Crowned 2012 World Wave Champion, Jalou Langeree made a shift this year in her ride, settling down well and quickly in strapless kitesurfing. Back on 2012 year with an interview with the Naish Rider full of energy .
Hi Jalou, can you Introduce you?
Hello I am Jalou Langeree a 22 year old kite surfing Dutchie from a little coastal village called Noordwijk (30 min south of Amsterdam).
You started competition very young, and from the outset with mostly freestyle, what are your results in freestyle ?
I started kiting on the age of 12, my older borther Kevin got me into the sport. I competed in my first world cup KPWT when I was 14 and one year later I did a few PKRA stops. I was never really good in competitions I was way to nervous, and thought everyone was way better then I was. But a few times I managed to pull it off.
And this was because I had a better mind set and started to believe in myself what made me ride more relaxed and focused during competition.
My best results in freestyle :
-7 times Dutch Champion
-3rd place PKRA Australia 2010
-2nd PKRA Belgium 2007
-6th overall 2006
Earlier in 2012, I came across this video shot in Indo for Naish with good waves you surfed with straps. You said you’re going to be more involved in waveriding. Why this transition? Who or what influenced you?
At one point I lost my motivation for freestyle and I stop doing the PKRA world tour and started to do more free riding. I really enjoyed not having to show my moves in a contest. Just making movies and write travel stories. But something was still missing, I needed that adrenaline rush, the feeling of being scared on the water, improvement and most important enjoying the sessions. That is all what wave riding is giving me now what I have missed the past years in freestyle. That trip to indo was also my first time leaving my twin tip behind did not miss it a single minute.
When and why did you throw away your straps for the first time ? Was it only a strategy to get points on the KSP? How do you place strapless kitesurfing among other styles?
Since the past 7 years I spend my winters in South-Africa to train. I’m very confident when I ride with my foot straps you can hit the wave at the most critical section without getting washed of your board. And taking big waves with straps just feels a lot steadier and it’s easier to keep the control and make speed.
So last year I started taken of my straps on the smaller days when waves where to small to have fun with straps. It was pretty frustrating in the beginning because I was spending more time in the water then on my board. I did really like the feeling of riding strapless I felt really free and it was another challenge.
After spending a whole winter in SA mostly riding strapped I got to the first KSP stop of the year and everyone was riding strapless. So that’s when I took off my straps for good. I did put them back on in my first heat in Mauritius. It was pretty big and messy that day and did not feel confident riding strapless. I did very well in that heat think I had the highest or second highest score of the day. After that first heat the level was increasing and I knew I had to leave my straps behind.
The judges don’t mind if you ride straps but you have to be way better then the one without the straps. If it’s close off course the no straps rider wins. I did not want to take the risk being the only one riding straps and getting kicked out. Riding strapless in Mauritius for one month really helped me to get more confident. What I did wrong in the beginning was that I stood up way to straight in bottom and top turns. The guys on tour kept telling me bend your knees more I started to understand and it made me ride radically. Now I don’t even think about putting my straps back on my board again. It feels right and I love it. Riding strapless makes you aware more off your style and the position on the board.
I don’t mind if you’re strapped or unstrapped the most important thing is that you’re having fun in what you’re doing.
Past season you were competing mostly in freestyle, now you are the current wave world champion 2012 of KSP. Let’s do a crazy parallel : a table tennis champion playing in tennis world cup … you won such a challenge (big up !). I guess you have secrets to reach such a high level in wave riding so quickly? Which are they?
If there was a recipe for that I’ll try to sell it and make good money hahahaha. It’s been more then a week since I won that title, it all went so quick and I don’t really have any words for it. It still did not get to me.
I never told myself I want to be world champion in freestyle. But in wave riding I did. I’ve been pretty harsh I told myself on the start of the KSP season I want to get on the podium on the end of this season if I don’t make it I’ll stop competing train even harder, come back and get on that podium. I wanted this so bad because I could not do it freestyle. In wave riding I saw an opportunity.
I’ve got this big passion for riding in the waves and If you like something so bad you don’t think about how much time you spend doing it. That’s what made me good I guess?! The guys on tour are my biggest inspiration. They ride so powerful and bring so much style and flow into their moves.
Can you tell us some high points of each event of KSP ?
