Gabriele Steindl: Professional Kitesurfer & Freelance Writer - Action, Lifestyle & Travels

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BEST & WORST about being a pro…

BEST & WORST about being a pro…

13 degrees outside temperature, 9 degrees water temperature, wind coming from the totally ‘wrong’ direction for this spot   –  n o n e  of the locals would come up with the rather silly idea of going kiting out here…!?   –   resulting in more than gusty, almost unkiteable conditions.  In addition to that rain and a hell-of-a-lot of excited spectators (in down jackets !!?), highly anticipating the performance of the ‘stars’, the world’s best kitesurfers.  It’s already the 4th day of the event, unfortunately it had started raining precisely on the 1st day and nothing has happened so far except for the qualifier, which has been carried out in stormy conditions with gusts up to 35 knots. Since then: deadly calm.  The participants, hungry to show their skills, are looking for shelter in the equipment tents. Spread out in small groups in between all the gear, the riders are killing time by playing with their laptops, others are sleeping on top of kitebags, a few of those, who are sure that no wind would come up no more, are consuming for professional athletes not appropriate substances, the rest is chilling out, passing time with eating, chatting, swearing ….  Yes, all of us  –  participants, judges, organisation, etc.  –  are on stand-by and should not move too far off the event site as in the highly unlikely case that the wind did suddenly come up after all, the event would be started immediately and nobody would wait for any absent riders….
A scenario that is nothing uncommon dunring the course of a kitesurf competition;  to keep a calm head and motivation-levels up is one of the ‘duties‘ of a kitesurf-professional.

Being a kiteprofessional is a job and comprises a huge spectrum of different duties and obligations on as well as off the water. Some are fun, some a pain, sometimes you get rewarded, sometimes trying to hard will get you nowhere;  breathtaking locations, a lot of travel, joy, sweet sponsorship-contracts for a year or two, unreal conditions are one part of the medal, injuries, pressure, lack of motivation, being dropped like a towel by media and sponsors when a ‘new star’ is coming up on the scene, is the other not so glamorous, ‘hardly ever touched in the media’-part of the medal.

‘Living the pro-dream’ is certainly a huge privilege and me personally, I would not change it for the world !  However, in order to stay on top and retain the interest of sponsors is a tough, very competitive mission. I’ve been privileged keeping in the pro-business for over 7 years now and have mutated over the years from a ‘simple kitesurfer’ into a ‘One-Woman-Show’:  professional athlete, coach, manager, sponsor hunter, marketing & PR, webmaster, journalist, accountant, travelagent … and much more!

I have been curious and interviewed several of my North kiteboarding team-mates on that topic, amongst them Cesar Portas, Angela Peral, Renu Romeo, Jeremie Eloy and others. I have asked them two simple questions “What’s the best and the worst in your job as professional kiteboarder?”. Check out in this article, published in the Spanish Surf a Vela, what my team-mates had to say!

Alternatively if your mother tongue is Germen, check the article published in the leading german magazine,  right here 🙂

Have fun!

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NAME : Surf A Vela

RELEASE DATE : January 2010


AUTHOR : Gabi Steindl

CATEGORIES : various

TAGS : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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  • BEST & WORST about being a pro… -> photo 1
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  • BEST & WORST about being a pro… -> photo 3
  • BEST & WORST about being a pro… -> photo 4
  • BEST & WORST about being a pro… -> photo 5
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