It is the beginning of march and I am yet again waking up to the sun shining, how good does that feel!!! So nice to smell some spring in the air, and feel everything around us coming back to life. The temperature is slowly rising and the days a lot brighter, I have been trying to make the most out of this with lots of cycling and walking, and have been now getting back in the gym trying to get ready for a new season.
Have only sadly had one kite session since my last post, which was a pretty sweet one that I nearly missed out on due to over sleeping. The first pre work and sunrise kite of the year, with just my friend Dan and me on the water, wind was a bit on the light side so I was on my 14m BEST TS, which still managed to give me lots of height when jumping with out much effort and wind. And as big as the kite is, it is still fast turning and feels light to fly, really glad I got this kite as I have used it quite a lot already in winds as light as 12 knots. This giving me a much wider chance of getting out, looking forward to putting it through its paces this summer. As I had not been out in a while it was nice just jumping around and getting back in to the rhythm of rotations, load and pop and jumps. And to be quite honest it was still friggen freezing, only lasted an hour and I was to scared to crash in the icy water.
All is not lost though, I had the amazing honour of writing a spread for Kitegirl magazine about my journey with KB4 girls. I really enjoyed doing this and putting it all together, it was a good experience to see how a write up is done, from creating a story to getting the right pictures. I was really pleased with how it read and looked when it was published and hope you enjoy it too. A massive thank you to Tanya, editor at Kitegirl for this opportunity and helping to share the KB4girls experience. This is the now second edition of Kitegirl Magazine and is yet again packed with lots of goods reads with the main focus being on Kari Schibevaag and Snow Kiting. Also some reviews on 2012 twin tips, stories on warmer getaways and tips for strength training. So with this being the winter edition, this can only mean one thing. The next one will be for summer? Hopefully by then we will have some sea breezes and will be out on the water more and longer. For now though you can read Kitegirl as a magazine or on the new Kitegirl App for ipad, iphone, android or online, there are more videos, pics and links included. Click here for more info.
This week’s guest is Sensi Graves,
I met Sensi last year in New York at the Dream Extreme KB4 girls event, she is real fun and very bubbly, great to be around, only kiting for 3 years and 23 years of age but already a excellent rider, a great coach, and a swimwear designer specialising in bikinis for ladies who are active on the water. So here is Sensi’s story to you, I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did.
Years Riding: 3
Tell me a bit about yourself/your story:
I first touched a kite in 2007 but did not really start to ride until 2009. I started coaching over the summer at REAL in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The conditions and the people there make for amazing sessions and progression and I couldn’t get enough. Now that I’ve graduated college I travel and ride, documenting my sessions along the way. I also work for Liquid Force AND most exciting, have just launched my bikini company, SENSI, for girls who ride.
Where are you from and where do you live now:
I am from Northern California and have always loved sports. Besides team sports, I started skiing at age 2 and snowboarding at 10. Through in a bunch of wakeboarding and a little bit of surfing, and you get a great childhood. Currently I am in Maui but have been traveling pretty consistently over the last two years.
How often do you kite?
Whenever it’s windy!
Are you sponsored/what kite do you ride and why?
I ride the Liquid Force Envy because it is so smooth, stable and consistent. I also ride the LF Influence 133 with Melissa bindings. If you ride boots, I highly recommend the Melissas because they are super easy to get on and off, they are really comfortable and they have Velcro closure straps which means no fiddling with laces. I have a Dakine Wahine harness, which in my opinion is the top of the line harness and has every feature you could want. I have an O’Neill top, spring suit and full suit as well as a Patagonia 4/3 which is the warmest wetsuit I have ever worn.
Apart from kiting what else do you like to get up to?
I love doing yoga and working out. I also love to cook, especially bake. ….and read, I’m always looking for a new good book. Otherwise I spend lots of time designing my swimwear and promoting my line! Finally I enjoy freelance writing and documenting my experiences on my blog sensigraves.com
Do you compete?
This year I took 4th at the Ro Sham Throw Down. There are not that many wakestyle kite events out there but really I just like to ride anyway. I kite for myself.
How did you learn to kite surf?
My dad dragged me along to lessons at REAL Watersports. Despite not even knowing what kiting was, I picked it up really quickly and fell in love. I always love trying new things and this was an especially good new experience.
Who inspires you the most?
In kiting, my boyfriend Brandon Scheid, because I see how hard he works and how much he pushes himself in the sport and Kristin Boese, because she is so determined, caring and such a great promoter of women in the sport. In life, Ellen Degeneres because she did not let discrimination keep her down, is a savvy businesswoman and simply rocks and Tonia Farman (founder of Athletes 4 Cancer) because she is such a strong woman and fights for what she believes in.
Unhooked front roll, Indy grab and riding down the line on a surfboard.
What are you working on?
Favorite kite food?
Tacos, chips and guacamole, fruit and lots of water.
What is your current music choice?
Re Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Atmosphere, any of the Marley’s, a little dubstep…
What is your preferable riding style?
Wakestyle, hitting sliders and strapless wave riding.
Most traumatic experience?
Last year in Maui, I was on the outside of the reef at Kite beach and the wind died. The waves were sizable and so I was stuck self-rescuing while battling white water. Once I reached my kite, I climbed inside with my surfboard to try and float in. All of the sudden a wave broke right on top of me, pushing my kite and I underwater. As I surfaced, my board shot out, I became tangled in the bridle and the kite started to power up. I was scared to death frantically pulling the lines off of myself. Luckily I got untangled pretty easily and after that I was far enough inside where the waves were much smaller and I could swim my kite in. It was a lot of work.
Do you keep fit, what do you like to do? Any tips?
Stretching is very important in any sport and when you’re training really hard it really helps to prevent injury, which is why I recommend yoga to any and all. I also run, strength train and recently went to a gymnastics gym to jump on the trampoline with a bar attached to the wall. This was the best off the water training I’ve done and so if you have a gym near you, use it!
Top 2 beaches and why?
Pomato Point on Anegada because it’s so beautiful with the clearest blue water, is a great launch and has good flatwater. Also, the black sand beach on Maui. It’s so majestic and tranquil.
Can you talk to us a bit about your new brand?
I wanted to start SENSI, after experiencing constant frustration with my bikinis when riding. . It was hard to be active and have to constantly adjust my swimwear. I wanted something that stayed put and still had that flirty, cheery quality that makes bikinis so much fun.
SENSI is designed to empower women by providing reliable, cute and comfortable swimwear for a vigorous and energetic lifestyle. The goal of the brand is to capture the essence of women who are living their lives through watersports and hopefully inspire women to change their lives to include watersports. Also, we value the planet and encourage the use of sustainable resources and respect for one’s environment. Save the ocean!
If you could have any super power what would it be?
Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
Still traveling the world and selling bikinis!
Big events include the Sunset Swim Charity Event at the Triple S Invitational
Athletes 4 Cancer fundraiser
Ro Sham Throw Down in Hood River, Oregon
Continued travel, writing and spreading bikini love!