Paula Rosales is a kitesurfer based in Palawan, Philippines, where she runs a kite centre and teaches kiting. Follow her at @paularosales and read on to learn more about this super star's kiting tips and motivation to live a socially responsible, positive life.
Why did you start kitesurfing?
I started kitesurfing after getting injured from wakeboarding around 11 years ago. I love being on the board, am so passionate about it and transferring from wakeboarding to kitesurfing became a natural progression for me after moving to Boracay Island. Kitesurfing was just easier for my body as I began to age and at the same time it also allows me to see nature from a different perspective. It was also inevitable for me to transfer to a much greener sport and I grew to become more sustainable with my life choices. I think Wind driven sports are the way of the future, for humans to be able to practice inertia powered sports with less impact on the planet.
What motivates you?
A motivated group of individuals. Art and music motivates me to move. The Ocean and marine life.
What do you fear most and how do you overcome it?
I have a fear of sleeping in complete darkness and I do not watch horror movies. My imagination is too hyped for those kinds of things and I won't be able to sleep. It is important for me to use my energy throughout the day so I can just fall asleep happily :)
What's your #1 self-care tip?
Filter what you feed your mind to minimize stress. And Cold Pressed Coconut oil all over your body after the shower.
What's one of your 2020 goals?
My 2020 goal is to finish a few online courses in cognitive behavior/permaculture and human design then advance my meditation techniques so I can incorporate it in my Yoga and Kite Camps/Classes.
What's your advice for a beginner looking to get into kiteboarding?
You do not have to be strong, skinny, or sporty to start kitesurfing. Your motivation and positive attitude is enough.
What's your go-to pre-session snack?
Spirulina + Banana Shake and honestly some cheetos puffs (hehe well you gotta balance the good and not so good).
How do you make your lifestyle more eco-friendly?
I bring my own cutlery and reusable water bottle wherever I go. I turn off the shower when soaping. I wash with eco friendly detergent only.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people that are not afraid to go against the normal trends in society and go to a more sustainable approach in their personal lifestyle and work.
Any tips for overcoming bros/bad vibes in your sport?
I just zone out on those things and do not let it affect me. It was hard in the beginning as a pro rider because you need to socialize, but now I try to stay away from that type of energy and don't let it get to my head.
What is your day job, and how do you manage work/fun balance?
I am a full time professional kitesurfer. I teach kitesurfing, manage a kite centre, distribute water sports equipment and occasionally go on photoshoots for my sponsors. I had a vision of work and play as one in the same but it's proven to be harder to balance than I thought. There are days that I am not in the mood to go kitesurfing because my energy was so taxed from teaching. Although if I think about it, I would rather be in the water than be in a box all day. I surf/hike and do some art for fun.
Have you experienced any traumatic/scary events and how did you overcome those experiences?
Yes. I fractured my T1 spinous process in the Slider Park in Hood River few years ago. I thought I would be paralyzed for life. Luckily all the homies were there to help and the community was so caring. It made me transfer to strapless riding which was an amazing experience out of my comfort zone.
How do you crosstrain?
I do yoga and meditation for cross training. I have always believed that kitesurfing is more of a mental sport that has loads of physical benefits. Having the right mindset entering a session is the key to having a great session.
My Yoga journey started at an early age (19) when my then landlord, a yoga instructor, started inviting me to her Sivananda yoga classes. Yoga is a great way to silence the mind which has always been a problem for me from a very young age. My imagination goes so wild that I really need to practice the pause in order to make more sense and not miss out on what's happening around me.
What are you currently struggling with?
I am currently struggling with dealing with non-kitesurfing/yoga communities. As I have been in the board sports industry all my life and now transitioning to non-kitesurfing communities to expand my network in business, I have been struggling a lot on how to communicate in a way that does not sound too "BRO-Y" or too up in the clouds with my beliefs.
What are your favorite books?
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, anything by Seth Godin or Steven Kotler.
What's something you're proud of?
I am proud to be have prioritized corporate social responsibility in all aspects of my past events and projects. It believe it's our way of making sure that we should leave a place lovelier than how we found it.