Spin the Globe will present you riders from all around the world we've met on our travels and due to their nature didn't forget. This time we head for beautiful South Africa.
Hello Caroline, please introduce yourself?
I was born in Johannesburg, and grew up there, so only really discovered my love of the ocean when I moved to Cape Town at age 30.
I have always loved the water, Pisces (the fish) is my star sign, and I started surfing first when I was 35, moved onto kiting only at age 46!
This enables me to be in the ocean in Cape Town almost all the time, as when the windy season stops in winter here, we then have the best swells for surfing.
I have always been sporty, at age 14 I received my South African colours for gymnastics, I was in the national team for 6 years, and through that travelled a lot to other countries in the world to compete. I believe my fitness and body strength developed at a young age has kept me in shape for any other sport I have tried over the years. I do seem to prefer the extreme sports, and I cannot resist trying something new. I think it is important to have a few passions in life, that way you don't get bored with the same thing all the time! I also spent a few years Rockclimbing which came to me easily as I am small, agile and light. The best thing about extreme sport is that it also takes you to incredible places you would never see as an ordinary individual. I have climbed mountains no one else has been on, and kiteboarded in the remotest places with just the sea and some dolphins around me! This is truly experiencing nature and the wonders thereof.
Where have been kiteboarding so far? What are your top destinations?
I have kiteboarded all over South Africa, Cabarete, Mauritius and Mozambique.
Although it's nice to travel and kite elsewhere, Cape Town is by far the best destination as the wind is strong, consistent, and we have swell with great waves, the only drawback is that you must wear a 5mm wetsuit as the Atlantic water is freezing even in summer, but this is still the most exciting and challenging ocean for kiteboarding. There are numerous places for downwinding and they are the best fun!
What's the beauty of this place? What's dragging you to it again and again?
Cape Town has everything anyone who loves the outdoors could desire.
The mountains are great places to explore, right on our doorstep, within a 10 minute drive .
The ocean is wild and terribly exciting with both the Atlantic and Indian ocean side. Cape Point is scenic and spectacular!
What are the top 5 things one should do while visiting Cape Town?
Wow, there are so many, but I guess, after kiting all around the peninsular, the next most important thing will be of course to go up Table Mountain. Kiteboarders are fit so take a hike up and catch the Cable Car down, that way you get to actually feel the mountain!
Robben Island is well worth a visit, departing from the famous Waterfront.
Cape Point is a must to visit, and you can combine that with a tour of Kalk Bay and see the penguin colony at Boulders, a fabulous place to play in the rock pools.
Chapmans Peak is a spectacularly scenic drive with amazing surf and kite spots on the way to Cape Point. Misty cliffs being a real favourite.
And then there are the wine farms of Stellenbosch and Franschoek, a great time to go wine tasting is when there is no swell or wind!
Which are the best places to kite around Cape Town? Any Downwind routes one should have done?
First is the Atlantic Seaboard anywhere around Kite Beach, here you can downwind a short or long distance, there are places all along the way to come out very close to the road and get back easily to your starting point!
On the Indian Ocean side favorite kiteboarding spots are Muizenberg at Sunrise Circle and Strand, a long white beach!
Hook up with friendly locals and you will get all the information you need and probably a downwind partner as well!
What's the Cape Town Kite community like? Is it big? Anything special?
The Kiteboarding community here is not very big, people are friendly and helpful, and will always advise and help anyone in trouble. We have a lot of ocean to kite in and are always respectful of tourists. There is always a coffee shop close by to meet kiters and lots of fun to be had.
We do have our ''Wednesday night Kite Racing'' except it has changed to Thursday night... Haha... anyone can enter and the races are so much fun! There are different categories for twintip and directionals and prizes for the overall winners. This is all hosted at one of our local Bar/Restaurants and it's great to get together with all your friends there. The racing is before sunset, so technically not at night... just in the early evening to accommodate the people working to keep our economy going... or perhaps... working to be able to kite more!!
CORE stands for Performance, Safety, Quality and Service. Which attribute would you add and why?
I would add the attribute of stability .
The kite feels "solid" to me, when I let it go in neutral it just plonks in the sky and stays there!
I value the feeling of safety highly, I have had my fair share of injuries and like being on a top quality kite that keeps me safe. I also like the quick swivel system on the bar, and the bar is very solid as well... very well made from high quality materials.
What do you enjoy besides kiteboarding and why?
My latest passion is adventure motorbike riding, as this also takes me to remote places in Africa along roads that cars cannot go .
Here I also ride a quality bike, once again, a bike that can go anywhere, is strong, tough and reliable, The KTM 690 enduro. Chosen specially for me and lowered enough for me to ride, with enough power to ride distances on tar and take me into the mountains.
I love my bike, it is so powerful, and I have so much fun on it! It is my ''plan B'' for when there is no wind!!
Don't fingernails usually break due to doing that? Doesn’t sound too girly to me?
I do have pretty dresses to wear after a day in the bush or on the water, but honestly... I don't live for my fingernails!
I think todays man is not scared off by an adventurous girl, and it actually is way more fun and useful to have a girl along for the ride, guys get bored with only men around!!
I believe you have a 21 year old son, what does he think about his mother doing all these more extreme sports?
Ahh... he is really proud, as am I, of him. He is a surfer currently studying in America with his gorgeous girlfriend. I think he has taught me as much about life as I have taught him, my favorite quote stolen from him, which he in turn stole from a favorite band, is ...
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
And today is the present... that's why it is called a gift!
Thanks for the interview.
Interview conducted by Carsten Nommels.
Life is a journey. Kiteboarding has taken us to the best spots on the planet and allowed us to get to know the local kiters from all corners of the globe. At the same time we have been able to delve into the technology behind the products that we use on a daily basis and catch a glimpse behind the scenes of the kite industry. There are many interesting characters behind the products and it became clear to us, that CORE is not only made up of a team from the Fehmarn Island but instead is made up of people from the world’s beaches. Therefore we became a part of something much bigger.
The idea behind our web-experiment CoreNation is to allow us to share our experiences with you. We want to take you with us on our journeys and share our adventures, experiences and our daily work with you. Enjoy!