Meet the newest member of the Duotone International team, Pippa van Iersel. Born with the urge to compete, she’s got big plans for 2019 and the World Tour. Riding the Vegas and Team Series, the team at Duotone is proud to welcome her into the Duotone family and the world-class team.
Welcome to the team Pippa, how does it feel?
Thank you! It truly feels amazing and I feel honoured to join this team
How and when did you start kiteboarding?
I grew up being able to see the water from my bedroom window, so whenever it was windy I could see kites in the air, people riding, jumping and doing tricks; I wanted to try. Luckily for me, my dad is the most enthusiastic kiter I know and has been riding for 18 years. When I turned 14, he took my sister and I out for a session and I fell in love with it immediately. The adrenaline you get from it, the moments you share with your family on the water and the fun, that’s where it all began and why I continued.
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue it competitively?
I’ve always felt the urge to compete from a young age, no matter what I did. My dream has always been to participate in the Olympics. When I started kiteboarding I was already playing soccer at a high level and wanted to turn pro, but in the end, I liked kiteboarding more, even pretending to be sick sometimes so I could go to the water.
Once I started to compete in Holland, I wanted to do it more and more. In my first Youth World Championships, I came third. Then I needed to up my level of riding to progress onto the Women’s World Tour. As I was still studying, I made the decision to train for two months in Brazil to see if I could learn fast enough to get the required level for the tour. In those months I learned so much and my level was higher then I expected. From there I wanted to go on with kiteboarding and make it my profession.
What products from the Duotone line do you love to ride and why?
My favorite kite is the Vegas because I love to freestyle and to do some big loops. For both disciplines this kite is amazing. It has a lot of slack, so it makes your handle passes a lot easier. When you loop the Vegas, you feel a really sick boost and the kite allows you to fly high. My board of choice would be the 134cm Team Series because I can pop big and landings are soft and smooth.
Which riders inspire you and why?
I have a few riders that inspire me a lot. For me, Liam Whaley has the best style. Everything is clean, powerful and he adds some stylish grabs. Carlos Mario is super technical and has the most outstanding freestyle tricks in his pocket, as well as a great personality. From the women, my big inspiration is Gisela Pulido as she’s always pushing to the next level in freestyle. I sessioned a few times with her in Tarifa and learned a lot. Her technique is amazing and off the water she’s professional. The way she treats her body by going to the gym, doing yoga, her way of eating; a lot of people can learn from her.
I also get a lot of inspiration from my family and my dad was my very first inspiration. I saw him doing jumps, rotations and going so fast. I wanted to kite like him haha! My sister, Lidewij Hartog, started freestyle before me and is a professional videographer. I admire how she makes all those videos, for example, “Unpolished” by Stefan Spiessberger. I love her style of filming and editing. She has an artistic eye which inspires me a lot for my own videos.
How’s your 2019 looking and what goals are you hoping to achieve?
It’s already starting really good with joining the Duotone International team! 2019 will be training and competing. I’ve already planned two cool training trips to Cape Town in January and Australia in February. My goals are to improve my level of riding and end up on the podium at many of tour stops. Trick wise, I would love to land the BJ5 and a Backroll kite-loop with a late backroll.
Where can we follow you?
At every competition and somewhere around the world and on instagram @pippavaniersel.