Helen Norris, 25 from South Wales
Team Rider - Buggy
Why do you kite?
I Have always been an adrenaline junky loving outdoor sports and what could be better to fuel this need than hitting the beach with friends, flying the air in my kite buggy preforming tricks airborne and flatland. It's never failed to bring a smile to my face. Even when I was only 2 inches off the floor :)
Why freestyle and not racing?
Started off with every intention to just bomb up and down the beach however, after watching my partner Steve Redmond doing some amazing freestyle tricks I knew that was the way for me. Some say you should be able to do a lot of flat land tricks before going airborne but I couldn't wait and I have never looked back since. It just feel its more fun, adrenaline packed and you learn skills that you never thought you could do :) Plus you need a lot less space than race buggiers and there is also nothing stopping you from bombing up and down the beach whenever you feel you want to. Best of both worlds in my eyes :)
What are you most well known for?
In the kiting world maybe learning to run before I could walk and the girl who flys 8.5 blades. hehe. Always striving to improve and went airborne after only 4 months of learning to kite. Maybe not the traditional way to do it but its worked for me and I felt if I didn't try how was going to improve. :)
What would you like to be most well known for?
Being a top sponsored freestyle kite buggier :)
What do you do for windless fun?
Sit on the beach praying for wind. Love to play with stunt kites, do a lot of climbing and bouldering and planning our next kiting adventure :)
At this moment in time reverse 360 Ariels. Really simple but brilliant trick to preform giving some brilliant air and adrenaline when you land backwards and ride out smoothe. One word AWESOME!!!!!
18-24 mph winds with my 6.5m mark V flexioil blade. Amazing kite, so quick yet gives amazing float. Find it easier to fly over my 8.5 due to being able to turn it just that bit quicker. Although I will never refuse a wonderfull 8.5m blade day.
Grass or sand?
Will take either If it means I get out kiting. But out of choice sand, just provides cleaning winds, more grip so in all bigger air :)
Why buggy and not landboard/kitesurf/snowkite?
Well started off with a landboard and was going well but sadly sat in Steves buggy and I was a convert. Just feels maybe a little more diverse and I think today depowers are far more popular with all of the above sports and fixed bridle is what I love.
Aberavon beach in port talbot is out most local beach and is wonderfull beach when all the conditions are right. But Pembrey is also a very good contender. :)
No Barriers and hopefully soon a wonderfull Les Hemmes meet. Just a wonderfull event getting such a diverse range of kiters, meeting wonderfull new people and seeing other people's talents of all ranges. :)
Describe your style?
My style i feel would be Go with the flow but impatient. :) Always push to learn new tricks, once a particular trick I have been learning is mastered on to the next. I think I spent more time going backwards than forwards in one buggy session purely as i would not give up trying until I had ithe trick mastered. However there is always fun had in a relaxed buggy session and just spending times with friends and experimenting with other kites.
Vision for kite sports?
I see the kiting sport in the future becoming more apprant and accessible especially with the support of well know companys backing and promoting the sport alongside some brilliant freestyles doing a wonderfull job of running events to get more people into the kiting world. I feel at the moment it is a sport that hides its huge potential. I would like to think that it will have a higher female to male ratio in years to come :)
Are you the only girl at your spot? If so, does it bother you?
I'm not the only girl at my sport in terms of freestyling but the only girl in my area ( South Wales) who buggy freestyles. I doesn't bother me being the only female as the kiting world is such a wonderfully friendly and welcoming sport so I have always been treated the same as the guys which is lovely. However I always wish there were more females in the sport as we have proven that us girls are just as good as the guys. :)
In your opinion, why don’t more girls jump on land?
I feel with any male dominated sport people may feel that joining as a female can cause a lot of discussion purely for the reasons of its not a common sight which I believe could detur girls to believe they could not do it or may not like the attention. However this is not the case, as Karen Cartildge has shown in the buggy freestyle world there is just as much potential for femals as girls. Think girls also think its to dangerous to do, but i feel it's a safe as you make it.