World Champion Gisela Pulido joins the BEST team and answers a few questions.
Q. What is your full name?
A. Gisela Pulido Borrell
Q. How old are you?
A. I'm 17 but I turn 18 the 14th of January. Only a few days left!
Q. Where are you from?
A. I'm from Spain, I was born in Barcelona but I live in Tarifa.
Q. What is your favorite place to ride?
A. I like to ride in Tarifa my home spot and Brazil (Cumbuco).
Q. What is your favorite trick?
A. The Front Blind Mobe
Q. Congratulations on another Freestyle World Championship this season, how does it feel to have won your 8th Freestyle World Championship?
A. Thank you very much! I'm really happy I won last year my 8th Championship. It feels really good to be the best during all this time. Without any doubt, the hardest title to get was the last one. My opponents, Karolina, Bruna and Asia are killing it and it's very difficult to keep focused and at the top when they are fighting to take your place.
Q. How do you manage to keep motivated season after season, you've competed and won in every year since 2004, what keeps you coming back?
A. I guess my competitiveness, my desire to always be the best and to be at the top, is what motivates me more. There are times you relax a little too much, but I have a really good team that warns me of those moments. Besides the motivation, to get good results you have to train and work hard. But without my father I would never have reached where I'm now. I'm very grateful for that.
Q. What are you doing now and where are you?
A. Two months ago I injured my shoulder. During this time I was rehabilitating and doing the last year of High School. Now I'm ready to train and prepare myself for the 2012 season.
Q. Gisela what made you decide to join BEST and why join BEST now?
A. One of the things that caught my attention is the Best equipment. The GP is a great kite for freestyle and will fulfill my needs to compete in the World Tour. In addition, it has a great Team. I have very good relationship with Mike Schitzhofer and I also admire him for his riding. Last thing, and very important as well is the image of family that I see. There's a very good feeling between everyone at BEST and I really like that, it feels like a family.
Q. Did the fact that the GP already has your initials on it make any difference, what do you think to the GP?
A. Of course! When I heard for the first time about the GP, I was really surprised. I couldn't believe the kite had my initials, I thought BEST were joking with me! Besides from that, I think the GP is a really great kite with a high performance. The kite design is specially made for freestyle and permits me to perfectly execute my maneuvers. The construction is very compact and strong and gives it a lot of durability, it's a kite I trust already.
Q. How would you like to see women's freestyle kiting continue to develop, should it follow the trajectory of the men's competition or should the female competitors be stamping their own style on the sport?
A. I think the freestyle is developing in the right direction. Men's as well as women's should follow the same path and trajectory. It's really important to make a good performance of the maneuvers but not forgetting to innovate and make new tricks. They should be well executed but we should also move forward on a technical level and not stay in the same step. I will keep working hard to improve female kiteboarding.
Q. What new tricks have you been working on for next season?
A. As I said before, I got injured two months ago. I dislocated my shoulder so I had to go to Barcelona to rehabilitate. Fortunately I was in really good hands, recovering with the FC.Barcelona doctors and physio team. My shoulder is perfect now, and I'm ready to train for the upcoming season. The trick I have in mind is the double handle-pass (blind judge to blind or front mobe to blind).
Q. You're one of the most recognizable faces in the sport and were voted one of Spain's most influential women this year. What do you think kitesurfing companies could be doing to help maximize the visibility of the sport and make it easier for anyone to get involved?
A. Evidently, all the kiteboarding companies have the challenge to provide the best equipment to all the kiters so they can enjoy this wonderful sport. This investment in research and development of new products means a great help for the sport and makes it more accessible and secure. I also think kiteboarding companies should be bringing the sport to young people, Like O'Neil with their Surf Program, creating a great reserve of new youthful participants and promoting events for them because they are the future not just of our sport but also the industry surrounding it.
Q. What goals do you have for the 2012 season?
A. My personal goal is to finish the last year of High School and pass all the exams to enter college. My professional one is to win another World Title and face some challenges. They are secret, nothing can be revealed yet!
Q. Anything more to add?
A. Just that if you see me at the beach don't forget to come over and say hello.