The Virgin Kitesurf World Championships (VKWC) Youth Cup ended up yesterday, allowing the new generation of athletes to be fully focused on the nurturing clinic in the morning. The rendez-vous involved great names from the kiteboarding industry such as former PKRA competitors Ruben Lenten (NL) and Alvaro Onieva (ES), a well as VKWC wave rider Jalou Langeree (NL).
In front of an attentive meeting Ruben Lenten started sharing his experience, delivering precious advices. „Listen more than you talk, it’s always better so you can learn a lot.“ He continued: „Kitesurfing has been existing for 20 years and many people still don’t know what it is. We need to spread our passion in order to inform them.“ He also approached the crucial subject of reconversion: „I was not really into business. I was having fun on the water and business came to me. I made a brand out of it – Len10.“ Lenten encouraged up-and-coming talents to seize professional opportunities besides enjoying kiteboarding.
So did Alvaro Onieva who also created his own brand after competing for 8 years in the PKRA. Onieva recommended kids to listen to themselves without forgetting sponsors. „Now that I’m actually sponsoring kiteboarders, I can see how important it is that they adapt to the brand. You have to show your personality but also to take care of your sponsors. It’s not just about landing tricks, you have to be a complete rider.“
Then Jalou Langeree explained how important it is to work until attaining someone’s goal. „I’ve been competing in freestyle for 6 or 7 years. I could not reach the podium but was obsessed with it. One day I discovered that surfing with a kite is amazing and I started loving wave discipline.“ Langeree spent a lot of time training to achieve her first wave podium in 2012 and this year she is current number one. „After all, it paid off and I am living the dream.“
They also addressed the importance of using social networks as professional athletes. „I use Facebook to give my sponsors visibility. It is a platform to tell story and reach people, and it works very well. Videos are really important. Do just 15 second funny clips! People will love and share them“, commented Lenten.
„It is an image you’re building everyday„, started Alvaro Onieva. „Don’t be afraid to care a lot about it. Everybody checks it out all the time. You have to link Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And you’ll see that you’ll gain followers.“
Gratefully Youth Cup competitors applauded the experienced kite world protagonists at the end and approached the stars to get some autographs.
Later in the day, the event came to an end with the closing ceremony which crowned all winners: Anthar Racca (Mexico, U17), Mikaili Rocha (Brazil), Oscar Pirreneau (France, U13) and Tom Bridge (United Kingdom, U15). They gave each other franc high fives, happy to win and already sad to leave the amazing location of Sant Pere Pescador. During six days, the young riders made the most of their time getting to know each other and having fun, building an indelible memory. They are already looking forward to meeting again next year, as well as families who seem to have appreciated the Spanish location.
„It’s fantastic! We were here last year also. I think it’s really nice to have the family for the extra-support on everyday. It helps very much. It just makes the whole competition more of a family environment“, Jason Van Der Spuy’s father from South Africa stated.
„You get to know quite a few people from all different parts of the world. Jason has been chatting to them on Facebook and it’s really been fantastic. A few of them came to Cape Town to do competitions and spend a bit of time with us. It creates a lot of links. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they are enjoying the place. Congratulations! The place is excellent. Next year, we would love to come if it’s here again“, he concluded.
More pictures are available on VKWC Facebook page.
Credits: Santi Font