Interview with Julia Brown
Julia Brown is one of the top 10 Finalists in our “Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer 2011” competition!
We caught up with Julia recently, and this is what she had to say…
Julia, tell us a little bit about yourself or your story.
Where are you from?
Where do live and kitesurf now and what brought you there?
I am happy to call Montego Bay, Jamaica, my home. I got an offer to work for a Jamaican company and moved here in 2002. Our kite spot, Bounty Bay, is only 20 minutes away from my home on the North Coast.
How often do you kite?
During the season from November to July, I am out every day.
Favourite kitesurfing spots?
Our spot, Bounty Bay. The beach is so beautiful. It is exactly the beach I always dreamed of, and it is perfect for kiting. We have three miles of white sand beach, warm glassy waters and waves out at the reef. Plus, the best wind.
Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?
No, no sponsors yet. We are training hard and actively looking for sponsors so me and my team can start competing next year.
Apart from kiting, what are your other Interests?
I love spending time at the beach with my son, snorkeling, spear fishing or just playing around in the water. If I am not on the beach, you will probably find me on some off-road trails with my dirt bike, doing some yoga or traveling around the island to explore new spots.
How did you learn to kitesurf, who taught you and when did you start?
I started in 2007 when I asked one of my friends to teach me on his kite. We only had one 9-meter C-kite to start with, but I was hooked from the first time I felt the power in the kite. Andrew, who taught me, did a fantastic job, and he is now working at our school, Kiteboarding Jamaica.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your kite career and how did you overcome it?
Kiting or teaching in no wind. = ) Luckily, there are tons of options to keep you active here.
What is your proudest achievement?Other than my 7-year-old son and the fact that I am living my dream, I am proud to be the driving force to take kitesurfing in Jamaica to the next level. We have trained a number of riders and are getting them ready to compete soon and represent their country globally.
What is your preferred riding style?
Freestyle. I also love my new strapless surfboard.
What would you like to learn?
Next on my list is riding unhooked and getting some more tricks in.
Who influenced you to start kitesurfing? Is there anyone you really look up to?
That would have to be my friends here that I first saw kiting. I look up to athletes who take kiteboarding as a communication platform to raise environmental awareness or to support a good cause. Our sport really just leaves footsteps behind, and to encourage others to do the same means a lot to me.
Describe a time you inspired someone to start kitesurfing?
It’s hard to tell when you inspire someone else, but I guess every time I come out of the water, smiling from one ear to the other, that does the job. I think it is our lifestyle that inspires people. Kitesurfing is about meeting new friends, interacting with persons that share your passion and visions.
How has kitesurfing changed your life?
I have met inspiring people and made amazing friends from all over the world.
Besides kitesurfing, what are you most passionate about?
What are you doing for Kitesurfing in your community or globally?
Kiteboarding was barely known in Jamaica (when I got here), and since the opening of the school last year, we got over 70 Jamaicans involved in the sport and developed new talents and have trained new instructors. Our team riders are training hard to get ready to compete in the PKRA World Tour next year. We start early with school kids’ swim programs to get them prepared for kiteboarding at a young age. Jamaica has a history of excellent athletes, and I am sure we will be able to perform at the highest level in international competitions.
Video: Kiteboarding Jamaica
How do you think winning the 2011 Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer will shape your life and the positive work you are doing now?
Winning the MIGK11 would help me to connect, communicate and learn from other riders to drive the sport forward in Jamaica.
What do you think the future holds for kiteboarding / Kitesurfing and what can we do to improve our sport?
By being easily accessible in spots all over the world and offering so many different riding styles, kiteboarding will keep on progressing fast. Ride responsibly to help keep growing the global community and spreading the positive vibes.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
I hope we will see many Jamaican riders in the international competition scene and see kiteboarding become a well-known sport in our country.
Check Julia out on iKitebecause.
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