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 🙂

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 🙂

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? 🙂

May wind be with you,
Zuza

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Boracay has girls on fire

Being back home ROCKS!

Being back home ROCKS!

You know you have found yourself in the right place when time flies by way faster than you wish it to. This is my first blog update since I’ve come back to the Philippines and it’s already 18 February… I’ve been here for more than two weeks and didn’t even find time to post anything online!

I love how this island makes me forget the existence of the outside world.

The first week after I came back was rather windless due to a small typhoon in another part of the Philippines, which messed up the wind on Boracay. It wasn’t too boring though, if boring can even be used as a word describing anything here, as my good friend (and former student 😉 ) is staying here with me at the moment. I loved seeing all my friends again and even though I’ve noticed some changes that happened while I was gone, I still felt right away that this is the place where I want to be 🙂

Training on Bulabog Beach

Training on Bulabog Beach

A day in Union Bay

A day in Union Bay

The last two days have been tons of fun, as my good friend and Best Kiteboarding rider Paula Rosales has organized a second edition of her annual Girl on Fire kiteboarding camp. There were some pretty cool riders joining us and as the KTA is nearing (actually, it is starting tomorrow!) I had an opportunity to meet some of the girls that are going to compete. But as the camp was mostly about girls just riding and having fun on the water together, yesterday we spent the whole day in Union Bay trying new tricks and just goofing around with our cameras and GoPros. It was really cool to see a new spot and try to ride somewhere outside Bulabog!

Girl on Fire invitational

Girl on Fire invitational

in the tricycle on the way to Union Bay

in the tricycle on the way to Union Bay

Training time! :)

Training time! 🙂

Tomorrow is the opening day for the KTA Boracay. It’s going to be a registration and practice day, but from what I’ve seen on the forecast it probably won’t even be windy… we’ll see though, I have already learned that with weather gods you never really know 😉 I’m pretty excited about the KTA on Boracay as it’s going to be my first ‘official’ competition and I am really curious about everything that’s gonna happen. I have quite a lot of experience with competing in sport in general, but still, I am asking myself all these questions, like ‘Will I panick when it comes to it? Or will I be relaxed and just go and ride the way I want it?’ I guess I won’t know unless I try, will I 🙂 It seems like some of my Polish friends (and proriders) are gonna enter as well so I am expecting them to go and rock while they’re at it!

I’ll post another update after the KTA, keep your fingers crossed!

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 🙂 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! 🙂

We’re spending most of our time on an island called Tawila, which is almost as good as the desert island Seco on Philippines 🙂 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 🙂 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!

All Girls Downwind and Evokaii Ad

all girls downwind

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 😉 Sooner or later it’s all going to be okay, isn’t it? 🙂

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 😉

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 🙂

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 😀 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 🙂 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! 🙂

fot. karolina Małek

fot. karolina Małek

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 🙂 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! 🙂

Girls Sundays

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 🙂 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 🙂 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