Home Run in her Home Country
INTERVIEW WITH NIA SUARDIAZ
16 year old Nia Suardiaz dominated the the GWA Wing Foil World Cup Canaries Tour by taking all the wins in both disciplines:
1st GWA Youth World Cup La Palma
1st GWA World Cup & Red Bull Rocket Gran Canaria
1st GWA World Cup Fuerteventura
Definitely some tough weeks for her, with quite a lot of pressure, non-stop water action and sometimes really crazy conditions. We caught up with nia to find out more about her victory run, what´s involved and how she feels about it!
Hey Nia, you just won every single event of the GWA Canaries World Cup Tour. How does that feel?
It is an absolute incredible feeling and I am so stoked about these results. Keeping up my performance throughout all the events is a great achievement for me. Those last weeks were definitely pretty tough for me. I had quite a lot of pressure, non-stop water action and sometimes really crazy conditions. That is why I am especially happy that I could keep up my performance and above all that I had such a great team around me to support. A lot of pressure released after these three World Cup Stops on the Canary Islands.
It was also your very first Big Air Wing Foil competition?
Yes and I very much liked it. The conditions in Gran Canaria were ideal for such an event, really strong winds, up to over 45knots and good waves. My disadvantage was that I am riding goofy and couldn´t use the kickers for my jumps going out. Instead, I had to jump on the way back to the beach. But I had so much fun and I am super happy about my second place and for Mar (my friend from Tarifa) for making it into first position. In the end I also won the Red Bull Rocket title scoring the highest jump during the whole competition!
You are only 16, it´s amazing to have that power and mindset at that young age. When did you discover that you want to do competitions and how did it evolve?
I started in a national competition for the first time at the end of 2021 and did very well straight away. In December of the same year I got a Wild Card to join my first World Cup in Tarifa and was very happy with the results. I was very motivated to train hard. When I competed in the first GWA World Cup in 2022 in Leucate, I couldn’t believe it when I won the Freestyle Final right away and everyone celebrated.
How do you approach/prepare for each event?
For Freestyle I train a lot with all the other Youngsters from Tarifa and with Michi Rossmeier. He really motivates us a lot. When I go to the water for my heat I try to stay 100% focused. Very often there is no time at all between the competitions, which makes it difficult to get some training time. For the Slalom the best training for me are the competitions, I always learn a lot there. But Freestyle is better with friends/coaches.
Looks like you have a great team around you with your family and friends, anyone else special who helped you on your way?
There are really quite a lot of people who helped me from the start. In first place Tom (a friend of my mum) who motivated me to join his daughter in a Wing Foil beginner course – that´s where it all startet. And then Bernd from Adrenalin Kite Area, he let me use all the equipment from his school to practice and improve. That is when Jaime from WET stepped in and provided me with a set of Duotone wings and Fanatic boards and foils. That was a big step forward for me and I got even more motivated. The whole WET Team was always there to help and support me, even now that I am sponsored by International. Franco supported me training for a while and of course Michi Rossmeier, who is always there for me and we really enjoy to train together. Stefan Beat (aka Dr. Beat) is another important person supporting me on my way - he is a real ambassador for Wing Foiling. And of course my family, I can always count on them.
How do you react when it´s not running the way you planned?
I get a little frustrated, but then try quickly to focus for the next heat. At the end of the day, whatever the result, I have to know that I did everything possible to be able to win.
What´s your plans for the future?
I would like to study Sports Marketing and get into the Sports Business. It would be great to be a Team Manager or something like this. At least I know what it´s all about!
What’s your favorite gear right now?
Wing: Duotone Unit D/LAB 4.0, Board: Sky Surf TE 4'6", Foil: 750/216 Aero Carve & Carbon Mast 82
Thxs Nia & GOOD LUCK for the next GWA event in Brazil!
Pics: Wing Foil Shots & Tom Brendt
PICS BY TOM BRENDT & WING FOIL SHOTS