Finally Introducing Gnarly Karlie – Meet Karlie Thoma

We have known about Karlie Thoma for quite some time as she is without a doubt one of the most prolific kitesurfing vloggers out there with 27 episodes in the last 7 months!

We would not be the least bit surprised if over here in Europe you have never heard of her. We hadn’t either yet the girl is a Naish team rider and shot this video with Jesse Richman…

Watch "When Ship Gets Real"...

So now you have seen that the girls surfs, kites, skates, jumps off things and generally makes sure she is having fun at every opportunity in the most awesome ways.

She does also do something else very well indeed, and that is look absolutely amazing in pretty much any photo she puts online, and we hope we will be forgiven for implying that she might very well be aware of this fact.



Are we playing with you a bit here? Well maybe, because still in our mind is a comment thread we were involved in last night about portrayal of female athletes which came about from this article – “What is going on with female wakeboarding – and what can we do about it” …

It went a bit like this ….we shared the above article on our personal profile and some of our respected peers got into a debate about the portrayal of women in the board-sports media, it was the usual back and forth about …the need to show more than just talent for likes, …social pressure to do this because it is an industry norm, …girls should just be valued for their talents, etc.

Until we decided to play devils advocate and drop this:

Can I throw a spanner in the works here just because it is the one piece of information often missed out in this arguement.
A lot of the girls who we hold responsible for posting the bikini and bum pics would argue that they are young, …they feel great, they are confident about their bodies and sexuality and they WANT to post those pics because they like them, the know they will not always look that amazing, ..and they have every right to.

Just saying, it is always assumed that these poor girls are forced to post these images to satisfy the media cravings.

..and although I am paraphrasing the response, the first reply was…

Fair point, although personally I never thought of it like that…




So hold up a minute, …no one ever considered that in this modern world of freedom of all expression where forms have 5+ options for gender, and no one is to be defined by race or religion alone …we can be extremely harsh and critical of young athletes who are proud of every part of who they are and want to show it off on their personal profiles…

That said not to misquote the commentator of take him out of contest, that comment did continue with

…probably because I don’t really care about someones bikini pics or how they feel about their body as I’m into board sports not psychology. By association however the other Women who don’t want to do this are then often expected to do so in a stereotypical way (so some of them are actually being semi-encouraged to do so if other riders are already doing it).

To which we replied…

…but that is a problem with society, ..not kiteboarding.

..and to which the end all argument that had us close our computer with a smile was…

Yes unfortunately society is heavily intertwined in all facets of life including board sports.

You can’t help but smile.

That's a lot of words, ...let's have a look at another picture of Karlie killing it before we move on...



You might be thinking that at this point we have hijacked an article about Karlie to make a point. …you would be right, but that is only in preparation of a small social experiment we have carried out.

You came to this article because you clicked on a thumbnail, the question is, which one, and why?

  • Where you in awe of the size of the wave she was riding and wanted to know more?
  • Where you angry about yet another over sexualised thumbnail?
  • Did you simply think she was hot and hoped their would be more photos of her?

You don’t have to answer out loud, but it is interesting to think about what makes you click on content and the content you choose to interact with because we are all responsible for the content we see in our news feeds.

Believe it or not whilst Facebook might have complicated algorithms that analyse your every click, like and interaction, their end goal is to provide you with content that it thinks there is the most chance you will click on.

If you want to see a change in the media you digest then it is up to you to vote with your finger (or not). If you see content that you don’t agree with then simply don’t click, don’t interact because publishers end game is to make you happy, but if an ass gets twice as many clicks as an action shot and people make a living from those clicks, you can throw all the social responsibility you want at them, …it is you doing the clicking.

Now another picture of Karlie because this is starting to get serious



So, first off, full credit to Karlie Thoma, she is is the epitome of everything our modern society demands from a female athlete. She kicks ass across a multitude of sports, she is gorgeous, smiling and proud to be sexy but not slutty.

However if you do not like this, then you do not have to follow her rules, because it is her path to walk and you have yours. We are human individuals who are having to fight very hard at this point in our history to maintain that right when mass-data is trying so hard to fit us into convenient categorisations.

Shape your own path girls, …but be tolerant and respectful of the paths that others shape for themselves because we are all human and mutual tolerance, support and respect is something that no society or industry can say they couldn’t do with a bit more of.





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