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

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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

sri-lanka-(1-of-1)-12

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.

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

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

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!

27, wait, what?

BADA BIG, BADA BOOOM!

Today is my birthday (27! Time to start calling myself ‘an old hag’ or what?) and so, I have decided to sit down and scribble something here. So let’s see…

After an amazing week spent in the CWC cable park in the Philippines and two days of full-on chilling during the best transit in Bangkok I have ever had, I have finally landed back in Warsaw, my lovely home city, and I’ve been staying here for over two weeks now.

The first question that has hit me upon arrival was “OK lady, so what are you gonna do with your life now?” and to be completely honest, the first few days were a constant search for the best answer. I wanted to do something that will let me develop in the direction that interests me in kiteboarding, I wanted it to be something that, for a change, puts ME first in my own head and I wanted it to be something sensible, because for the past year, as awesome as it was, it seems I have made many misplaced decisions that have not profited me in any particular way. I have kind of realised that, being 27 years old, I can’t do things the same way as when I was 23. Life is different now in many ways and it’s time to step up my game a notch, otherwise this lifestyle will just leave me behind.

So I sat down. And I started thinking about the things that I truly want.

Life is an interesting little bugger, because it seems to me that when you open your mind to all the possibilities, put yourself first and assume that you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, it always shows you new solutions you haven’t seen before. And it surely did so for me this time, and my new plan is already in motion! πŸ™‚

For all of you interested, I will be hanging out in Poland a lot more this spring and summer. You’ll see me more on the Polish competitions, festivals, girls kite meetings (Cabrinha Girls Weekends – yes, those things are totally happening this year too! We’ve already started planning dates and the general outline, so stay tuned! I’m so excited that this little pet project of mine is still growing strong and receiving so much support from the outside), we’ll be organizing some exciting stuff like photoshoots, downwinders and wakeboarding trips on no-wind days… It looks like my schedule will be pretty packed with awesomness this summer and truth be told – I can not wait!

Probably the best part of me being back home is that I have visited Cabrinha Poland office and have finally oficially SIGNED A NEW CONTRACT with Cabrinha for another two years! I’m changing my setup a bit too, from now on I will be riding Chaos kites and Custom board with Cabrinha boots. I’ll still have my XCaliber on the side of course, but for now I’m super thrilled to step up my game and expand into different areas of the sport a bit πŸ˜‰ Funny how I’ve been into kiteboarding for quite a few years now but recently I feel like a beginner all over again in so many things!

Even though Polish competitions usually start in May already, I don’t think the Polish season will kick in for real until around mid-June (and let’s be honest – it’s too cold for me before that anyway), so until then I will for sure go on one or two smaller kite trips abroad for myself, just to explore, log in some hours on the water, take some photos and maybe release a kite story or two… Actually, I have just bought (a b-day present to myself, haha!) a ticket to Sardinia on 29 March. Sardinia looks like an amazing place that has it all – flat water, 2.0 for no-wind days and even some obstacles on the kitespot (now that will be fun to try!). I am EXTREMELY excited, because Sardinia is one of those places on my kite list that I have always wanted to visit. And it’s going to be my first proper kite trip (without working) in ages! πŸ˜‰

That’s it for now, my next update hopefully will be from Sardinia already!

May wind be with you,
Zuza