Thursday, June 20, 2024
NewsBig Air / Freestyle Pro Nathalie Lambrecht joins the North team

Big Air / Freestyle Pro Nathalie Lambrecht joins the North team

Strong character, strong riding style, and strong equipment  – a podium-performing trifecta for North’s newest Big Air and Freestyle rider, Nathalie Lambrecht, who announces her new sponsorship this week. 

“I’m excited to start riding North’s high-performance gear, and I’ve always dreamed of competing in Big Air and Freestyle while being free to pursue and chase the wind. Competition is significant to me, obviously, I want to stand on top of the podium and call myself a world champion, but the end goal is to see how far I can push my own level and live the life of a professional kiteboarder.”

Half-Swedish and half-Flemish, 25-year-old Nathalie Lambrecht was born in Costa Rica and raised between Egypt and Sweden. She spends most of my time competing, training and travelling around the world, living between Sweden, El Gouna and her board-bag.

Brand Director Mike Raper comments “At North, we’re always attracted to riders who are pushing the sport to new levels and have a strong character. Nathalie is cool, a Vice World Champion in Big Air, and her powerful, explosive riding and inner strength inspire us all. We see Nathalie’s potential – combined with our equipment’s high performance – and we expect her to dominate the podium in the coming season. 

Nathalie’s fearless Freestyle and Big Air riding style celebrates her prowess in toeside tricks and looping the kite beneath her. Her go-to move changes over time, but Nathalie loves a good tootsie roll in Freestyle or a kite loop one-foot in Big Air. 

With the kite angle, I posted a video of my 5th-ever Big Air session where the kite went under me (with 22m lines). This was rare in women’s kiteboarding, and scored very well in the GKA competition. It became my signature move.” 

For Freestyle, Nathalie was inspired by 2013 World Champion Gisela Pulido, and spent three months working on bringing her toeside tricks back to the game. “It’s good to take inspiration from others, but you have to make the trick your own and give it an individual signature. I build on my strengths – and what’s most fun.”

Nathalie’s home spot is Makani Beach Club, El Gouna, with its turquoise blue mid-deep water and reliable side-onshore wind from March until October/November. 

The self-professed ‘adrenaline-seeking granny’ grew up on the beach in Egypt, trying to kite whenever possible. “My babysitter’s boyfriend was a kite instructor. He taught me at the age of 12, and I was hooked after the first few metres on the water. I started with old-school – that’s what everyone around me was doing back then — tiktaks, backroll board-offs, and jumping real high. Then came social media, and I started seeing Freestyle online and Aaron Hadlow’s progression videos. That looked cool, and I liked the idea of unhooking, so I started pushing Freestyle. A tour stop came to my hometown and I got the local wildcard, and from that moment, I knew this was the life that I wanted. Feeling all the little butterflies in your belly and then landing all your tricks when it counts is thrilling. I couldn’t even describe it without hugging my whole body!

“I’ve only been doing Big Air for about a year and a half. When I got into it, I only knew, by name, three female riders. Now, there are more than 20 who can compete, and every Big Air event has a waiting list of at least five women who are more than capable of competing with us. It’s like a domino effect – when you see other women do it, you believe you can do it too.

“Over the years, the performance of the equipment has also really changed. The other day, I had my first two-hour session on the Orbit Pro. I was so impressed with the response and how quickly it caught me – and it wasn’t even that strong. Usually, I don’t go doing loops in 20 knots; I wait for it to hit 25 or 30. It was gusting only 18 knots and catching me like I had never felt before.”

Photo: Tom Seagar

Matching visions and “damn good gear” attracted Nathalie to North. “I’ve been on the same brand for many years, so initially, it was really scary to make a change. It’s not just about the gear; but also everything around it and the North team. Talking with Team Manager Alex Vliege, I felt supported and that our visions matched where I wanted to go and where the brand was going. 

Nathalie’s Gear:

Orbit Pro Performance Big Air Kite (6m,7m,8m,9m)

Pulse Freestyle/Wakestyle Kite (7,9,11,13)

Atmos Pro Carbon Big Air/Freeride TwinTip (136cm)

Flare Wakestyle/Park TwinTip (139cm)

Navigator Control System (38-43cm, 45-50cm, 50-55cm)

Fix Boots

Flex Pro Twintip Bindings

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