Davina Stephens: MIGK11 Top 10 Finalist

Davina Stephens Profile Pic

Davina Stephens

Interview with Davina Stephens

Davina Stephens is one of the top 10 Finalists in our “Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer 2011” competition!

We caught up with Davina recently, and this is what she had to say…

Davina, tell us a little bit about yourself or your story.

I was born in New Zealand in 1968 and went to Australia at age one. My father was an International Rugby Union player representing the All Backs in ’68, ’69. In ’70, ’71, he then played for the Wallabies, Australia, and became the first dual-country player.

By age 6, we had travelled around the world and decided to live in Bali, Indonesia — that was in ’74.

Bali is best known for its surf and Balinese culture. I quickly learned to ride a surfboard and, since there were no international schools at that time, I did correspondence school. By 1980, I decided I wanted to go to school in Australia and started to get into water skiing until the age of 15. I then went to boarding school in India, since my mother was working between Bali and India in textiles. I became a long-distance runner since the school was located in the Himalayas. It was trekking and athletics-orientated.

In 1987, I decided I wanted to be an artist, but I thought, “How could I make money doing what I wanted to do in life?” So I went to live in New York City to study textile design at The Fashion Institute of Technology.

After graduating in 1990, I quickly went back to Bali to work with people I already knew in the industry. I was back to the island life, which suited me, and I could get back into the sport I loved so much: surfing. The great thing about Indonesia is it’s an archipelago with fantastic locations for diving, surfing and, now, kitesurfing.

I quickly became the artist I always wanted to be and have had numerous exhibitions internationally.

Every year, I travel between my studio in Bali, family in Australia and recreation sport in the United States, where I mountain bike, hike in the summer and snowboard in the winter.

Davina Stephens - Sumbawa Sketching

Sumbawa Sketching

Where are you from?

I was born in New Zealand and studied in Himalayas, India and New York City.

Where do live and kitesurf now and what brought you there?

I live in my studio in Bali, travelling between Australia, India and the United States.

How often do you kite?

I kite when I am in Bali whenever there is the wind. This can vary, depending on the season. In the season, it could be 4-5 times a week, sometimes only once. At the moment, I am in Sumbawa learning to surf a great kitesurf wave location.

Favourite kitesurfing spots?

Indonesia – Sanur Beach and Serangan (Bali), Komodo Islands and Sumbawa.

Davina Stephens - Kiting Komodo Duyung Strait

Kiting Komodo Duyung Strait

Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?


Apart from kiting, what are your other Interests?

Surfing, diving, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, trout fishing and creating works of art.

How did you learn to kitesurf, who taught you and when did you start?

I learned to kitesurf this year, 2011, in May in Bali at Sanur with Mario at Rip Curl School of kitesurfing.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your kite career and how did you overcome it?

So far, my biggest challenge was dealing with my kite in dangerous situations. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t launch your kite, because of a dead-wind area and your kite is pulling you across supershallow, urchin-infested reef and heading toward a nest of fishing boats on shore with bathers around, you quickly realize no one is going to help you but yourself, so you kick yourself into response mode and go through all the logistics of the functions of your gear, and you have to believe that whatever happens, there is always the ability of recovery. Release, deal with it and assume responsibility. These are the experiences that make you realize your full potential and responsibility as a person.

Davina Stephens - Kiting Komodo Duyung Strait

Launching at Komodo Duyung Strait

What is your proudest achievement?

Davina Stephens - Diving

Davina Stephens Diving

Staying upwind.

What is your preferred riding style?


What would you like to learn?

How to maximize my energy for kiting, so I can kite all day.

Who influenced you to start kitesurfing?

Tim Watts (Indonesian surf pioneer).

Is there anyone you really look up to?

Valerie Taylor (marine biologist and shark diver) and Amelia Earhart (woman aviator).

Describe a time you inspired someone to start kitesurfing?

I just had to tell my friends I was doing it, and now they want to do it. Most are in practice now.

How has kitesurfing changed your life?

It’s given me a new vitality, the sense of being alive and purpose to travel.

Besides kitesurfing, what are you most passionate about?

