Katarzyna Lange, Poland
Polish Champion (2013)
2nd Polish Championship (2015)
Top 10 in World Championships (2013 – 13th, 2014 – 8th).
Stylish ride, wide range of tricks and professionalism are the main virtues of the Polish Champion Katarzyna Lange. One of the best competitors in the world, who actively supports the kiteboarding development, running one of the best kite schools at the same time. Her beauty and skills bring her lots of fans worldwide.
Kasia Lange. Where does the 2013 Polish champion and one of the best kiteboarders in the world come from?
I’m a seaside girl. It had to be that way. I was born in Władysławowo, which is just a board’s throw from the Hel peninsula. Here you can’t live without waves, the sea and the wind. Here is my family home and my parents, even if I feel like a citizen of the world. I live where I ride and train. Whether it is Spain, Australia, Brazil or Poland – it’s the time, the wind and the World Cup starting schedule that decides.
You keep saying that you fell in love with kiteboarding. Now it’s your job, but there are also other water sports, like windsurfing or surfing. Why kiteboarding, and why only kiteboarding?
I keep riding because I love it. I’m still learning new tricks, I’m good at it and want to be the best one. I think it’s a natural need of every human being, if his/her passion is also an everyday work. So kiteboarding occupies the biggest space in my heart, but there’s also surfing, which attracts me and relaxes me as well. If I have a chance, I also like to ride on a wakeboard. And last but not least, let me say that my first water sport was the windsurfing.
They say kiteboarding is easy and you can achieve the basic level of riding in a few days. Do you have your own way to strike down the barrier for those who want to start their adventure with kiteboarding?
Yes, that’s true. The week is enough to become truly independent with a kite on the water. While running my own kitesurfing school I meet hundreds of beginners and I see in practice how easily the smile can be put on their faces. However, it’s good to remember about proper training and an instructor, because at the beginning each of us has different difficulties, makes various mistakes and the keen eye quickly spots and corrects them.
Does it mean that the 200-pound man, a sixty-year-old senior or a teenager could handle the kite? Don’t you have to be the fitness master to do it?
No problem! I have trained a seven-year-old and a sixty-year old, and they both ride. The mental barrier is much worse than the physical one. If someone feels anxious, it would be hard to overcome his/her own weakness. It’s a sport, just like any other – you have to gain some discipline, perseverance and love what you do.
You’re one of the world’s top kitesurfers. You’ve got the Polish Championship in your trophies collection. What do you have to do to achieve such high level in this sport? What did Kasia Lange have to give up?
I had to fully devote myself to kiteboarding. Thus, my life has changed a lot since I graduated from college. I can’t train all year long here in Poland, so I spend many months in countries where the proper wind conditions are and the World Cup competitions are held. It means that I don’t come back home every day, and I stay in touch with my family and friends mainly thanks to the Internet. My wardrobe fits into two suitcases. This is how it looks like, but I wanted that and I still do. Places where I train are truly beautiful and I usually try to leave with my boyfriend, who is a kitesurfer as well, which helps me a lot. I have also a great advantage over my competitors, because I don’t have as many house duties as them, so I can train more. I can say that kiteboarding is my way of life and I follow it.
You see many talents during your kiteboarding journey. What predispositions and qualities do you have to possess in order to be in the Top 10?
Some competitors surprise with their sudden appearance and results, but it’s the discipline and experience that counts in this sport. Apart from physical trainings, which are very important, you also have to be prepared mentally, because stress can spoil everything. That’s why the are so many talents and I love it, but only systematic work on the water teaches humility and gives notable results.
Kiteboarding is relatively a new sports discipline. You ride on the Nobile gear. Why is it considered the most technically advanced and user-friendly equipment in the world?
Nobile has a wide offer of equipment, additionally divided into product lines in 2016. These products have been well-known and highly-valued around the globe for 10 years, thanks to implemented technologies, durability and resistance. The equipment is continuously improved and evolves together with a kiteboarding development. Nobile gives you a superb choice – you can adjust the equipment to every kiteboarder, regardless of the riding style he/she prefers.
Which is your favourite board and kite? What do you ride on for recreation and during competitions?
My favourite set is the 50/Fifty WMN 134 cm board with bindings and the 50/Fifty kite. It’s a perfect match for freestyle progress. While for recreation and oldschool I use NHP and T5 WMN boards, which strongly emphasizes the rider’s femininity.
We have to ask you about your favourite riding spots in Europe and worldwide.
I don’t ride much in Europe. I like Tarifa – it’s a good and beautiful place. Fine wind, various conditions and spots offer a lot of possibilities. Speaking of worldwide, I choose Brazil and recommend it to everybody. I haven’t found such even wind anywhere. You can ride and train there with no limits. Australia is fine too – everybody knows that there are great conditions also for surfing, as well as wakeparks – really huge ones.
Friendships are important in the world of sports. You’re much-loved in the professional riders’ environment. Reportedly, the kiteboarders’ circle is very open and friendly. The help in starting the kite and on the water is a daily sight. Is there a kiteboarding world and what is it like?
I didn’t know that [laughing]. But yes, the people in this sport are open, friendly, with a lot of infectious passion. It’s another reason to start riding.
What are the dreams of Kasia Lange?
The realistic ones. To be the best in the world. And privately – to own a small Pacific island, but only with the wind [laughing]
Describe it with one word: Kiteboarding is...
... the best thing you can try.