A perfect performance from Paula

Duotone Kiteboarding Teamrider Paula Novotna Podium

PAULA NOVOTNA has been gracing podiums for years, yet the GKA Freestyle stop in Fuerteventura was a pinnacle point in her career, claiming a world title. One of the world’s best female freestyle riders, Paula is part of a core collective of women on a mission to raise the bar, captivate spectators, inspire the youth and push boundaries to grow the sport that we are all so passionate about. 

Duotone Kiteboarding Teamrider Paula Novotna

What was different about this competition that saw you come out on top?

When I went to Fuerteventura I had no expectations. Of course I wanted to do good, but I didn't put much pressure on myself this time; normally I do. I felt ready, had trained enough, trusted my instincts and went tobattle.

You're one of the world's top female riders, how has your riding improved over the years and what new tricks are you laying down in your heats?

Well, thank you! I appreciate that I’m seen as “one the world’s top female riders “ Wow! There is a lot of hard work, effort and dedication behind all  of this. Due to social media, giving me the ability to share what we do, I believe that those who follow me know how hard I train both in and out of the water. I am always improving my style, strength and consistency in what I know, as well as learning new tricks. 

Pre Fuerteventura, I went to train to Sri Lanka where I scored strong wind. I’ve always hated riding small kites so I tested my abilities, holding onto an 8m2 when a 7m2 would have been way more forgiving. But this was training time.

When it came to Fuerte, I was riding a 6m2 Vegas, comfortable with the smaller size, but also perfectly powered. The other girls were struggling on their 7m2. I had a good tactic, the right gear and relaxed confidence. This win was a combination of everything which was a process.

How do you control your nerves?

This is one of the most difficult elements of competition. I’ve always struggled with it. I would do an amazing heat against somebody I knew I could win against, then crash out against somebody I didn’t know or have enough confidence to compete with. But now it is different. I still stress, especially before the competition. I try to calm down watching my movies or just trying to visualise how the competition might look like. But once the competition day is on, things are different. I enter into my state of mind that we can call the GAME DAY. I go out to have fun, I go out to perform my best. I don’t care who I ride against or if the others are landing sick tricks or crashing. I enter into my little bubble and it’s just me, myself and my kite. Competition is easy compared to training days. You just need to be in a right state of mind and just SEND IT. 

Duotone Kiteboarding Paula Novotna Pippa van Iersel GKA 2019

What was the biggest challenge you overcame in this comp?

The competition was a challenge in itself. Difficult conditions, strong and gusty winds, choppy water and a high level of competitors didn’t make it easy from the start. I was stoked, I was landing trick after trick in gnarly conditions. I actually stretched my shoulder in the middle of the final, but due to all the adrenalin in my veins I didn't feel any pain. I was a bit scared after the final but now it’s all good.

I also overcame challenge that I CAN, In my own mind. That self belief of ‘I CAN’ win a World Cup, I’m sure, it happened. It gave me lot of confidence and motivation to be on the podium again, train for it and stay focused. I am a competitive person.

Did the conditions deliver?

Hell yes! I won! And I literally couldn’t believe it because I didn’t expect it at all. It was a dream come true and it happened. I really appreciate all my friends, family, fans, sponsors and supporters for all the nice messages and congratulations I received. Everybody was so happy to see my on that 1st place. I was over the moon.

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA 2019 Paula
Duotone Kiteboarding Paula Novotna GKA 2019
Duotone Kiteboarding Paula Novotna Vegas Teamseries 2019

What gear were you riding,  how did it perform and why does it suit you?

I was riding my Team Series and Duotone Vegas 8m2, 7m2 and 6 m2. I usually never ride 7m2 or 6m2 because they’re = just too small for me. But Fuerteventura was so windy and I was happy that I had those kites there.

What tips do you have for people looking to get into the GKA World Tour?

If you want to start competing and if you want to become a professional kitesurfer remember, it takes a lot of hard work. Commitment, dedication and motivation and strong will are at the foundations. You can chose your discipline, as now we have more than just freestyle and hold onto it. Set a goal, set a dream and go get it. Nobody can take it away from you. If you want to achieve something in your life, you must be smart and fully committed, otherwise it will just disappear. There will always be something that slows you down on the way, - injuries, lack of sponsors or just a bad day on the water - but with strong will, I am pretty sure anyone can achieve anything.

Final Words?

Thanks for reading guys. I am already looking forward for the next stop in Mauritius and to visit this beautiful island I have never been before.Paula 

Duotone Kiteboarding GKA Fuerte Podium Paula Pippa Mika