We recently caught up with Katie Chandler, runner up in the 2012 “Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer” competition to find out what she’s been up to lately and how the competition has impacted her kitesurfing career.
Katie placed 2nd overall in the 2012 MIGK and has since secured great sponsorships from the likes of Shinn Boards and Airush Kites.
Where is your local riding spot?
I’m still here in Taiba, north east Brazil but at the end of the month I’m headed to Paje by Kite, Zanzibar and can’t wait to check out a new spot!
Where are your favorite places to ride other than your local spot?
Bamburgh beach and Budle Bay in Northumberland UK. Medieval castles, flat water slicks and not another kite in sight!
What do you do for work?
I’m lucky enough to work for myself. I have a kiteschool and have been teaching kiting for 6 years now but also teach surfing and yoga as well. It’s the perfect mix. I also do some writing and photography work freelance and have a blog along with my best friend at Diario Nordeste (one of the biggest newspapers in Brazil). It’s fun and light hearted and we get to go on lots of adventures!
What gear do you use?
As always I’m riding amazing Shinn boards. I’ve swapped my SuperShinn for a Toyboy which I absolutely adore! I’m with Airush for kites, riding and absolutely loving the Razor.
How has the MIGK impacted your life?
It’s had a positive impact in the fact that I now have sponsors, which is great!
Who were you sponsored by before the comp and who are you sponsored by now?
Airush, Shinn and Alexis Smith lingerie (yep free pretty panties for me!)
Do you compete? If so what competitions have you participated in and what have your results been since the MIGK competition.
No, I’m more of a free rider, I do a few downwind races but it’s more for fun than getting results.
Has the MIGK competition helped you gain any additional exposure or publicity in the kiteboarding world?
Haha, yeah I think a lot of people at the time of the competition where going Kate who?! Especially as it came so close between Hannah and I, but for sure the MIGK competition raised my profile in a big way. Since Shinn took me on board, it’s just kept going up, which is cool!
How have you used your new sponsors / media connections to influence others who want to get involved in kitesurfing?
We run kite lessons throughout the year here in Taiba, and having sponsors and media behind you makes you a lot easier to find! Earlier this year I taught 30 girls from the Scandinavian Collage of New York to kite and this autumn there will be another similar sized group arriving to do just the same. It’s great to be able to get so many more people into the sport. Girls especially!
What advice do you have for the up and coming MIGK nominations?
Be yourself, stay true and don’t be disheartened if you don’t win! Just being nominated is a great achievement, so be proud! Good luck to you!
iMK: Thank you for taking the time to update us Katie, and for your encouraging words to this year’s nominees. We wish you tons of success with your kiteboarding career and hope you are kiting up a storm in Zanzibar!