Sue Guelden, South Africa
29 year old Sue Guelden has a great passion for extreme sports photography.
After her first experience in Egypt 2012, she decided to do more imagery in this direction, with the motto of learning by doing.
“The most important thing is to be really focused with what you are doing. I love the feeling of knowing I have caught a clear picture in the exact right moment.”
What adventure is next on your bucketlist?
“I´m going back to Elgouna, where the lifestyle is just perfect! Wind = kiting, no wind = cable park. A lot of pro riders are there to train, so that’s perfect for me as a photographer.”
Intense moments when shooting?
“The best feeling is definitely, when I check my pics in the display on spot, and realize I’ve got a perfect shot out of the session.
My most intense moments are when the riders come really close and do there tricks right in front of my camera, I know most of them already, and I of course trust them- Still, it’s a mighty feeling.
So far, I have not had a bad moment at a session.”
Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
“My biggest inspiration in life is my ex boss and friend Piet! He started building his company out of nothing; and he shows me all the time that if you really want something, you can reach it.”
What do you think of the lack of role models for girls and women in male dominated areas?
“I think women should believe in themselves more, believe in their strength and personality. I always say: Everything starts in your mind. Us women simply shouldn't care if a sport is considered more suitable for men, we should just do it and enjoy every second of it.”
How do you see women evolving in the action sports scene?
“Men will always be the stronger gender physically, but women are evolving constantly in action sports, claiming more and more space in the scene!”
What are your hopes for the future of the industry?
“Some sports are now so commercial, that many are obsessed with becoming pro riders- and that sometimes gets me a bit upset. I hope that people relax and stop trying so hard to go pro, and just DO IT for the experience of it instead.”
What is the number one preconception or prejudice people have about you?
“A lot of people stare at me because of my tattoos; I’ve got two sleeves and my back full of tattoos.”
Is there a difference in how women and men are portrayed in the action sports industry?
“Until now, I known almost only about male action sport photographers, So I´m really glad that this campaign changes that- Hopefully giving light to more women within the industry”
What would you say to people who want to get in to action sports, but think they might not fit in?
“I just can say: follow your dreams, follow your heart, follow your passion(s) and make every moment in life about what you love to do!”
Annelous Lammerts, Netherlands
In the summer of 2009 Annelous Lammerts learned kitesurfing and has been addicted to the wind ever since.
She bought her own gear in November 2009, and not even the cold could stop her from heading out. After about a year she came in contact with Mystic through Natural High, a beach club located at the Brouwersdam. Annelous lived 17 kilometers from the Brouwersdam, and everyone was very impressed that she always rode her bike to the beach, towing a cart loaded with all the gear. No matter how cold it was, with every bit of wind she got the job done, and her motivation was proof enough for them that she would have what it takes to go pro, and they became her first sponsor. She’s been riding the great Mystic hardware ever since!
“I am always trying new things on the water and I love the feeling that I have when I land a new trick, it's like the feeling I had when I made my first meters on the board. Just the best feeling of the world! I love to ride with other freestyle kiters so we can push each other and have fun on the water.”
After competing in the European Championships for 2 years and becoming European and Vice European Champion, she’s going to focus on the world championships this year.
Karolina Winkowska, Poland
Karonlina started kitesurfing because her whole family was addicted to water sports. Since she was a young girl, she had been traveling with them for windsurfing, and during the winter they used to do snowboarding and skiing. Karolina actually even won the Polish Junior Championship in bordercross and big air in.
After a few long kite holidays in 2004, she decided to try her skills in competition ? King of the Air where she finished in the 3rd place.
She got her first sponsors and continued to improve her competitive skills, earning titles over the years. 2012 was a very long year for Karolina, with 8 PKRA stops. She had her ups and downs, but on the end of the season, managed to win 3 events in a row and became the PKRA freestyle World Champion.
Also busy and engaged in a lot of different projects and commercial assignments, the highlight of 2014 was Karonlinas second World title in kiteboarding freestyle, that she gained only through really hard work during the entire season.