GKA Distance Battle - 1st and 2nd place for Mika

Duotone Kiteboarding Mika interview

Congratulations Mika on an incredible performance and taking first place at the first GKA Freestyle Distance Battle, how does it feel to take first place?


I’m super stoked about the win! This year hasn’t been easy, the wind conditions at the lagoon have been challenging, but I’ve done my best with what conditions we had and am super happy to have won the GKA Distance Battle.


You also finished second in the strapless freestyle, how did you divide your time filming the heats between the two disciplines?


My main focus is twin tip freestyle as I feel that is my true calling, but Strapless freestyle is a part of kiting that I really enjoy and train for. This year we didn’t have a lot of days with wind, which meant I didn’t get the opportunity to train as much as I would have liked, so I was super happy to be able to pull off a second place!

Duotone Kiteboarding Mika interview
Duotone Kiteboarding Mika interview

How do the emotions differ from watching your heats being scored online to that of the usual head to head contest format?

I feel it was a lot less stressful to watch my heats online than a regular contest. You have more time and you know what tricks you did and that you have landed them. In the contest situation focus is key, as you don’t have that second chance. I really enjoyed the online format and I would love the opportunity to choose the tricks we could do, but I also enjoyed the challenge of performing the best tricks I could within the categories set by the judges.

How has your year been with the pandemic, have you had the chance to do much riding and training and what else have you been doing in the down time?

It’s been really tough, but I feel I have made the most out of it. During springtime I’ve was able to take a break from kiting, allowing me to recharge and focus on my schoolwork and spending time with my family and friends. I’ve kept up my physical training and the last few months have been getting back on the water training and filming for this event.

Have you managed to work with Fabio this year remotely and did you work with anyone on your heat strategy?

I worked with Fabio in January and February, and I was due to attend a training camp in March in the Dominican Republic with him, but it got cancelled due to the pandemic. For my heat strategy I worked on this myself. When I felt I had had a good heat on the water I would save that clip and then work to better it, I would then compare the heats in the evenings and it was an elimination process from there until I was satisfied. 

The semifinal against teammate Paula Novotna was a closely fought battle, how did you feel watching that heat? 

Paula (Novotna) is a really good competitor. She’s focused, skilled and knows what tricks to do when the time comes. She trains hard and always comes prepared with a good heat. She’s a tough competitor to come up against so it’s important for me to be on top of my game and fully focused. I really enjoy competing against her.

Duotone Kiteboarding Mika interview

After seeing you had made it through that close semifinal round were you a little more confident going into the final?


I wouldn’t say I was confident; it all comes down to your competitor and the judges. I felt happy with my heat, but you never know what the competition might bring. A rider may have learnt a new trick that could score high that you didn’t anticipate or you could get docked more points than you thought on a butt checked landing, so there were still some nerves going into the final.


You travelled all over the north coast of Brazil chasing conditions, tell us about the locations you visited to capture your heats.


I travelled from Cauipe in Cumbuco all the way along the north coast to Atins searching for new locations along the way to find the best conditions and wind for my heats. It was a challenge to be in the car so much and be constantly hunting conditions, but in the end it was worth the effort!

What was your equipment set up for the heats? 

For both of my freestyle heats I was on my 10 meter Vegas, small Click Bar and 138cm Team Series Textreme with Duotone boots.

With the confirmation of a GKA event in Brazil in late November how are the upcoming weeks looking for you?

I couldn’t be happier that the Brazil event has been confirmed! I’m excited to finally get to ride and train with all the riders that will come out to Brazil early, this will give me lots of motivation. Aside from that I’ve started to ramp up the physical training and prepare my mental focus for what will be our first real event in 2020!

Congratulations once again Mika! Any shout outs?
Huge thanks to Duotone and to all my sponsors, Ion, Vivida, Gold Data and Vila Bela Vista Prea for the support. Thanks to the GKA for coming up with the idea of the distance battle to allow us to compete in what has been a challenging year for everyone. My family for always supporting me and having my back and my friends for always being there too, I love you guys!