Glory for Mikaili Sol and teammates

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2018 has been a year to remember for our Duotone women. From competition results to hosting events, media output and initiative, there’s been a serious case of Duotone domination and we couldn’t be more proud. We applaud the female Duotone competitors of the WKC Freestyle World Tour and GKA Air Games, who have fought against and with each other in hope of claiming that World Title. From Turkey to Morocco, Germany, Dominican Republic and Brazil - to name a few —  the pressure never let up and our girls never stopped giving.

At the final event on the WKC Tour in Cumbuco, Brazil, Mikaili Sol is crowned World Champion, Francesca Bagnoli finishes the year in 2nd position, Paula Novotna in 3rd. When the GKA Air Games wrapped up the season in Fehmarn, Germany, it was Mika again who took the gold, with Duotone’s Hannah Whitely and Pippa Van Iersel in 2nd and 3rd place. With that in mind, we grabbed the opportunity to catch up with the girl of the moment, Mika, to hear what she had to say about her whilwind year.  

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What does it mean to be a World Champion?

It is an honour to be a 2x World Champion at just 14 years old! I was 13 when I won the GKA Air Games World Title and 14 when I won the WKC title. I didn’t expect these results this season. It was one of my goals to be World Champion but I was aiming for top 4 this past season. I am super happy that all of my training and hard work paid off in the end! I am excited that I get to represent Duotone on the podium and hopefully there will be many more! 

Can  you give us an overview of your journey to the top. 

I had been the Jr. World Champion for several years. In 2017, I qualified for the Freestyle Pro Tour but I was not allowed to compete because I was too young. In the Qualifier League in 2017 in Egypt, I was told the freestyle tour was going to let me compete in 2018. I was so excited! 

I trained very hard during early 2018 with my coach Fabio Ingrosso. When I wasn’t with Fabio, I was training at home in Taiba, Brazil. I spent as much time on the water as I could, always focusing on mastering my tricks and performing them with consistency!

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In 2018, I decided to compete in Tarifa on the GKA Air Games Tour. When I took first place, I decided to compete in Cabarete, Dominican Republic and Fehmarn in Germany where I managed to take first place in both events again! Winning the GKA Air Games tour was super exciting since I was only 13 years old! Once the GKA tour was over, I was ready for the WKC Freestyle tour.

 

Freestyle is my passion. I love Air Games as well but freestyle is super technical and it has taken me years of training to master my tricks. The tour started in Turkey, where I had an excellent event and took first place. Then we competed in Morocco where I just snuck into 1st. Next stop was close to my hometown in Cumbuco, Brazil where again I managed to claim the title.  

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What was your best and worst event of the season?

 My best event was the WKC Freestyle event in Turkey because the conditions were perfect and I landed all of my tricks with ease. Since it was the first freestyle event and I won, I consider this to be the best event. Dahkla was the most difficult because the conditions were gusty and at times choppy, but I still managed to score a 10 on my Double Heart Attack! During the finals, the conditions were tough and I really struggled on my first tricks and started to lose my confidence!  Fábio really calmed my nerves and helped my get back on track. I still won but only by just .01!   

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned this year? 

The biggest lesson I learned was during my competition in Morocco. I was really losing my confidence at one point during my final heat, I almost gave up. I learned that it is so important to stay positive, focused and to keep telling yourself that you can do it. It becomes a mind game and you need to conquer your thoughts. Your body knows what to do! I really learned to stay focused, trust and believe in myself and believe in my coach. I also learned that training is important and practice makes perfect but you must practice perfectly.

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Who was your toughest competition?

My toughest competition in WKC was my teammate Francesca Bagnoli. In GKA Air Games it was my other teammate Hannah Whitely. Both girls girls are exceptional riders and beautiful people!

Tell us about your how your gear set up has evolved over the season?

For both freestyle and Air Games I used the 5 line Vegas and the small Click Bar. The Vegas gives my the perfect slack for performing handle passes.  For the Air Games, I use the Jaime 132cm which is a lighter board and easier for performing board offs. For freestyle, I used my Team Series 134. This board has a sick pop which allows me to go higher than any other board I have ever tried in my life!

Tell us about your support network and how they’ve helped you to be the best athlete possible.

I have an amazing support team! First, my riding improved tremendously once I started riding Duotone last March. I love my gear. Duotone has been there for me every step of the way. I hadn’t planned on doing the entire GKA tour but when I won in Tarifa, Duotone was there to support me and encourage me to continue the tour! I am fortunate to work with my coach Fabio Ingrosso, and train in many spots around the world. Fábio knows how to push me to my limits and help keep me calm during competitions.

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I also had the opportunity to train for two weeks in Egypt with the Duotone women’s team. This was great because we were able to push each other’s riding and get to know each other better. We are friends off of the water and competitors on the water during our heats.

I also have to say my parents are awesome because they support me 100% in my kiteboarding career and are always there for me when I need them. They trust me and encourage me to travel to train with my coach even when they can’t be there. They even let me do my schoolwork via corespondents so I can train. Not many 14 year olds have parents like mine! 

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Whats on the agenda for 2019? 

So far my calendar is quite busy! I will be in Sri Lanka in January, South Africa in February, Morrocco in March and France in April. This is just the start. We don’t have the event calendar yet so I don’t know exactly what my schedule will be after April, but I’m looking forward to it.

Follow me @mikaili_sol