Claire Lutz is one of the top 10 Finalists in the “Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer 2012” competition!
Do you think Claire should be crowned the most influential or most inspirational girl in kitesurfing this year? Read all about her in the interview below.
Interview with Claire Lutz
Claire, tell us a little bit about yourself or your story.
I am from St.Joseph MI which is a nice town on Lake Michigan so I grew up on the water with parents who windsurfed. My mother used to windsurf pregnant with me, so I think that’s where I gained my love for water sports.
Where are you from?
Where do you live and kitesurf now and what brought you there?
Right now I live in Orlando FL, cross training, riding cable to work on my rail skills, and I can also drive 30 mins to a nice flatwater spot and kiteboard with friends.
Favourite kitesurfing spots?
Hood River Oregon! Hands down the best spot for flatwater and rails ever! I also love Cape Hatteras NC.
Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?
Liquid Force, Ripcurl. Best sponsors ever!
Apart from kiting, what are your other Interests?
I love photography, and I just got into bar-tending. I want to own a bar one day.
How did you learn to kitesurf, who taught you and when did you start?
I saw kiteboarding on Lake Michigan and decided I had to learn and that I wanted to go pro, so I moved to Hatteras and took lessons, and worked at REAL Kiteboarding. My coach Ryan Evans is still one of my good friends today.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your kite career and how did you overcome it?
Trying to prove myself and that I was a good rail rider. It just takes time and hard work. If you are doing a good job and are a respectful person people will take notice.
What is your proudest achievement?
Winning Triple S 1st place women’s winch and 3rd place womens sliders.
What is your preferred riding style?
Wakestyle, and sliders!!
What would you like to learn?
I would like to learn air tricks better; I focus all my time on rails usually.
Who influenced you to start kitesurfing? Is there anyone you really look up to?
My manager at this little shop I worked at in Michigan. He kited, and was the first person I ever saw fly a kite. He told me to go pro for him. Thanks Matt Mulligan!
Describe a time you inspired someone to start kitesurfing?
I used to teach kiteboarding lessons and I really loved teaching kids. They made me so happy. I also find it really cool when I meet other girls who kite and they tell me they look up to me in kiteboarding. I never realized that people thought of me that way. I was just riding because I loved riding rails and I wanted to be the best out there. I didn’t know people would look up to me, but it feels awesome.
How has kitesurfing changed your life?
If I never started kiteboarding, I would have never travelled around and met so many amazing friends and inspiring people. I can say I have friends everywhere, Mexico, Hawaii, Bahamas, all over the place. It’s made me a happier and better person.
Besides kitesurfing, what are you most passionate about?
Cable wakeboarding. I cannot lie, I am super addicted. I ride everyday. The good part is that it translates over to my kite riding.
What are you doing for Kitesurfing in your community or globally?
I try to inspire women to ride and push themselves. Whenever I meet people who say I wish I could do that or I can’t kiteboard, I try to inspire them to believe in themselves and try something they always wanted to try.
How do you think winning the 2012 Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer will shape your life and the positive work you are doing now?
All I ever want to do is to let women know they can be as good as the guys and they can ride hard and do anything they want with their life. If I won, I would definitely work harder to inspire more women and see what else I can do, whether it be chairties or anything to help the world out.
What do you think the future holds for kiteboarding / Kitesurfing and what can we do to improve our sport?
The sport is constantly evolving for the better, more and more people are learning about the sport. Now it’s a matter of kiters on their local beaches being safe and representing the sport in a good light to make people aware of this great sport. Who knows what we can do? The skys are limitless. Every person who kites just needs to respect the beaches and those around them.
How will the fact that kitesurfing is now an Olympic sport affect you personally, and what effect do you think this will have on the sport?
I am sad to say they are not in the Olympics anymore; we need to do what we can to change the minds of the Olympic committee.
iMK note: Yes, to our dismay, the ISAF reversed their decision to include kiteboarding in the 2012 Rio Olympics on Saturday, 10 November.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
I hope to improve my all around riding skills, and do something important. One person who is in the kite community who is the most inspirational is Tonia Farman. She makes me want to be a better person and help others more. She always is using this sport to benefit all people. Athletes for cancer is a great event that uses this sport to benefit mankind. I hope she’s nominated and I hope she wins.
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