Name: Sarah Craddy
Year riding: 8
Tell me a bit about yourself and your story?
I grew up in South Gloucestershire and spent my life in the water as a competitive swimmer but didn’t do any other watersports such as surfing on windsurfing. I did have a skate board and a BMX though and also did gymnastics and went horse riding along the River Severn. Every summer we would go on a family holiday to the south west of France and my brother and I would spend the whole day playing in the sea in the waves.
When I took redundancy from my job in London at the beginning of 2003, I took on a freelance project in Brighton, where I was living at the time. Cycling home one evening, along the promenade to Hove, I saw these things bobbing in the air over the sea, so I went to investigate and what I saw I wanted to try! A few lessons and six months later, I’d packed in my freelance job, packed up my flat, bought two kites and a board and set off for 6 months around the world travelling and learning. That was over 8 years ago and life has not been the same since!
After many years of dreaming, in 2010 my wonderful BF Mark and I founded Always Windy (www.alwayswindy.com
) and I gave up the 9 to 5. We now run Always Windy between us organising bespoke kite tours and holidays, mainly to Gokova Bay, Turkey.
I have also just been selected as a KB4Girls Ambassador which I am extremely excited about and have lots of lovely ideas on the boil for the Turkey Chapters events this year, so keep an eye out at www.kb4girls.org
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Originally from South Gloucestershire, UK, but lived in Brighton & Hove for 9 years then Tarifa, Southern Spain, for 4 years before moving to Gokova Bay in Turkey, which is where I now spend 8 to 9 months of the year and then 2 months in Vietnam, with the rest in between visiting family and friends.
Right now, we are in Mui Ne, Vietnam running our Next Steps and Advanced Clinics so come and join us, we will be here until mid-March!
How often do you kite?
Most days for around 10 months of the year.
Are you sponsored/what kit do you ride and why? (everything from kite, wetsuit to harness)
I’m not sponsored but I am always up for offers!
I ride North Vegas 2012, 7, 9 and 12m. I’ve been riding the Vegas since 2006 and although I try as many toys from the toy box as I possibly can, every year, right now for me nothing matches the Vegas – it is a finely tuned freestyle machine!
My board is a 130×39 Youri ‘Yummy’ Zoon Pro from 2009. It’s the magic board! Mark and I currently have 3 between us and are always looking for more to put in the cupboard!
Santa bought me new footpads and straps, the North Entity. I have always had trouble getting off the shelf pads and straps to fit my narrow feet, but these rock as they have so many settings you really can get them to fit your feet (and not just big boy feet!).
My harness is a Maui Magic Hana Waist… need I say more; the best harness ever invented for women, which for some strange reason they have stopped producing – please if anyone in the industry is reading this, find one and copy it! I had my last one for 3 years and then by a stroke of luck I found a new one in my size being sold on Ebay last year and snapped it up!
Wetsuit? What’s that hahaha I currently have an Oxbow 3:2 for the few times I need one, it’s okay but I still pine after my old Xcel.
Apart from kiting what else do you like to get up to?
I’m currently studying for a degree in Interior Design & Interior Architecture. It’s a home study course so takes some discipline! I’ve always been fascinated by Interior spaces and how they affect us and the materials used. I’m basing my whole degree around sustainability and the environment.
I love to craft, especially out of anything I can recycle, such as soda cans, old t-shirts, and things I find on the beach – I have a huge drift wood collection all waiting to be transformed.
My other passion is cooking; if it’s not windy I could happily spend the whole day in the kitchen creating.
And of course I love a bit of yoga at the beach!
Do you compete? If so what was your best and not so best experience?
Nope, too old ;o) I competed for 10 years as a swimmer so I feel like I’ve done my bit ;o)
How did you learn to kitesurf?
The hard way in 2003 with scary old C kites, strong winds and very little depower.
Who inspires you?
I met Tuva Jansen many years ago whilst in Western Australia – was going through that trough of learning after the peak of just getting up and riding and was really ready to throw it all in. We were having a drink one evening and she told me about her learning experience, it was so similar to mine and coming from someone I really admired! She totally inspired me that evening to continue and I did. Every time I’m having a low I think of that conversation and keep going!
Andrina Kelly – she’s amazing! I met Andrina in 2004 at the BKSA event in Brighton and we’ve been best pals and kiting buddies ever since, even though I left the UK in 2005! I have honestly never met another female kiter with such enthusiasm, energy and passion for kiting as Andrina – even on the coldest days in March she’d get me out there!
And so many more Krisin Boese, Kirsty Jones, Jo Wilson, Suzi Mai, Laurel Eastman, Steph Bridge and the list goes on…
To watch, I love any old school board off’s and the Deadman – visually pleasing and you know what they are doing!
What are you working on?
Railly to Blind (ouch) and The Dark Slide – it’s so fun to learn!
In Vietnam this winter I am jumping on a surfboard for the first time – I can’t wait to try something completely different!
Favourite kite food?
Homemade Flap Jacks – you can’t beat them for an energy boost! Email me if you want some healthy recipes!
What is your current music choice?
So varied, depends on the mood.
What is your preferable riding style?
Freestyle, as in the dictionary definition, my choice!
1. (Individual Sports & Recreations/Swimming, Water Sports & Surfing) a competition or race, as in swimming, in which each participant may use a style of his or her choice instead of a specified style
Most traumatic experience?
At the time I’m sure there have been many traumatic experiences but looking back I’ve met people with far worse stories than any I could tell!
Top 2 beaches and why?
Coche in Venezuela always springs straight to mind. Super flat turquoise water, clean winds and Cuba Libras! And of course my current home, Gokova Bay in Turkey! It is truly wonderful, lots of space, flat water, shallow and constant daily thermal winds.
If you could have a super power what would it be?
Something environmental/ecological, to do with reversing the effects of global warming and cleaning up the planet and seas.
Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
Living and kiting off a yacht in the Caribbean… and then she woke up.
Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift
That’s why it’s called the Present
Basically, time waits for no man… don’t live in the past or over worry about the future, enjoy the here and now!