Sunday, July 21, 2024

GIEL VLUGT 

AGE: 26 
COUNTRY: THE NETHERLANDS 
LOCAL KITE SPOT: TARIFA, SPAIN 
SPONSORS: OCEAN RODEO 

Kitesurfing Magazine: What motivates you on the water? 

Giel Vlugt: Seeing anyone else who’s better than me or anyone who is progressing faster. I’m pretty competitive so I’m always getting motivation out of other people’s accomplishments. 

KM: What is your off-the-water 

training like? 

GV: I try to go to the gym every day but I would say about five times a week. Not only strength but also endurance training. Also I love sports like tennis and basketball. Any activity can keep me occupied for hours. 

South African road trip. Kyle Cabano photo

KM: Any recommendations for learning new tricks? 

GV: Prepare as much visually as you can. Don’t just dive into it. Make a plan in your head and repeat it over and over again. If you feel like you can basically dream it just go for it! 

KM: What would you say to anyone wanting to learn to kite? 

GV: Do it, there’s absolutely nothing holding you back from learning the best sport there is. 

KM: What inspires you? 

GV: Actually something that nobody would guess; the mindset of athletes and in particular basketball athletes. We’ve all seen the Michael Jordan documentary right? An absolute winner and competitor in everything he does. Kobe Bryant and even LeBron James are probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to workload, perseverance, mindset etc. 

KM: What do you like about big air competition? 

GV: I love the thrill. The buzz you get just seconds before the buzzer sounds and you have to go out. I feel my hands tingling and my heartbeat rising. It’s not stress, it’s excitement. Performing on the biggest stage is something all athletes dream of. In a big air competition you find out how well you actually kite. 

KM: How did you get to where you are today? 

GV: By working hard, staying disciplined and always getting out of the comfort zone. The danger in big air is that you get very comfortable doing certain tricks and you can be out flying and doing rotations at 15 meters high for an hour and your hair could still be dry. It feels incredible to land everything but actually it should be a warning sign; it’s clearly time to move on and step it up!

KM: What motivates you on the water? 

Giel Vlugt: Seeing anyone else who’s better than me or anyone who is progressing faster. I’m pretty competitive so I’m always getting motivation out of other people’s accomplishments. 

KM: What is your off-the-water 

training like? 

GV: I try to go to the gym every day but I would say about five times a week. Not only strength but also endurance training. Also I love sports like tennis and basketball. Any activity can keep me occupied for hours. 

KM: Any recommendations for learning new tricks? 

GV: Prepare as much visually as you can. Don’t just dive into it. Make a plan in your head and repeat it over and over again. If you feel like you can basically dream it just go for it! 

KM: What would you say to anyone wanting to learn to kite? 

GV: Do it, there’s absolutely nothing holding you back from learning the best sport there is. 

KM: What inspires you? 

GV: Actually something that nobody would guess; the mindset of athletes and in particular basketball athletes. We’ve all seen the Michael Jordan documentary right? An absolute winner and competitor in everything he does. Kobe Bryant and even LeBron James are probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to workload, perseverance, mindset etc. 

KM: What do you like about big air competition? 

GV: I love the thrill. The buzz you get just seconds before the buzzer sounds and you have to go out. I feel my hands tingling and my heartbeat rising. It’s not stress, it’s excitement. Performing on the biggest stage is something all athletes dream of. In a big air competition you find out how well you actually kite. 

KM: How did you get to where you are today? 

GV: By working hard, staying disciplined and always getting out of the comfort zone. The danger in big air is that you get very comfortable doing certain tricks and you can be out flying and doing rotations at 15 meters high for an hour and your hair could still be dry. It feels incredible to land everything but actually it should be a warning sign; it’s clearly time to move on and step it up!

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