Jasmine Cho is a Bir Air Kitesurfer--which means she spends her time trying to get as high as possible with a kite! 😳 She is one of the women pushing the sport of Big Air riding in kiteboarding and her progression is truly inspiring. She lives and breathes the definition of pushing yourself and inspiring others along the way. Read on for what makes Jasmine tick and how she manages her marriage, her job and chasing her passion.
Where do you live or consider your home base?
Cape Town, South Africa
Do you have a daily routine or practice that's important to you, and if so, why?
Yes! Morning yoga every day. I try to meditate every morning as well but I'm not so diligent with this at times.
What motivates you?
To be the best that I can be. I still compare myself to others and it's something I'm working on. But I like to remind myself that it's me vs me. Not me vs someone else.
What do you fear most and how do you overcome it?
I fear my husband getting injured or losing him. I haven't figured out how to overcome it... and he's been getting a big injury about once a year since I met him so I'm not thrilled about it. I guess this is what happens when you get married... the thing I fear the most isn't even about me anymore!
What’s one of your 2023 goals?
I have lots of big air goals! Kiteloop board off, boogie board off, contraloop board off, contraloop late front, contraloop board off late front. The list goes on! But those right there are my top goals. I am very close to some of them.
What’s your top tip for a beginner looking to get into your sport?
If you can avoid it, don't do a week of lessons and then wait 6+ months for another set of lessons. There is a direct correlation with time on the water and improving. Go somewhere that has consistent wind and is a good destination for learning and stick with it until you are riding upwind and independent. If you take big breaks while you are still learning then you will forget a lot of the fundamentals and it's almost like starting all over again.
What’s your favorite mantra?
If he can do it and she can do it, then why not me.
What five words would your best friends use to describe you?
Loyal, straight-forward, honest, emotional, go-getter
What do you do to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly?
I bring reusable grocery bags with me when I go grocery shopping. I try to shop sustainable clothing.
Who or what inspires you?
My husband inspires me! I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky! Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely not perfect. His time management skills are atrocious but he is truly the most genuine person I know. He makes everyone feel listened to and heard. He is kind, thoughtful and cares. He embodies the type of individual I aspire to be. He’s extremely dedicated and it’s been amazing watching him grow his business and to be part of his success. He is the hardest worker I know.
What are your tips on overcoming bro’s and bad vibes in your sport?
This is a tough one. I get men trying to give me unwarranted tips all the time. Just do your own thing! Don't let anything someone else says get to your head.
What is your day job, and how do you manage work/fun balance?
I am a designer/art director for the film and television industry. I am project based so when a fun movie or tv show comes my way that I am excited about then I take the job. I generally don't kite/train when I'm working. It's either one or the other at the moment and it's not possible for me to work remotely. A small movie is about 3 months long so it's not such a long time to be out of kiting but it obviously takes a few weeks to get back into it. I told myself I would focus on kiting for 1 year to see how far I can get. It's been about 8 months since that year has started and I'm excited for the progress I've made so far!
Have you experienced any traumatic or scary events in your sport and how did you overcome it?
Mainly my husband getting injured! He got injured massively in King of the Air and broke his ankle and knee and had to get surgery on both. He also most recently got injured in a boogieloop that didn't go as planned.
How do you cross train in your down time?
I try and do cardio and also lift weights in addition to kiting. I do calisthenics when I'm traveling as well.
What are you currently struggling with?
I am struggling with finding inner peace and not comparing myself to others as an athlete. It's a constant struggle and each day I am learning something new about myself.
What are your favorite podcasts?
99% Invisible because I am a design fein. This podcast talks about a lot of design
What's your favorite quote?
“Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.”- Trevoh Noah, Born A Crime. This is one of my favorite quotes because it touches on inclusion and that's something I've been working on a lot lately. We all know what it feels like to be left out. To not be included and I am striving to be a little better about it every day. To make the little effort to invite someone because I know I can truly make someone's day.
What are your favorite books?
I just finished Shoe Dog by Phil Knight which I absolutely loved. I tend to like biographies that I can learn from other people's trajectories in life. Shoe dog is about the creator of Nike. I also love Greenlight by Matthew McConaughey and Board a Crime by Trevor Noah.
What are your tips for dealing with injuries?
It's all in the mind! I have been fortunate to not have had a major injury yet... knock on wood! I've witnessed Mike go through a massive injury that required two surgeries and a lot of time off the water. He through himself into work and the time off from kiting actually enabled him to grow BAKL a lot. I recommend making making sure you have other hobbies and finding things you love outside of the kite world. Things can change in an instance and I am fortunate to have another career I absolutely love if I am unable to kite.
What's something you're really proud of doing or accomplishing?
I'm proud of getting through the first year of marriage! Everyone says the first year is tough and it definitely wasn't a walk in the park. I am proud of balancing a normal career along with pushing my kiting and competing. I am proud of still pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in big air even at my current age of 31 :)