Interview with Clementine Bonzom
Clementine Bonzom is one of the top 10 Finalists in our “Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer 2011” competition!
We caught up with Clementine recently, and this is what she had to say…
Clementine, tell us a little bit about yourself or your story.
I started kiting four years ago, and I fell in love with this sport. My dream, since I was young, was to become a surf champion. That was just impossible because I lived in front of the flat Mediterranean Sea. So, my dream changed, and I began to live for my passion: kiteboarding.
Where are you from?
I come from the South of France — the best place for chilling and kiting: Montpellier!
Where do live and kitesurf now and what brought you there?
Like I said before, when I started kiting four years ago, I thought immediately that I wanted to make a living from kiteboarding. I finished my sport studies, passed my IKO and then I had the opportunity to work for an amazing kiteboard magazine: “Stance.” The magazine’s office is based on Montpellier, where I’m living.
How often do you kite?
I kite as often as possible. So, two or three times a week if I’m at home or everyday if I’m travelling in another part of the world.
Favourite kitesurfing spots?
For flat water, Coche (Venezuela) is just perfect. Next, I like the diversity of the Brazilian spots. And, for sure, my home spot, Plage Sud, is crazy, too!
Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?
Yes. For the kite stuff, the Austrian brand – JN Kites – supports me. Then, I have other sponsors, like Mood (ring brand), KiteTravel4All (kite travel agency), and I’m talking with Sooruz about a new sponsorship.
Apart from kiting, what are your other Interests?
My problem is that kiting is always on my mind. But I like also reading, playing beach volley, going out with my friends and, for sure, partying!
How did you learn to kitesurf, who taught you and when did you start?
My best friend taught me kiteboarding with an old kite and a lot of patience! I’m totally grateful to him. And now I have a super coach, Fabio Ingrosso, who’s teaching me a lot of new tricks with a lot of pedagogy. I’m really lucky to know all these people.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your kite career and how did you overcome it?My biggest challenge was definitely taking part in my first PKRA in Brazil, one month ago. I was totally afraid to kite against amazing girls like Bruna and Gisela. But I switched my brain off, and I focused myself. After the inscription, everything went really fast. I just know that I was motivated like never before during my heats. And I finished third place on the podium! I still can’t believe what’s happened!
What is your proudest achievement?
Touching the bar to a backmobe! It was my first step in a new world, and it gave me more motivation than ever.
What is your preferred riding style?
What would you like to learn?
I’m learning backmobe and lowmobe. I just want to learn these tricks!
Who influenced you to start kitesurfing? Is there anyone you really look up to?
At first, my best friend (who taught me kiting) was my hero. Then I knew Aaron Hadlow and his sick videos. Now I’m totally seduced by Youri Zoon’s style, over power!
Describe a time you inspired someone to start kitesurfing?
I don’t remember a specific time. But, often, when I’m leaving the water, and there is a girl who is less experienced, she will come and ask me for some tips. I think it’s good to encourage a girl’s level and show that not only guys can do power tricks and try handle passes.
How has kitesurfing changed your life?
Now, I’m travelling a lot. I found an amazing job with “Stance” magazine, and I’m thinking about my tricks and my next trip every time. Kitesurfing has just changed all my life!
Besides kitesurfing, what are you most passionate about?
What are you doing for Kitesurfing in your community or globally?
With my job, I’m just trying to interest people to practice kiteboarding. Because the sport, to be successful, needs more and more popularity. So, with my way of writing, I’m trying to be fun and interesting for the readers. Then, with my style of kiting, I try to push the limits and show that girls can be motivated and have a lot of crashes also!
How do you think winning the 2011 Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer will shape your life and the positive work you are doing now?
I would be honoured to win this contest. I think it’s good to create a contest among girls, because the level of competition is growing and growing, and a lot of girls are kiting now. The sport needs this image of (more females), because kiting is not only handle passes!
What do you think the future holds for kiteboarding / Kitesurfing and what can we do to improve our sport?
The future? It’s hard to say, but our fabulous sport is becoming very popular, and it’s a great opportunity for everybody. We just have to take care of it and push it in the right way and be respectful of each other.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
I just hope to keep my great life and become better and better on the water!
Also check out Clementine’s website, Claim.
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