Adriaan Louw Interview
Adriaan Louw is a sixteen year old kiteboarder and adrenaline junkie, born and raised in one of the windiest cities in the world, Cape Town, South Africa.
From karting to mountain biking, surfing, and kiting, he’s always had a need for speed. Since he was young, he has always wanted to do extreme sports and push the limits to the highest possible level.
Join us as we catch up with Adriaan below…
What does a day in your life look like at the moment?
I’m still a scholar, so my days start by waking up and getting ready for school, which starts at 8:30 and finishes at 14:30.
After that, I do homework until about 17:00 and then I will kite, surf, or foil until sunset depending on the conditions. The sun sets around 20:30 in Summer, which gives me a fair amount of time on the water!
At this stage in my life, I can’t wait to finish school so that I can just wake up and kite all day until sunset. I love doing so many water sports because there are so many fun opportunities for any weather condition in Cape Town.
How did you first get into water sports, and kiting in particular?
I have always loved water and the ocean.
Growing up close to the ocean, I was lucky to start surfing at a young age with my dad; either where I stay in Melkbosstrand, or at our holiday home in Onrus, Hermanus.
The first time I saw people kiting while driving through Table View, I knew I wanted to try it. At that time my dad was also kiting and windsurfing, so he taught me how to kite when I was 10 years old.
It’s such an amazing and humbling sport. Breathtaking, and sometimes painful when a trick goes wrong!
What motivated you to become an athlete?
I enjoy pushing the limits, both physically and mentally. Even when I was a competitive mountain biker, I enjoyed my training because I knew I would benefit during races if I was prepared and gave it my all during practice.
I strive to be the best in what I do! In my perfect world, I would love to be a professional athlete, traveling the world doing a sport I love.
What can you tell us about the gear you’re riding now?
I first started kiting with the Airush Union, although I’ve been trying out the Lift lately, as well as using both short and long lines depending on the wind.
My Airush and AK Durable Supply Co. equipment is high performance and reliable, especially when kiting in super strong winds. I have peace of mind when I am mid-air, knowing the equipment will be ready to give me a smooth landing. The Synth waist harness I am using is also very comfortable to wear during training, and barely moves during big jumps and high speeds.
In terms of boards, I ride both the Apex and the Apex Team, which provide a smooth ride with a lot of pop when you jump off a kicker – being super light myself is also a big advantage!
I would not have progressed as much as I have if it wasn’t for the equipment I am using now.
What’s one of your favorite photos you’ve had taken of you recently and why?
It was a short line shoot with Mitchell Doyle Markgraaff the day before KOTA 2022 started.
The wind was already quite strong when we started with the photoshoot, and later on the wind was nuking. A perfect gust came that allowed me to line it up perfectly with a kicker – resulting in a super high jump. When I pulled the loop, the kite went entirely below me.
At first I did not know how low it was until I went to the beach and Mitchell showed me the shot he got. It was almost vertically below me!
Who are you inspired by at the moment?
I am inspired by Andrea Principi because he keeps on pushing the limits every day. Following him on Instagram and seeing his daily progress inspires me to push even harder and put even more hours into kiting.
What is your hometowns best-kept secret?
Melkbosstrand is the gustiest place I have ever kited. When the South Easter is gusting 45 knots, there are massive updrafts that take you super high. When you down loop, it lifts you even higher, and you keep on floating for quite some time.
If you could jump on a plane right now, where would you go and why?
I have quite an extensive travelling list with many places I would love to go and kite.
But, the place I would like to visit first would be Tarifa, Spain. Being able to travel there and take part in the BAKL and GKA would be a dream come true.
Who would you say is your biggest influence right now?
Julian Zens has taught me a lot over the past 2 years and always give me advice when needed. He corrects me when necessary and he believes in me.
According to him, I will be a rider at KOTA in the near future! Being a professional kiter himself, he teaches me what to expect in competitions and how the heats work.
I really appreciate that.
What are you most excited about moving forward?
I am excited to move along with Airush and AK Durable Supply Co., and to start getting into the big air events like KOTA, BAKL, GKA etc.
I would love to achieve my goals and, in this way, give back to my sponsors what they have invested in me. They have believed in me from the start, and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.
Find Adriaan Online Here: Adriaan Louw.