Professional athletes Sensi Graves and Colleen Carrol recently announced their next all women’s kiteboarding retreat this October 12-19th in Dakhla, Morocco. We caught up with Colleen to get the inside scoop on what these trips are really all about and why you have to go!
In recent years you’ve started hosting women’s kiteboarding retreats. What was the motivation for starting this?
When I was younger, I was pretty heavily into the snowboarding scene where I had a huge group of women around me to hike into the backcountry with or push each other in the park, always working on progressing our level. When I starting getting more into kiteboarding I was almost always the only woman on the water. As I started competing and traveling the world, I found a crew like this to ride with but I think a lot of ladies out there experience the same thing I did at their own local spot and don’t have the ability to travel the globe to find their tribe. Additionally, my partner, Sensi Graves, and I find it incredibly empowering to bring together groups of women who are all united by a common passion: kiteboarding!
What is the main focus of the retreats?
As an organizer, the goal is to plan a kiteboarding trip that will be one of the best trips of our lives! We want women to be able to get off the plane and not worry about a thing. All the details are arranged and each day will be loaded with lots of time on the water fostering the ideal environment for progression, confidence-building and camaraderie.
How has your experience as a professional team rider prepared you to organize these trips?
It can be overwhelming to organize a kiteboarding trip especially if you want to do it with a group of friends. You have to coordinate schedules, find the best place to go, the best place to stay, plan 3 meals a day, think about transportation and so on. Over my professional career, I’ve been to dozens of kite spots and traveled to more countries than I can list off the top of my head – some trips have been epic and some have been a flop. We take our experience and expertise into deciding where and when to go, planning our trips at only the best spots and thinking through the details well ahead of time. I also love that we bring together women from all over the globe who leave the trip with a whole new crew of kiting friends.Walk us through a typical day at your women’s kiteboarding retreat…
We wake up with a view of the kite spot. Enjoying a coffee or tea as we get ready for our morning yoga session. Professional Yogi, Victoria Williams walks us through a rejuvenating practice designed to awaken all of those tired kiteboarding muscles. We follow yoga with a delicious and nutritious breakfast prepared by a local chef and then get ready to ride. We kite until we need to refuel and then go out again until that golden hour hits. Sensi and I will be on the water coaching you through your next big move, breaking it down and setting you up for success. Then its time for happy hour at the beach bar and getting to know your new kite friends over dinner. Everything is made easy by our hosts at Dakhla Attitude. No planning, cooking, cleaning, etc. Just the good stuff!
Talk to us about the coaching aspect. How much time do you spend coaching?
We spend several hours every day that there is wind coaching the group. We will do two sessions, conditions allowing, and we keep the group size very small so that we never have more than four guests to one coach. We also find that often, there are several people working on similar skills and this is awesome for creating a very motivating and encouraging environment that happens naturally amongst the group. I absolutely LOVE seeing women learn new tricks or moves during our camps and with the consistency of the wind in Dakhla, I’m confident it will be a very progressive week for anyone looking to push their limits.
Who should come to your retreat?
Intermediate-advanced kiteboarders who want to have a great time on and off the water, meet new people, learn some new skills and have a fabulous holiday where they don’t have to worry about a thing. This retreat is for the ladies only so the atmosphere is very relaxed – it’s a true girl’s trip!
Where are you going for your next retreat?
We are absolutely thrilled to go to be going to Dakhla! Dakhla Attitude hotel is located directly at the kite spot and is perfectly appointed for hosting a kite retreat. Flights are easy and inexpensive from Europe so it is an ideal spot for our next retreat. The kite spot has very consistent winds in October and has a great flat water spot directly in front of the hotel. There are other nearby places to explore like the White Dune and fabulous downwinders, not to mention they also have anything you could want to have the ultimate relaxing and fun holiday like the cable park, spa and yoga studio.
When does this dream trip happen?
Our trip to Dakhla is this October 12th – 19th. There is limited availability so we encourage people to book now.
More info or to reserve a spot on the Dakhla trip visit: www.sensiandcolleen.com