Anne Valvatne – the talented Norwegian kiter

Anne is from Norway, but lives, works and kites in Germany – and has just recently won the German kite-surfing championships. Even though she is not officially allowed to wear her German Champion title as a Norwegian, the competition knows of this 30-year-old all-rounder’s kiting ability.

Anne, who are you, where do you come from, and how did you become a kite surfer?

I am from Norway and I and I used to play performance level soccer and handball. It was becoming boring for me so I switched to a sport with more adrenaline. Initially this was snowboarding…snowboarding in Austria as a snowboard instructor. I got to know a bunch of guys who worked in the summer as wind and kite surfing instructors in Greece. I found this appealing and decided to go to Greece and try windsurfing for my first time. For a few summers I was there as a windsurf instructor for girls. In 2005 I started to kite surf. Since then, I have been hooked. I’ve am always setting goals and remain very ambitious.

…and how has kite surfing been going?

In 2007 I started to study tourist management in Bremen. Before I began my studies, I realized that I used the mandatory semester abroad for kitesurfing and have been in Brazil for ten months because the conditions were perfect.
How have you come to speak such good German and why have you chosen to live in Germany after living in so many other countries?
I had learned German when I was in school in Norway. It is my second language and I of course spoke German when I was living in Austria. Germany offered good conditions for kiting. The coast is also a good place, from Bremen to Cuxhaven is an example that is not far away. In Germany there are also my favorite spots such as Saal off of the Darser Bodden.

How have you managed the kitesurfing scene?

After Brazil I had my first kiting experience with at a German championship in 2010. And won.  Fair enough! (She laughs). Since this moment, it was the first time I actually knew what kitesurfing championships and competition are. Then I also found sponsors since I was just appearing. Kiting is pretty expensive through the training sessions, trips which I finance myself, and the equipment which I fortunately get from my sponsor.

How was it for you that your success at the German Championship 2012 in Fehmarn did not get that much attention because you are Norwegian?

This was in 2010 so it doesn’t play a big role for me. For me the most important things are the kick, the friends, and the fun. In Norway there are Championships where Norwegian Champions are crowed, but that has little to no media attention. But maybe I will go there in September.

How was your previous season?

The World-Cup and the German Championship were better than expected. I only started the season in May. Before the competition, I was only in the water for five days. That is the downfall for German kiters- the conditions are not perfect all year round. If I cannot kite in the winter I will go everry other day to the gym to keep myself fit.
What are your upcoming goals?

Maybe I can stop over in Barcelona for the Europe-Tour. And next year doing the entire Europe-Tour would be cool. For 2013 I want to also do snow kiting at the World and European Championships since I was unfortunately sick for the past six weeks. No disease, at least not one that I see, but I am anemic. Because of this, when I’m running, climbing stairs, and sometimes just kiting I can quickly become out of breath. So I have to rest a bit. I do not like to, but I have to now.

…is this another discipline of yours, snow kiting?

Yeah, in the winter one must kite on the snow. This is pretty different. In 2012 I placed third at the European Championships in snow kiting.

How do you organize your life as a kite surfer?

I plan it always according to the wind and try to go kiting whenever there is good wind. I work full-time for KiteWorldWide and have made an  agreement that I can leave the office early on Fridays and have the weekends free to train. In general I try to begin earlier so that I then get to the coast earlier. And all of my vacations are of course planned around kiting.

To conclude… what do you like about the kite surfing scene?

The diversity. There are so many different kinds of people: lawyers, doctors, 16-year-old boys…But you have the passion for kiting that connects us all. And that is really special that so many different personalities can meet and have such a group dynamic. Simply fascinating

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