My heat against Ines Correia, during the Mauritius event. We lived together in the same house and spend a lot of time on the water together before the contest. We are both very competitive riders. That heat was the most tiring heat of the whole contest. We looked like two wave magnets both trying to take the most waves as possible and trying to pick the higher ones. It was a killing 15 minutes, on my way back to the beach I knew it was very close. And it was a 0.01 difference in point what made me the winner of the heat. Then my final against Ninja was pretty intense she knows the spot like now one else. It was hard picking the right size kite as there was a big cloud coming what normally means that the wind drops. So we both took out our 9m. On the start of the heat it cleared up and the wind kicked in. I was pretty over powered and picked the wrong waves. I was to far downwind where the wave closed out on me the whole time. Right in front of me I saw Ninja taking beautiful waves what made more nervous. She did an amazing job and it was fun riding against here. I ended up second with a happy face.
I really looked forward on going to Ireland. I heard many stories about amazing spots with great wind and swell and freezing weather. I’m Dutch so I did not really care about the cold. But the unexpected happened we waited for 9 days for proper wind and ended up running the contest at the last day of competition.
The wind was side shore from the left what I really liked because I got to train in similar conditions back home. I was having a blast we run true the contest very quickly win after win. I started of with my 5m Park followed by my 7m and ending up being underpowered in the finals on my 9m.
They tried to run it for several times but the wind let us down so we never got to change the finish the finals.
Having to ride backside was a big thing for me. As most of the spots are good for goofy riders I did not train a lot on my backside. I went a few weeks before to get used to the conditions what helped my during the contest.
1st heat: Against Kalia and Melissa Gil was actually pretty nervous for that heat because contest was on for a few days already and we where on hold all the time so did’nt know when it was going to happen. I was pretty disappointed with my heat because the conditions where pretty difficult almost no waves and very light wind. You would catch a wave and the wind got gustier while getting closer to shore. I still managed to get a first position in that heat.
2nd heat : very excited because I was up against Ines Correia girl ranked 2nd on the tour. We’ve been tight on points during the whole KSP tour. So after that heat I got of the water and had a feeling it was very close again and it was. Luckily not that close as in Mauritius Made true my next round I was soooo stoked.
3rd heat : Against Kari Schibevaag from Norway. We had a great 12 minutes during out heat. An incredible nice set rolled in and we both managed to get a great ride on one off the higher waves off the set. And again I won I was really getting the hang of riding back side 🙂
Final heat against Moona Whyte : My last heat was intense I just heard that I became world champ so I was already in heaven with my head. Had a lot of fun on the water and couldn’t really care to much any more. Moona has been riding very strong during the whole comp with her nice flowy and aggressive surf style.
Here’s the wrap up video of the 2012 KSP tour :
You finished a Photoshooting for Naishkites in Maui. What is an usual day with the Naish team. Tell us about some words about the members of the crew. What is the best set up in a Naish quiver to ride strapless?
Having the Naish photo shoot is hard work but good fun. Sometimes it gets pretty hectic but I guess that is normal. The day before we get a text or phone call with the plans for the next day. At the beach they let us know what they are looking for photo and film wise. Then we all ride different kites and boards and then the shoot is on.
Damien Girardin (kite/board designer) is running around making sure we are all on the right kites and boards. Des Walsh (team manager) helps setting up the kites and makes funny jokes. Alexa Deike (PR) she makes sure all social media is up to date and helps where she can. The riders that join the shoot are Robby Naish, Shawn Richman, Jesse Richman, Kai Lenny, Sam Light, Kevin Langeree and myself. All very different characters Kai and Jesse are full power those two have way to much energy. Sam is too layback, Kevin is always complaining that he is hungry. Shawn is very helpful and pretty mellow but a crazy bouncing ball on the water. And uncle Rob does what he is best in.
The boys pull off solid and sick strapless tricks, what about the girls on the KSP?
None of the girls are doing airs or tricks in the waves. I try to do some every time I’m out on the water but it’s pretty difficult. And I don’t really enjoy doing it.
What message could you give to other girls to get more ladies on the water?
The amount of girls kiting has increased rapidly I see it all over the globe. Thumbs up and let it increases even more!!!
After the title of wave world champion, what is your program for 2013?
*I would really like to go back to Ireland and score some serious Irish conditions.
*Visit Indonesia again and learn how to get barreled.
*Compete another year on tour.
*Train more on my backside
Jalou working on her backside turn in South Africa :
Anything to Add ?
Thanks a lot Jalou, we wish you the best winds and waves in 2013.