (‘If Allah gives’) is a mistery to me no more. Whatever comes, comes and if it doesn’t then just chill and look for a positive somewhere else…

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My instructor life here has been pretty uneventful lately, with a bit of wind, a bit of teaching and a bit of lazying around… A few days ago we took our clients for a 2-days long kitesafari and it was pretty cool πŸ™‚ It’s always fun to pack your kites and go teach in a remote location with clear blue water and no one to bother you. Students are always happy with it too, and if it gives them the motivation to practice harder, I’d say it’s the best thing ever!

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Last week I had the opportunity to run my first IKO Assistant Instructor course and I must say I loved it! Showing other people how to teach and then observing as they put their newfound knowledge into practice gives such tremendous satisfaction! I was slightly nervous at the beginning about how it will all turn out, but in the end everything went great – my trainees were awesome, we managed to go through a lot of material and one of our guinea pigs during the course is now up on the board and riding! Now that is something πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to organizing more such courses in the future!

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Recently I’ve been invited to join a one-week kitesafari as a guest/rider… It starts this Sunday and I’m super stoked for it as it will give me a great opportunity to leave all the responsibilities behind and just film every (windy) day! I really need some ‘me’ time to focus and progress a bit, hopefully that’s gonna be it! Thank you Phil (the owner of the kitesafari boat) for sponsoring me with this awesome trip! πŸ™‚

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May wind be with you,
Suzana

All Girls Downwind and Evokaii Ad

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A few days ago we were a bit bored and so we decided to organize a downwind for all the RedSeaZone girls. We packed our things, took a bus and went all the way to El Gouna border, from where we kitesurfed back to RSZ. It was really a lot of fun to be just with my girl mates, I’m always doing everything with guys so it felt good to ride with women for a change! And we had so much fun just cruising downwind, doing tricks, high-fiving each other on the water and just being silly πŸ™‚ Hopefully we can do it again soon!

I’m very excited for tomorrow, because finally ALL MY KITE GEAR is gonna come here from Poland! This means my smokin’ hot new board and my 10m kite and some other cool things… I’m already getting ready to shred it hard on the water tomorrow – GoPro is charging, tripod is sitting ready next to my backpack and the camera is packed… I’ll film as soon as I get my hands on my things, I’ve been waiting SO LONG for this! So tomorrow’s gonna be a good day πŸ™‚ Hopefully some pictures will follow!

Stay tuned for more, and check out the little advert I did recently for my clothing sponsor Evokaii:
Evokaii Grunge Longsleeve

May wind be with you,
Suzana

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!

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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