Choose to Challenge with The North Female Team
8th March marks International Women's Day and for 2021, the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We got our incredible team of female athletes together to tell us a bit what this means to them.
Q1. Tell us a short background of you and your style of riding
I started kiting in 2002 at my local beach in Noordwijk. I started off with freestyle and competed on the world tour for the first time on the age of 14. During my carrier I switched over to the discipline of wave riding and managed to become 3x world champion. I like riding powerful and aggressive but keep the smooth touch.
Brazilian, born and raised, I first fell in love with kiting from my classroom window, where I could see the colorful kites on the beach in front. After finishing high school, the winds took me to live in Maui- HI, where I was introduced to freestyle. The discipline was a perfect match for me as I love the challenge, both technical and physical, that a freestyle trick demands. By pursuing this passion I've found myself thriving in competitions, leading to 3 World Titles and with that a dream come true. Although the titles are an amazing feat, what I'm most proud of in my career, is to be the first woman to land a double handle pass called BS315.
Annabel van Westerop:
Having grown up on Aruba, the beach naturally became a part of my life. At age 14 I started kiteboarding and at 18 I was lucky enough to go pro and start discovering the world. I competed for 6 years on the world tour of freestyle kiteboarding where I achieved the title of Vice World Champion. For the past two years I’ve shifted more to a freeride style of riding where I base my gear decision on what the conditions are calling for. I enjoy freeriding, freestyling, waveriding, and winging.
I’m French but living in Brazil, I’m 14 years old and I’ve been riding since I’m 7.I like to enjoy every moment in the water, when I’m kiting it's when I feel the most powerful and confident.I like to put energy in my ride, but always keeping it fluid.
Rider: Jalou Langeree, Photographer: Jason Broderick
Q2: What is your favourite North product
I love that North has the complete ranch of toys that i like to use on the water.
Im a big fan of the new 1250 SonarHA front wing which I use for prone surfing and winging these days.
It allows me to easily pump to the next wave and it gives an incredible smooth and controlled glide.
My favorite North product is the Navigator control bar, it's such one of a kind in the entire industry, so funcional yet slick and clean. In my eyes, a true design success is to make something as functional as possible fit into a clean design.
My current favorite product is the Astra board. This twintip is suited to lighter-weight riders which means it gives the perfect amount of pop and flex for a lighter person like me.
Definitely the Carve kite! It goes fast on the loops and keeps you in the air for long.
Rider: Annabel van Westerop, Photographer: David Troeger
Q3: What make you choose to challenge?
Life gets boring without a challenge we should never stop learning.
Challenges give that extra spark in life and a huge satisfaction after completing and most importably they make you grow.
Something that makes my heart jump, that feels so far-fetched that the first time I think of it, I push it aside and say " nah, this is crazy" . From that moment there's no shutting off, slowly but surely it grows on me until I find myself giving my heart and soul to it, totally immersed in the challenge.
I choose to challenge for the passion of sport and the love of the ocean.
Every day I am out on the water living the life of my dreams, I choose to challenge the idea that women in sports are less. That we deserve less, can achieve less, and are worth less. Having been told this multiple times throughout my carreer, I choose to challenge it every time. Together with girls and women from all over the world, we unite through our passion for kiteboarding. We become one with what we do... until the point where the challenge is no longer a point of attention, as the natural expression of our love and passion proves enough.