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Close Up: Jannicke Stav
By Marina Chang

Name: Jannicke Stav
Age: 29
Height: 5´11”
Weight: 158 lbs.
Years kiting: 2
Favorite Spots: Boracay and Seco Island, Philippines
Favorite Conditions: Safe, shallow, and semi-flat
Favorite Moves: F16 and double frontroll
Sponsors: Nobile, Oysteins, and

Gear set-up

Boards: Nobile NHP 131
Kites: Nobile NHPs
Harness: Flying Object Flight Control Waist


  • When unsure which kite size to ride, pump the smaller. It will demand more from you when it comes to speed and precision in your technique to make your tricks stylish!
  • If you have the chance, test gear in different conditions before you buy.
  • When you go on a kite vacation, be extra careful with warming up and stretching. It will make your kite holiday even better!
  • Attend kite clinics and ask other kiters for feedback on your riding style when kiting with someone.

We normally focus on North American riders for our profiles, but I met Jannicke at a recent KB4Girls clinic hosted by Kiteopia at Sherman Island in Northern California. At just 29 years old, this native Norweigan’s vibrant spirit and passion for kiteboarding so inspired me that I felt compelled to share her story with others in hopes of motivating you to pursue your own dreams, share the stoke of kiteboarding, and explore the world.

When, where, and why did you start kiteboarding?
In 2003, I was studying at Berkeley outside San Francisco and went on a boat under the Golden Gate. I had never heard about or seen kiteboarding, and when I saw it I was very fascinated and remember saying to myself that day, “I´m going to do that too, right here.” In June 2010, I was back in San Francisco to kite Crissy Field.

What riders inspire you?
Joy and inspiration for me comes from the beginners who come out of the water with a sparkle in their eyes and big smiles on their faces — absolutely priceless! No matter what level of riding, I like ambassadors for the sport like Kristin Boese who inspires others.

How do you travel so much as a professional clinical psychologist? What do you say to people who envy your lifestyle but say that it would be impossible for them to live it?
While working I was saving money for no apparent reason and investing in an apartment wouldn´t make my life more enjoyable. I started kiting at 27 and found a reason to take a bag and travel. That´s how I ended up traveling the world only with my kite bag for nine months taking unpaid leave from work. Now I’m back to “normal life” to refill my bank account, but am planning my next tour starting this winter, this time quitting my job. I´ve met lots of people on my journey who made me more open to all the possibilities for what you can do with your life living outside the box. I hope I also inspire others similarly in my travels.

What standout features do you most appreciate about your current gear?
Easy one — the way the NHP board excels in less than perfect conditions. Also the pop I get when unhooking NHP kites — I just started riding them and was very satisfied after the first good day with wind.

What do you do off the water to help you on the water?
Watch instructional videos and clips of riders who are above my level, and also running alongside the water somewhere feels like freedom, whether it´s a beach or by the fjord I live next to.

What are you currently working on out on the water?
Unhooked kiteloop with railey, I´m trying to figure out how to get the pop right. I landed the F16, but I´m struggling more with just the loop.

Do you have any plans to compete?
I just started, and plan to do five out of six events on Kite Tour Asia. I really love the vibe on the events and the organizers are doing a fantastic job to make it appealing with info, videos, and photos.

What is your scariest kiteboarding experience?
In Australia I went with a group of five kite instructors on their day off on a downwinder in big waves. Two thirds of the way through, I got tired of jumping and decided to practice backrolls, crashed my kite, got a tear, released the kite, and started swimming to shore. Outside with the sharks I was good, but close to the shore I was underwater for long periods and it scared me from kiting in waves twice my height.

Where is your favorite place to kite and why?
For the whole package: Boracay, Philippines. The people, kite community, food, nature, wind, everything. My New Year’s resolution is to be on the water there for my 30th Birthday. If all flights go as scheduled I’ll arrive there early in the morning around the time I was born. I am hoping the wind is also on my side.

What is your most memorable kiteboarding experience?
There is a sandbank on top of a reef called Seco Island in the Philippines. I went there with the Freestyle Academy from Boracay in a group of 15 people. We kited all day on glass flat, crystal clear water, ate great food cooked by the crew, slept under the stars, and swam at night with fluorescent bioluminescence lighting up around our bodies.

What are your must haves that you can’t live without?
Except for the kitegear and knowing that I have supporting friends and family, chocolate, running shoes, and noise-cancelling headphones.

Any words of wisdom you want to share with our readers?
Figure out what makes you happy – and make more room for it in your life!

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