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

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On Islands, Competitions, Sun and How Chaos Has Entered My Life

It’s been ages since I have posted my last update on this blog. SEVEN months to be exact. It is an extremely long time, but I do believe that a good note is something that conveys a good story behind it, and somehow for the last few months my life has not been filled with good stories to tell. I had a so-so summer in Greece. I came home for two months to defend my MA and make My People proud with a higher education diploma (Yes, this has actually happened. Finally. I know.). I have organized some girly events in Poland, which were actually tons of fun and which hopefully I will be able to organize this year as well. I met some people who opened my eyes to amazing things I didn’t know before and I met some who showed me the kind of person I would never want to be. All in all, a good 2014. Solid. Solid, but not spectacular. And for those of you who know me, you all are perfectly aware that spectacular is what I think you should go for in life.

Taking it easy on Boracay

But now we have 2015, and as all the problems and dilemmas of 2014 drift into oblivion, new possibilities arise on the horizon. It is up to me to either buckle up, grab them and see where they take me or stay calm and play it safe. I am not sure yet which road I will take, but I am very happy to say that whatever I do with myself this year, it will be on the best gear on the market – Cabrinha! This year I will be on Cabrinha Chaos, I have been riding them since December and can honestly say that these kites are amazing πŸ™‚ They make me happy every time I hit the water, and I can’t imagine I could be riding anything else at the moment. I would like to take a second to thank my amazing sponsor 24Surf.pl here for offering me a really nice deal for this season and encouraging me to pursue kiteboarding even more in 2015. Thanks for always having my back, you guys rock infinity! πŸ™‚

Scott Ritchie Photography

Scott Ritchie Photography

This winter I have yet again spent on Boracay. It is amazing how this place feels more like home to me now than any other spot in the world. Philippinos believe that they are the mistical children of Mother Nature, and there must be something to it, because there clearly is magic involved in how this island draws people in and never lets them go. I’ve been very happy here, and we have had a few interesting characters passing by the island throughout the season, some of whom I hope I will cross my paths with again sooner or later. I was happy to see that there are people who can shape their passion for kiteboarding into their life and be successful at it. Makes me believe that maybe one day I can do it too πŸ˜‰

Yesterday we have finished a Boracay island stop for the ICTSI Philippine Kiteboarding Tour. This even was a lot of fun but also a good lesson on how competition riding differs from your everyday freeriding experience. And I am not even talking about stress, which I am usually able to manage quite well, but rather about the fact that you have to perform when they tell you and where they tell you. No one cares if you have stomped your best trick two minutes before your heat, if you can’t stomp it in the designated 7 minutes then boo-hoo. I am not sure if I like this kind of riding, but for sure I want to try it a few more times in the future before I form any kind of final opinion about it πŸ™‚ I think I will take part in the Polish Kiteboarding Tour this year, so this was a good warm-up experience before the Polish kitespot reality hits me πŸ˜‰ It wasn’t very windy during the competition, so we only managed to finish the single elimination, in which I ended up on the 4th position. It was pretty exciting to participate in this event and one thing I can say for sure – be it during the day or at night, Philippinos know how to after party!

pka1
pka4
pka2
foto aya

I don’t have that many days left on the island, but I am planning to use the remaining time here as best as I can. The funny thing is that I don’t even know what is gonna happen to me next, and even though slightly unsettling, it is pretty exciting to see what kind of new mess I can get myself into!

I will try to be a better girl and keep this little journal thingy more alive from now on. Stay tuned, be patient with me and keep on rockin’!

May wind be with you,
Zuza

4th in KTA Boracay!

(written straight after the competition has finished)
KTA

Registration day

Registration day

What an eventful week it has been! First the Girl on Fire girls kitecamp, then my first competition ever… KTA Boracay finished today at 4PM and after riding in both single and double elimination, I managed to get 4th place overall! Very happy about the result, I never thought I will be able to do it! πŸ™‚

4th place overall :)

4th place overall πŸ™‚

The first two days of KTA presented very light wind so it was all about racing racing and even more racing. It was good though, as it gave me time to talk to people and observe how everything is organized and run here. Thanks to that by the time my heats came, I was confident and calm and could just focus on performing my 7 minutes. On the first day of freestyle I managed to climb up to the 4th place in the single elimination, but during my 3rd/4th place heat I chose entirely wrong settings on my 8m kite and when the wind dropped I was completely underpowered and unable to do most of my tricks. On the double elimination day the wind got really strong and we got pretty stormy conditions. I rode my first heat well, fully powered on my 8m kite, and managed to defend the 4th place. Right after that in my next heat the wind was already so crazy strong I could not unhook anymore, which lead to my loss against the UK rider Rosanna Jury, who ended up 3rd. I am very happy with the results though, I never thought I will climb to the top four on my first international competition πŸ™‚

KTA11 KTA1 KTA5 KTA2

I feel I’ve learned A LOT about competition riding during those past 4 days. It’s all about luck, skills to perform in all conditions and being able to handle all your kite sizes equally well. For me an additional challenge was riding my 8m kite in all my heats, as this is a kite size I use VERY rarely and I am not used to it at all. I am sure in lighter wind I would be able to perform much better, but a competition is what it is, you have one chance and you either win it or loose it. There’s no use complaining about the wind or rain or kite sizes, you just have to suck it up and go for it with all you have every time. I still have a long way to go but I am sure I will be able to perform better in the future. This event showed me that it is all possible, but most importantly, I absolutely LOVED being there, riding my heats, living the atmosphere of the competition and just trying to do my best. I used to compete in sports a lot before, but I didn’t even know that I missed this feeling so much. Before the KTA I was not sure if I’ll take to it again, as I always somehow imagined I will be very stressed and uncomfortable, but instead I felt calm, happy and, surprisingly, I felt like I was in the place where I was supposed to be πŸ™‚ Now I definitely know that I want to compete in Poland this year and take part in the whole KTA next season, so I guess it’s time to start scraping the budget for 2014/2015 πŸ˜‰

KTA8 KTA7 KTA9

All that’s left for this event is the prize giving tonight and then a massive party in one of the coolest beachbars on the island, so I’m gonna finish this update right here, thank you all for the attention and go take a quick shower before the long night out. We’ve all put a lot of effort on the water over the past few days, so now it’s time to let it all go and party until sunrise! πŸ˜‰

KTA10
Thanks go to all my sponsors:
24surf.pl
Cabrinha
Evokaii
Cheeky&Coco
GoPro

May wind be with you,
Suzana

all pictures taken for the KTA by the awesome Alexandru Baranescu Photography

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