HOW TO APPROACH NEW TRICKS
INTERVIEW WITH NIA SUARDIAZ
WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE EXCITEMENT WHEN GOING AROUND YOUR FIRST CLEAN GYBES OR NAILING THOSE 360S YOU'VE BEEN PRACTICING FOR A WHILE. WHEN WING FOILING, LANDING A NEW TRICK IS THE BEST SENSATION EVER. AND KEEPS US JUST WANTING TO LEARN MORE! BUT LET'S BE HONEST, TO ACTUALLY GET THERE, IT IS NOT ALWAYS SMOOTH SAILING!
For your inspiration we launch our new series, interviewing our top team riders on how they approach learning new tricks. As well as hearing their best practices, how to stay motivated to get out there, and hopefully help you keep sending it on the water!!
To kick it off, we caught up with our rising star, Nia Suardiaz. Crowning herself as the Youth-Champion last year, she's starting exceptionally strong - at only 16 years old! - into the 2023 season. Securing the top podiums at the GWA World Tour stop in New Zealand, becoming first in Freefly-Slalom and second in Surf-Freestyle Leucate, France.
Hi Nia, what have you been up to since coming back from the comp in Leucate, France? Congrats again for your great results!! How are you looking at the rest of the season and the upcoming tour stops in the Canary Islands?
Since returning to Tarifa, I've been trying to get on the water to train as much as possible. But also go for sessions to just enjoy. Although, recently, the wind here in Tarifa has been a bit unusual, and we didn't have such great conditions.
Also, I've been studying a lot, as I have my final exams in June. I've been doing an online school program to combine getting my school done and traveling on the GWA Tour.
I'm super stoked about the upcoming tour stops in the Canaries; I'll love that place! Great wind & waves. We have just been there on an epic trip with part of the Duotone team for a shooting and island hopping. Looking at the rest of the season, of course, I am aiming for that title!
How has it been for you traveling all over the world to competitions? Are you usually going with your parents or by yourself?
To most of the tour stops my parents come along. Besides the mental support, it's also because I'm not 18, and I can't drive yet. Getting around with all that gear without a car would be tricky. Although, for the first time this year, I've been going to a competition without my parents. Which was the GWA stop in New Zealand. It worked really well, as I could stay at a friend's house and got a lot of support while being there.
During your training, do you also have days where you do not feel like going on the water? And what are your top tips for finding that motivation again?
Yes, for sure. Sometimes I don't feel like going out, although I know I should. Ultimately, I mostly find motivation, which usually comes from going out with friends. And we always end up having a fun session. That's the best way to motivate myself, not going alone but with someone who gives you a little push. You always feel better when you come out of the water again.
At the moment, I go Winging a lot with my little brother's friends, Xavier, who's also on the Wing Foil Tour and my age, and Michael Rossmaier. Or just in general with other people, as it's the best way to learn more stuff and stay motivated!
For sure, a shared session is just always more fun! So when you start looking at, for instance, learning a new freestyle trick, can you tell us whether you have a particular way of approaching it?
I believe when learning something new, it is best to start looking at videos of the trick. I like to get some inspiration from Wesley or Jerome and then usually just go straight on the water and try it. While also being out on the water with friends, we give each other tips. Of course, the Academy App is also great for getting advice on new tricks. And actually getting a complete step-by-step guide. It helped me with all the little details, like a specific movement to get around a trick, like moving a hand differently or pushing with your legs in a certain way. I also enjoy how easy the app is to use. This and filming yourself when training, showing it to friends, or uploading it in the app to analyze it is also super helpful!
What's your favorite trick in the Academy App, or what trick are you currently training?
There are so many. Well, the backflip is definitely one of my favorite tricks. I am also looking at going for front flips soon, hopefully, …, but I'm still a little bit scared of it, haha!
Great, thank you very much Nia! Keep sending it!!
FOTOS BY SAMUEL CARDENAS & SIMON CROWTHER & @GIORGASPHOTO