**Can you tell us how your interest in kiting began, and what prompted you to begin the riding journey?** I'd reached a point in my life where I felt bored and all I seemed to be doing was working. I was only 23 and wanted to be doing something new and exciting when I saw this awesome looking activity happening on my local beach. I can't remember how I found out what it was called but happened to see a poster in an Animal Clothing shop. It was actually Kirsty Jones advertising Animal, but at the bottom of the poster was the British Kite Sports logo. So after doing some research at the local internet cafe (mad to think about internet cafes now, I think I must have just moved into my new house and was waiting for it to be installed), I found my local school and shop. My lesson was in about 30+ knots and couldn't move my neck or shoulders after the 1st day, but I was hooked and knew I was going to carry it on! **Was the learning process easy of was it filled with obstacles?** I remember I really struggled in the beginning to get up and do sustained runs, but I I think I had good kite skills and don't remember slamming the kite like we see some of our students doing, maybe you'd better ask my husband about that one?! I know he actually told me several years ago that he never thought I would actually do it! lol. But to give me my due, our area always has waves and I was learning on a 'C' kite, beginners today don't know they're born. I know my progression really took off when the 1st bow kites came out and I never looked back.
**Where is your home spot and what makes it exciting?** I live in South Wales, UK and love it. I have beaches right on my doorstep that work in almost all wind directions. We always have waves which I love, although a hindrance in the beginning when learning to kite. I ride a surf board probably 99% of the time and in fact now have a serious lack of enthusiasm if we happen to get a flat water day, which to be fair, doesn't happen very often. I also have two point breaks very close to where I live which are also the right direction for a regular footer, so wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I am also extremely lucky that the beaches are very large and sandy with virtually no obstacles helping to minimize potential for injury. I think everyone loves their home spot, the other thing I love is the socializing with good kiting friends after a great day on the water, Marc and I have built a great kiting community and often receive comments from newbies on what a very friendly atmosphere there is down the beach and everyone is approachable and helpful. **You've traveled extensively, where are your favorite spots to ride and what makes them special?** I'm not sure I've traveled that extensively, there are plenty more countries on my list to visit but the ones I've been to we do keep returning to and I think one of my favourite spots has to be Brazil as our trips are adventures as well as a kitesurfing paradise. We mainly do downwinders there so no fighting to get back up wind to ride the next wave. The sea is as warm as bath water and all we wear is rash vest and board shorts, what more could you want. North Portugal and Morocco are my other favourite ones all because of the wave riding opportunities they have to offer.
**Can you talk about a memorable session and what made it special?** I think my most memorable and favourite session has to be at Moulay, Essaouira. We were made to feel very welcome at the local cafe that had a balcony that literally hung out over one of the wave spots there. It was just my husband and I on the water, on 6.5m kites, with a beautiful 4-5ft ish, clean swell, until the wind picked up and blew us off the water. I think the another would have to be in Cape Hatteras with Dimitri in big lumpy swell and when I got off the water a woman came running up to me and told she thought I was wonderful for being out there representing the girls. **Conversely, can you talk about a dramatic session or frightening moment?** I've had a few heart stopping moments when I've been held down under the water for longer than I'd really want to, when it's been big heavy swell, don't tell my mother! Another 'dramatic' session was with Dimitri in the snake infested slicks when my kite deflated mid air and he had to rescue me. Luckily he always rides really well powered so I was able to 'wake board' behind him holding onto his leash, into the closest beach. (Ask him for photos's I'm pretty sure he has some, we both fell off our boards as he was trying to get the camera out of his pocket, lol.) **What is it about kiteboarding that attracts you and keeps you coming back for more?** When I was first asked this question, I honestly thought, 'I really don't know.' But actually I think the main thing is the feeling I get when I'm carving on the face of of the wave and see bucket loads of spray coming from it, even when the surf is tiny you can still create a decent amount. This then really motivates me into wanting to become a much better wave rider. I always used to tell my husband that I was going to be better than him, that is never going to happen unfortunately, but I want to keep trying to get close to how good he is. **Have you been a victim of Dimitri's morning wake up calls?** Nope, he knows better ;-) **You're in the medical profession – how easy or difficult is it to mesh kiting into your busy life?** Nothing is very easy when I'm working 15-16 hour shifts and sometimes I always seem to be working on the days that it's windy and it's even more frustrating when you know Marc and all the locals are out enjoying the wind. But equally, working shift can also give you 3-4 days off in a row allowing Marc and I to enjoy not only kiting together but mountain biking, surfing and hiking.
**What do you find truly rewarding about running Blast Kiteboarding?** One of the things I love most is seeing the smile on a students face when they have just managed their first sustained runs. The other are the trips that we run, as we get to meet a lot of awesome people and spending time with them kiting and laughing. It's almost depressing when we come back because it's so quiet, it takes a few days to get used to it just being the 2 of us again. **You're largely responsible for arranging the international kite trips with Blast. Has there been a favorite trip?** I don't think I've got a favourite as each trip is different. I love meeting new people and learning all about them. We always have such a laugh on our trips and we have made some life long friends through them. **What is your Epic equipment of choice, and why?** It has to be their 5m kite and it's great to see that they are introducing it back into their 6G range. Being small and light I've ridden a lot of small kites and the main reason I love it is that it feels like a 'proper' kite, not like a toy. A lot of them feel gutless, unlike the Epic one. I use it mainly for wave riding but it's also an awesome kite for an all-round session to. **And... hands down, where is the best place to eat from all of your travels?** I'm not sure there is a 'hands down best place to eat' but there was a local restaurant that we went to on one of our Brazil trips with a funny story. We were all fancying some pasta so when we saw linguiça on the menu, that had to be linguine right?! wrong! 8 out of 12 of us ordered it and I'm sure the waiter and waitresses found it highly amusing when they brought us 8 plates of just, chopped up sausage. Makes me laugh every time I tell that story. To be fair we always eat well on our trips and the best part is that after kiting all day you feel that you can eat anything you like.