Naish is proud of our young and talented, Jalou Langeree, who won her first world championship in the KSP Kitesurf World Tour at Ho’okipa Beach Park. Read this interview with her on wave riding competition, the final event at Ho’okipa, and the KSP tour.
Q: What were your expectations before entering the KSP Kitesurf World Tour?
A: Starting off my first KSP season I was hoping for a podium place in the end of the year, but I never thought I would end up with first place. I did not compete the first year because I thought I was not good enough and didn’t want to finish next to the podium. Seems like the hard training has paid off.
Q: Did it help that you had experience competing in freestyle?
A: It always helps a little when you know how a contest works, but actually I used to be very nervous before my freestyle heats and I have to say I have not been very nervous for my wave heats.
It’s probably because I feel way more confident riding the waves then pulling off all those tricks.
Q: How does it feel to kite at Ho’okipa?
A: It’s amazing. It is such an incredible world class wave, but it’s a bummer we can’t ride it more. I was lucky to be riding Ho’okipa back in 2005 for the first time during the Reb Bull king of the air, but this contest was just about big jumps. Now in 2012 it is a wave contest and it was great riding with all those very talented people from all over the world. I would love to see the contest happen again next year. I really enjoyed the good vibes and supportive locals.
Q: Describe your way to the final.
A: In my 1st heat against Melissa Gil and fellow Naish rider Kalia Aguera I was actually pretty nervous because the contest was on on hold for a few days and so I didn’t know when it was going to happen.
I was pretty disappointed with my riding because the conditions where very difficult. There were almost no waves and very light wind. I would catch a wave and the wind got gustier as I got closer to the shore, but I still managed to get a first position in that heat.
The 2nd heat was very exciting because I was up against Ines Correia, the current world champion and 2nd ranked girl on the tour. We’ve had close heats in points during the entire KSP tour. At the event on Mauritius I beat her by only 0.01 points and in Ireland we were in the final together, but never got the chance to finish because the wind died. As I got into the water again on Maui I had a feeling it was going to be very close, and it was. Luckily it wasn’t as close as Mauritius. I feel I stepped it up a little bit.
In the semi final I was up against Kari Schibevaag from Norway. We had great conditions in our heat. An incredible set rolled in and we both managed to get great rides on one of the bigger waves of the set and I won again! I’m really getting the hang of riding back side.
The final against Moona Whyte was intense. I had just received the news that I had been titled world champion, and my head was already in the clouds. I couldn’t really focus as well but still had so much fun in the water. Moona has been riding very strong during the whole competition with her flowy, aggressive surf style.
Straps vs no straps, what do you prefer?
Honestly, I was really into riding straps until everyone on tour started to go strapless, so I had to make the change. It feels great riding strapless now. I still can’t hit the wave as aggressivly as I could on straps but i’m working on it and I’m gonna get it for sure.
Photos by Jimmy Hepp and Richard Hallman