Thursday, October 1, 2009

Q & A with Sri Lanka's First Female Kitesurfer

Keshini became Sri Lanka's first Female Kitesurfer last weekend....
Q - How did you first hear about Kitesurfing?
A - My sister... she was going on about a guy in her office who does it and she wanted to try it out.. and that it looks 'easy' (ha ha ha). After that I heard my cousin Dilsiri (Dil) was totally into it. My 1st real experience with a kite was in Hikkaduwa when Dil took his Kite out and offered to tow me along... ofcourse I was tooo heavy for that, so i had only one more option, go and learn it myself!
Q - How did you get about learning the sport?
A - I was really lucky. I was able to tag along with my cousin Dilsiri and Julian and watch them kite. It was then that Mischi (Dil's teacher as well) offered to give me a lesson with the baby kite. Honestly that part was not fun and now I would say getting past that point is the hardest, but most definitely worth it. I took my proper class a few months later as Mischi had left the country and I was teacherless.
But to my rescue Marc was there to give me another lesson and he did some drills with me which gave me more confidence with the kite. Meanwhile I had my share of drags with my face in the sand but now looking back I will not have it any other way coz one of the most important lessons you can learn in kiting is to respect the wind and other elements.
Take the time and learn to feel your surroundings. As Julian will say you should be able to control the kite blind folded. This is where Aussie Mike came in after a few drags I still wanted to learn but I still had that fear in me and was too scared to enjoy the full potential of the kite. Mike really encouraged me and told me as long as I'm in the water nothing will hurt me. It was then that I slowly started to enjoy the kite more and more.
Right now I need to build confidence and step out with the kite. Since then Mischi has been back and been teaching me to get on to the board and I have been loving it. I still have a long way to go but what really helped me learn the sport is the kiting community in Sri Lanka who have been so welcoming and helpful.
Q - Was it scary?
A - YES !!! Kiting is such a humbling process and you are left in awe of God's creation. Honestly I'm still a bit scared but I push myself to keep going and every time I have not been disappointed.
Q - Did you have any ‘narrow shaves’?
A - Ha ha ha ha... well !!!
Q - Would you recommend this sport to your friends?
A - Most definitely! But it’s not something that can be taken lightly, you have to be at it and not give up. But sure its a sport that anyone who is willing can do.
Q - What is your dream in terms of kitesurfing?
A - My dream is that this sport can be used to develop the country without spoiling it or exploiting it and of course to do JUMPS with the kite!
Q - Any parting words?
A - KITE ON...... :D


Kirigalpoththa said...

Kit ON! - I like it :)

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