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Interview with 2009 PKRA Freestyle World Champion Kevin Langeree

There is a saying that when you stumble, you will trip or even fall. When times get rough you get knocked down, but when this occurs only the courageous stand back up, shake the dirt off, take a deep breath and try again. Often many fail to stand up again, but for those who do, stand stronger than ever before.

The 2009 PKRA Freestyle World Champion Kevin Langeree (NED, Naish) knows better than anyone else what it’s like to get knocked down repeatedly. This brave and determined rider got back up numerous times and proved that he was going to make his life long dream of becoming the world champion a reality.

In a recent interview with Langeree at his off-season home in Cape Town, South Africa, he shared a few personal thoughts, opinions and amusing stories.

1. What was your first reaction after hearing your name as the 2009 PKRA Freestyle World Champion?
The announcer said, “The next world champion is…” I took a deep breath and my name was called. I had a huge smile on my face, my dad was with me and we gave each other a big hug. There weren’t a lot of words said, other than, I just did it!

2. How has this success changed your life and what is your outlook for the 2010 tour season?
I have a lot more coverage now that I’m the world champ! Ching, Ching…he laughs. My sponsors are all super proud and threw me this huge party at home. It was super nice! I think that the outlook looks good for the upcoming tour season with many new and exciting stops. My plans for this year are to promote the PKRA tour and make the sport of kiteboarding as big as possible!

3. What were your parents, friends and fans reaction after you won?
Everyone was super happy, very supportive, and proud. I got lots of emails and greetings from people all around the world. It was super cool!

4. Now that you are the new King of Kiteboarding, have you adapted nicknames, such as Kiteboarding King Kev?
Well…hahaha, he laughs. I have been called a few things before, but Kiteboarding King has a nice ring to it… I like it!

5. In your opinion what do you think it will take to defend the world title considering you have been defeated by 3 contenders, Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot), Alex Pastor (ESP, Naish), and Aaron Hadlow (GBR, Flexifoil) and do you think that the point system played a role in you winning the world title?
I’m going to have to work and train super harder to defend the title. The other guys are awesome riders and tough competitors so I’m going to be training extra hard to defend the title. It’s not going to be easy but I did it once and I can do it again. As for the point system, all the riders voted for it, and it just happened that it worked out in the best interest of some riders and not others. It’s how you play the game, you win some and lose some.

6. It appears that after all these years you and Aaron Hadlow have been battling a classic game of Cowboys vs. Indians and there are rumors insinuating that Hadlow may not be competing this upcoming tour season. In your opinion do you think that Hadlow is going to hold up his white flag and surrender as being a 5x world champion, or do you think he will be back for another battle?
I don’t think that Aaron will surrender. He’s too competitive. In my opinion I think that he will be back next year and most likely stronger than ever. My main focus is to continue to work hard, learn how to bust out some new sick tricks and have fun doing it!

7. In your opinion why do you think that you won the title?
I think that I won because I’ve gained a lot of experience over the years. I know what’s right and what’s wrong. I won because I was more relaxed and didn’t pressure myself like before and I wasn’t thinking so much about the title. I was just out to have fun and that made all the difference.

8. Do you think that wave riding competition should be re-incorporated into the tour line up?
Yeah for sure!!!! Wave riding is super awesome! I hope they bring that back!

9. How did you ring in the New Year?
I rang in the New Year in Cape Town with my friends. It was a lot of fun!

10. Do you have a girlfriend?
Nope, I’m still single! Hahaha! It’s difficult to have a girlfriend when you are not in one place for longer than 2 weeks. The longest I spend in one place is 3 months and that is here in South Africa. But I’m always on the look out for the right girl!

11. Do you have certain characteristics that you are looking for in the right girl?
Oh for sure! She has to be smart, super sexy with a good sense of humor. Preferably a flight attendant so that she can help me out with my flights or maybe even access baggage charges!!! Hahaha!

12. Since you haven’t had any luck finding that special flight attendant yet, do you have any tricks for traveling with access sports luggage?
Well, normally I look for a pretty chick at the airline check-in counter and flirt just a little so that she is distracted by the number of kg’s on that scale, and if that doesn’t work I normally end up paying for the over weight luggage. If anyone knows of any ways to help me or any of my kiteboarding buddies out with these access baggage fees please contact me ASAP!

13. Can you tell me one thing that gets you pumped just before your competition heats?
I really love to listen to Reggae music while pumping up my kites. I can listen to Reggae 24/7! It really gets me going!

14. Any final words you would like to add?
Happy New Year to everyone and all the best for 2010!

Thank You Kevin for taking the time to share some of your thoughts and opinions with us. All the best for another successful PKRA Tour Season.

Jacqueline d'Entremont
PKRA Press Officer.
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