KiteSista continues our journey in search of the women that are engrained in the Kiting industry and are willing to share with us an insight into their daily lives. Meet one of them, Clementine Bonzom the Stance Magazine journalist and professional rider for North.
KSm: Hi Clémentine, can you introduce yourself in few words…
Clementine: Hello everybody, so… I’m clementine Bonzom and I live in Montpellier. I started Kitesurfing about 5 years ago and I fell in love with this sport so I decided to dedicate my life to it.
KSm: You work for Stance Magazine and you are also a team rider for North… can you tell us how you manage your life as a pro-rider and also your life as full time journalist?
that’s my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world
Clementine: Yes, for the last 2 years I have worked for the Magazine paper but also a lot of my time is spent on the online version: www.stanceplanet.com.
My priority was of course to work in the kitesurf industry but also to can travel and ride as much as possible. With my amazing job and my sponsors it became possible. I can travel all around the world, make some competitions and at the same time continue my job… I just need an internet connection. Although not a lot of weekends and holidays, but when I don’t have my head buried in the kite news I’m always on the water and vice versa, but that’s life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
KSm: Like this you mix your passion and your work… Have you had to make compromises between your job and your kiting? Are there times when you have to sacrifice riding for working?
when you know what you want and you do what you love it all seems to fall into place
Clementine: When I’m in Montpellier my priority is withStance, so yes… sometimes (rarely) I miss out on some kite sessions. When I am abroad I try to be in the water as much as possible and work between sessions. In reality it’s all about the organization of your time, but when you know what you want and you do what you love it all seems to fall into place naturally.
KSm: Do you still continue the competitions with your travels?
Clementine: Yes a lot! This year I decided to participate in almost all of stages of PKRA in freestyle… it’s about 10 stages all over the world. On top of that I make about 4 or 5 trips per year for personal training and fulfilling media commitments for my sponsors. For example I just came back from one month in Sri Lanka, a destination not to be missed, … if you like wind!
In fact all of my activities are very complementary… making competitions, meeting a lot of riders, discovering new spots, they help me to make first class content for Stance Magazine.
KSm: For you, what impact do have women in the kite surf industry? Do you think they have managed to find a place in an industry still predominantly masculine?
with hard work and persistence and it is possible to make the handle pass
Clementine: I think in recent years girls have created a sacred place in the sport. The level of competition, especially in the top 4, is just amazing. They have no reason to envy the guys, not in terms of technique, not in terms of style, nor in terms of power. In fact they showed the way for all those who want to try and succeed in competition and reach a good level, because they show that with hard work and persistence and it is possible to make the handle pass, even if you are a girl!
In short, by arriving at this level it has with a doubt helped to legitimize the position of women in kiting. Afterwards in relation to the level of the everyday rider, I meet more and more girls at the spots, who want also to learn tricks. The sport is growing, becoming more popular and now girls are part of this without a doubt.
KSm: If you could give some advice to the other Sistas who like you would like to mix their work and their passion, what would you say to them?
with a lot of will and a little bit of luck everything can be achieved
Clementine: Mmmmhh, it’s complicated to give advice, everybody’s situation is different and I do not have enough experience or pretention to tell you which path to follow, but in my opinion I would say that if you have an idea of how you want to live, follow it. Even if you have some difficulties obtaining the material things and you have to make detours, don’t forget your objective, because with a lot of will and a little bit of luck everything can be achieved.
KSm: A few words to finish, a specific message that you would like share with the readers?
Clementine: Ok, not very original but thanks to my sponsors (North Kiteboarding, Ion Essentials, Mood, Rockstar Energy, Tingerlaat and Kitetravel4all) who have helped me to achieve my goals and also my family who support me tirelessly because without them none of this would be possible.
KSm: As you know KiteSista exists to inspire more passionate girls like you to share their life experiences and dreams that unite them within board sports. For this we would like to thank you for the time you have given us and we congratulate you for the positive image that you project in the world of female kiter. We wish you lots of success in your current and future projects and hope you enjoy the ride!