Gisela Pulido has been dominating the sport of kiteboarding since she was a child – and 2015 has been no different. The Spanish shredder has taken home the first-ever title from the newly created Virgin Kitesurf World Championships – evolved from the Pro Kiteboarding Rider Association World Tour – adding yet another trophy to her already expansive collection, which already includes nine world championship titles from 2004 to 2011, and another in 2013. How did she earn the 10th title? Watch the video below to find out.
Watch Gisela Pulido's 2015 action edit
It has been a year of high expectations for the sport, with global mega-brand Virgin coming on board as title sponsor for the tour. “It’s the first year they’ve been with us, and there’s still a lot of things to develop,” says Pulido. “But it’s already so much better than previous years. It’s awesome to have the support of such a huge company for our sport.”
The highlight for Pulido this year was the competition in Germany – she arrived in third place in the season rankings, and wasn unsure about her chances. “I had the feeling I wouldn’t have a chance to be world champion – I wasn’t optimistic about winning a world title,” she says. "But I gave my best and it turned out that I got first place in the contest, and moved into first in the ranks worldwide.”
Pulido at her home spot in Tarifa
What’s she doing in the off-season? Keeping busy, it turns out. "I’m opening my second kite school, in Panama at Nitro City,” says Pulido. "It’s a huge challenge to be a pro rider and a business owner – the riding level is so high right now that it takes a lot of energy and effort to focus on the tour, doing university for Business Management, and helping my dad run the schools.”
Of course, when all that stuff is taken care of, it’s time for fun. “Panama is a great spot and no one knows it,” she says. "You can have everything here – flat water, waves, small chop, and the wind is blowing from 15 to 25 every day from November to April.”