I started snowboarding and wake boarding in 1994 and in 2001 when I saw kiteboarding for the first time I knew it was the sport for me. Unfortunately It wasn’t until 2007 in Mancora, Peru I got the opportunity to learn the sport. I found it absolutely terrifying but was exhilarated by the felling of being challenged by a sport, eventually I went on to becoming a pro in 2010.
Once I learned to kite well I decided to dedicated my life to the sport which lead me to own and operate schools in Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico and now Barbados. During the off season from my school I travel around the world discovering kite spots.
As an athlete I work hard constantly getting interesting photos of me using the products of my sponsors. It takes a lot of practise, set up and editing time to get them done properly. I’ve had to learn to use photoshop and illustrator as well as do tricks in a way that looks stylish in photos. I also spend a considerable amount of time posting these photos along with personal opinions on the products on various social media sites.
At the moment I’m not competing as it is extremely expensive to travel around the world doing so and I don’t have the budget for it at this time. Sponsorship contracts now a days are good for products but very few people get a travel budget. Usually our income comes from teaching or doing camps.
Writing articles has also become a major part of my life. I started writing articles about my personal experiences but have recently started writing spot guides and articles for other people. I’m enjoying interviewing people and getting to hear their stories. There is nothing like the satisfaction of seeing your article published in a magazine. You can read all my articles on my media page of my website www.jessicawinkler.net
One other things I love doing is the Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer competition. I co-created it back in 2010 to help give more women the opportunity to showcase their talents and hopefully get noticed by sponsors. In our last competition over 25 sponsorships were given out.
I want to make people who would normally think they could not do something like kiteboarding overcome their fears. I want them to walk away after their lessons with more confidence and a new found belief in themselves which hopefully they can carry into other aspects of their lives. Once you learn to control the power of the kite and find the peace in it you learn to attack other difficult life situations with the same grace.
My greatest achievement would be to see every country in the world. To experience it in a way that I got to know the culture and way of life. I could die like Marco Polo and utter my last breath with the words “I have not told you the half of what I’ve seen and done”
The learning process is definitely the most difficult part as it takes a minimum of 9 hours of lessons to just get up on the board. If you want to kiteboard you really need to dedicate time and work at it.
The freedom you have when you are out in the water. You can go anywhere and it’s so peaceful.
Depends on where in the world I am. I travel so much I actually don’t have a home base. It’s not very safe to kite to do alone so I’m usually with a buddy.
I visualise. I won’t try a new trick until I can land it in my head. I need to see myself successful first.
My partner Nick Hall. He is by my side day in and day out. He encourages me to push on and keep true to myself.
When I was a little girl I remember my mom telling me I could do anything I wanted in this life. There was nothing stopping me. I truly believe this. If you want something bad enough and you work hard you will be successful. It might not happen right away but you can’t give up.