Creating art, living a full life and sharing that ability with others.

Davina Stephens - Sumbawa Sketching Rocks

Sumbawa Sketching Rocks

What are you doing for Kitesurfing in your community or globally?

Searching for new locations and encouraging young kids to kite.

How do you think winning the 2011 Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer will shape your life and the positive work you are doing now?

I think that winning MIGK11 will give me the opportunity I need to help and influence women of all ages. To set an example that cooperation and encouragement by others in kiting and sports is vital in order to realize our potential.

What do you think the future holds for kiteboarding / Kitesurfing and what can we do to improve our sport?

Continuous growth and continuation in development of improved equipment. To improve our sport, we can at least discover more great kitesurfing locations around our planet.

What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?

Success in upcoming exhibitions and to be able to continue to pursue kitesurfing in new and unique, diverse locations.

Vote for Davina Here!


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  1. Hello Gorgeous … congratulations and I hope you win!!! xxx

  2. Julie & the Boyz !! says:

    Go Davinia !! We are all behind you ! Love Julie & the Boyz xxxx

  3. I thoroughly recommend Davina to win this!! she’s amazing, and a great personality! All the best.

  4. Wendy Thurstan says:

    Hi Davy, Sounds like wonderful fun well done darling … and good luck !!!! loads of love to you from London …. Wendyxxxxxx

  5. Carol Kelly says:

    Hi Davina, & greetings from Brunswick Heads….good luck with everything, what a go-getter you are x

  6. Congratulations, keep my fingers crossed for you and hope you win. Knowing you, I am sure you will, you have grit and determination. You excel and succeed at anything you put your heart and mind too. Love, Jivi

  7. John O' Sullivan says:

    Sending you huge winds of victory…irishman

  8. Nga mihi maioha ki a koe e te tuahine, ko te whakaaro ka tua atu koe ki te toi o nga rangi
    Hi Davina, greetings to you on this new adventure, I hope you win, and attain the heights that you desire in the pursuit of this new art…

  9. Fly on my sweet angel !

  10. Yeow Dave
    Starting to kite n getting into it changes lives,we say !!
    Live is better when you Kite N Surf
    go get’m!!

  11. You Go Girl xx

  12. Galina and Peter says:

    wow….go, girl! We want you to win. You deserve it. Galina and Peter

  13. Rose Baudin says:

    Iaorana Davina! I’m in Tahiti now, the first place I ever laid eyes on someone kite surfing and girl can I see you flying in the air over Tahitian azure waters. You truly inspire, Davi Devi! Much love from Rose

  14. Go Fly Girl!!!!
    Full support from the Goa branch of the family!!
    Big love always!

  15. Galina and Peter says:

    We are amazed and delighted….Go go go go….Galina and Peter

  16. EZ Miller says:

    The BiG D does it again! Always evolving,trying to live on the edge and succeeding! One of a kind, a multi-faceted treasure- up, up and away!!!!!!!!!


  18. We support you Davina…. :)

    Word Of Mouth Team

  19. Wooow Davey, Great to see just another adventure for you, you cease to amaze me with your talents. Good luck girl.

  20. wohoooo here we go again the never ending story of an amazing daughter..Go Bimba we love and support you all the way win or loose you are aways a winner for us!!!!!!!.x.x.x.x Mama

  21. go get it davey xxx R

  22. vangelis tsangaris says:

    fly Davina, fly!!!

  23. You inspire me i hope you get love seba

  24. Congretulation Devina……
    Good Luck !!!

  25. Damian McG says:

    Kick Ass Davie Big Hugs xxx Damian

  26. Malini Ramani says:

    Fly Diva…Like Always. Big hugs xxxM

  27. milldog says:

    Hey Davi,

    Sketching Rocks?? You liked the rocks so much you brought them back to Bali?? Why are there so many rocks behind the office and what are you going to do with them.


    Uncle Milldog

  28. Tim Blair says:

    Davy ! Keep an eye out for old bottles and shipwreck artifacts when kiting on those low tide crystal clear days ..treasure is everywhere ..waiting to be found ! As Always , Your Friend . Tim Blair

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