Interview with Mario Rodwald at the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup

The best German freestyler is currently Mario Rodwald. He takes the entire PKRA World Tour and is currently ranked twelfth for PKRA. In this interview he reveals what the life of a 20-year-old professional looks like, what has he done overseas and what must he do at the Beetle Kitesurf Worldcup.
How did you get into kiting?
Actually, I’ve spent my whole life on the water:  at the age of five I started with surfing, and then at seven I went onto surfboarding. From the moment I held my first kite in my hands, I immediately became hooked and wanted to spend all my time on the kite. As for the previous sports, it was my dad who taught me everything.
What fascinates you kiting?
Since I am small, I am fascinated by flying and the water. Plus there is plenty of action.  Once I master a trick, I feel one can always go one better and sit down with their friends to push on.
You are a professional since last year. What has changed in your life?
Actually, not so much because I have competed since I was 14. However, I am now traveling at least eight months a year as a kiter while I still do a correspondence course in Management and Leadership, which includes a lot of business administration. I have to do well.
Who or what do you miss when you’re traveling?
My family, my buddies and a healthy meal in Germany. Fresh fruits and vegetables in many countries, not just fast food. And that’s not my case.
What has been your greatest success and your bitter defeat?
My greatest achievement was winning Best Trick at the 2008 World Cup in Tarifa. Most of all, however, I am to be part of the North Kiteboarding team with my colleagues and to fly to the next spot. Losses, of course, also come with the sport. I would say that last year annoyed me the most losing 2-3 against Alberto Rondina missing the European Championships. But this year I will follow the European kite tour and they can win in the fall.
How do you prepare yourself for the Beetle Kitesurf World Cup in St. Peter-Ording?
In the winter I have made a world trip and was looking for the best spots in Argentina, Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa and Mauritius. If I had more time in one place, I was sweating not only on the water, but also in the gym. I train in Germany Fehmarn, in St. Peter-Ording, or Denmark.
What is your training program?
I always stretch for half an hour before. Then I practice my normal program and try to rehearse a few new tricks. This takes a few hours. Then sometimes I go to the gym.
What do you want to accomplish at St. Peter-Ording?
I want the Top Five. This requires a bit of luck, but I can certainly do that. Light wind conditions are not too bad, because I will be there with my 65 kg.
What is the relationship between the kiters?
Among the very top people, it’s a healthy rivalry, but we get along very well. With Youri Zoon, the leader of the PKRA rankings, we are very good. This is a super guy who has incredible moves on it.
You’ve seen a lot of the world. Where do you like best on it?
My favorite beach is Safety Bay in Australia. There are daily wind and a lot of nice people with whom you can train. But even in Denmark there are a few spots where I like to go kiting, which will hopefully remain a secret for a while.

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