Playing with water and the wind is something I was raised with. My parents took me sailing with our boat when I was just 3 months old. So it wasn’t a surprise that I got hooked immediately after my first body drag experience in 2001. Not long after that, I started competing. My motto was that if there are 10 women competing, I can say that at least, I was number 10 of the Netherlands once’. How different it all turned out. Within a year I got sponsors for my wetsuits and clothing as well as my kites,.
From 2004 till 2006 I competed in freestyle, with a 4th place at the PKRA in Brazil (2005) as best result. After that, I combined speed kitesurfing with a full time job in marketing and I set the outright speed sailing record among Dutch women, at 39,56 knots in 2008.
Another career change followed and I started focusing on course racing and slalom. I love to combine speed with upwind tactics and fleet racing strategies. A complete different game to freestyle. These disciplines turned out to be ‚my cup of tea’ with 2x a European title and 2x the World title!
After 10 years of competing I still love it, although my focus changed a bit to a combination of a traveling, competing and entrepreneurship. Being an independent marketing professional is a great challenge. And perfect way to combine business, sports and trips. For me life is one big adventure!
An adventurous and varied life! (And stay out of the office for at least 70% of my time ;-)
For me it’s really important to experience all facets of kite surfing. Which is not only the sport itself, but as much it is traveling, meeting people, exploring places and experiencing nature. Like most outdoor sports, it’s a life style. A balance between all the cool stuff you want to do and the things you have to do. I’m always looking for adventures and a way to stay with this lifestyle.
My world championship title of last year! After coming back of a back injury in 2013 and being focused on this goal all year, it felt great to really achieve it.
Budget. I think a lot of (extreme) sport athletes recognize the sponsorship problem. To be able to finance traveling, I started my own company to sponsor myself. And it actually works pretty well! (www.katjaroose.com: new website online soon :)
Entrepreneurship and (top) sport don’t differ that much. The challenge of combining sports and business is really cool and gives me a lot of energy. So those office hours are in this case not that bad after all…
Just being out there and enjoying the elements. Being one with nature, play and feel alive. That’s the biggest satisfaction I can get. Of course, crossing the finish line in first position and winning an event feels great! But the purity of exploring nature’s playground is just the best feeling ever.
Most of the times just in front of my home, the beach of Scheveningen (Netherlands). I live only 2 minutes away from this beach. So I can put on my wetsuit at home, choose my gear and walk bear feet to the beach.
The big advantage of the Netherlands is the ever changing circumstances. Strong or light wind, waves or flat water, current, everything is there. Perfect for training.
My training is actually quite diverse. I love to do all kind of (outdoor) sports, like paragliding, mountaineering, snowboarding, (beach) volleyball… And I believe that all these sports contribute to my performance in one way or another.
I’m not that kind of person who trains her cardio and strength in the gym. Pfff, boring! I prefer a mixture of all kind of ingredients: yoga, cross fit, running, cycling. Well, it works for me :-)
Tangling: if a group of 6 to 10 kiters goes full speed towards the first buoy of the slalom course and you need to gibe this, you better be in front and out of the crowd! Tangles can happen in a split second and your race is over. Or worse, injuries…
Definitely my parents! They travel the world to see me competing and give a helping hand during comps. (Even though I’m 34 and clearly able to look after myself ;-) But I love them and I feel really privileged that I can share this lifestyle with them.
Well, the world title felt really good. So, why not another one…