Colin Heckroodt - Kitesurfing's 2010 dream
Years kiting: 3
Hometown: Somerset West
Favourite kiting spots: Le Morne ,Strand, Maccassar, Kamers ,Witsands (Breede River) and La Mercy
Favourite move: Mobe 5
Sponsors: Naish, Reef, Blue Eye eyewear, Rodwy clothing, Wellness International.
Who is your kiting role model: Both Aaron Hadlow and Kevin Langeree. Aaron is no doubt the best freestyle kiter in the world but it appears that Kevin could possibly be a better overall kiter considering his wave riding abilities.
Who taught you to kite: My dad
Do you think living in the Cape gives you an advantage, as it is the ideal training ground in Summer? Many people think so, but I think there is more to just having loads of wind. Cape Town seems to be the best training ground for the top riders, however I think Brazil, Dominican Rep, Venezuela and Mauritius are better locations to practise new tricks. Once a trick is mastered , rehearsing it in sometimes tough Cape Town conditions certainly prepares one well for the different conditions on tour.
What’s your average day at home in the cape if the wind blows? My dad is the “official officer” on the farm we live. I therefore have weather and wind updates on the hour. When the wind looks favorable for the day, we check the tides, wave size, wave intervals and location and then plan either a freestyle or wave ride day. Because of my flexible schooling program I try to pick the best 5 hour window for the day.
And when it doesn’t? I try to put in as much schoolwork as possible to create extra time for kiting when it’s good. I also spent time at the horses on the farm, play some golf and read.
What other training do you do? A good friend of ours who specializes in health through exercising, together with my dad and I ,have work out a kiting related gym program, sometimes frowned upon by the serious iron pumpers . I would gym everyday when there is no wind ,with one day a week break. I would also gym on days when the window for kiting is anything less than 2 hours.
What are your goals for the upcoming season? I would like to compete in all the local competitions and do well. As far as freestyle is concerned I would like to focus on my passes 99% of the time on water. Hopefully my season will include another Mauritius trip or preferably Brazil if finances allow. Because freestyle is hard work, I would like to relax with as much wave riding as possible.
What are your long term kitesurfing goals? If I manage to attract the necessary sponsors I would like to compete on the PKRA tour from 2010 onwards. I do understand that the industry is still developing and that sponsors are hard to come by but it is not deterring me from setting goals and working towards it. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far.
How long were you in Mauritius for this last time? Two and half months.
Where did you stay? Pik Pik windsurfing village in Le Morne
What did you learn/work on while there? Worked on all the powered passes and some switch passes as well. I also spend considerable time practising unhook wave riding.
Why is it an ideal training ground? Loads of wind. Perfect freestyle conditions, especially on low tide and probably some of the best wave riding conditions in the world.
What was the best part of your stay? I enjoyed many great moments but the main purpose was to work hard on my freestyle and it finally paid off.
What was the worst part of your stay? I fell of my bicycle on my way back to Pik Pik after a cooking session and sprained my wrist. Fortunately I recovered quickly thanks to the advice of my uncle who is sports medical doctor.
Who did you go with? My kites! No, I went on my own but met some lovely people there last year and had a warm welcome on my return this year.
How do you fit in schoolwork etc? It must take a lot of discipline? I’m very blessed to have very committed parents who home schools me and has taught me to be a self learner from a young age. Believe it or not, unlike most school attending children I actually enjoy my studies, especially the sciences. What makes it easy is the flexi hours and therefore it’s not to difficult to commit to 3 hours of studying every day. I must admit it does feel good to be able to kite while my contemporaries are at school. My plans are to continue with correspondence tertiary studies even if I do manage to go on tour.
Anybody you would like to thank? My parents and my sponsors.