Los Angeles August 2015

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A SOAR SUBJECT THE EXPERT: Gretta Kruesi, Professional Kitesurfer, Artist and Lifestyle Entrepreneur Gretta Kruesi attracts attention easily. pushing the boundaries of surfing with a kite— Whether it’s because of her pretty face competition or not. (which has earned her a modeling career) or the Q: When did you realize that it was something fact that she’s one of the only female kitesurfers you were good at and could make a career you’ll see out there, Kruesi draws in everyone’s out of? eyes. Though she’s lived in Maui, one of the GK: I started out getting sponsored by my local best places to go kitesurfing, the Charleston surf shop back in 2008. Within a year, I got native now can’t imagine living anywhere else directly picked up by an international brand. but Southern California, to which she moved to Shortly after, I was at Surf Expo in Orlando to pursue her modeling career. What she also and met one of the top kite brands. The stars finds great about the area is that she’s able to aligned—they didn’t have a female face for the model and still have access to action sports. U.S.—and I was their girl. I immediately signed In between her two careers, the entrepreneur with them and within a few weeks was flown out is planning on getting into a new industry: to Maui for a shoot and to be in my first kite the food truck business. Her surf-inspired video with the rest of the international team. truck, Beach Kruser, will launch locally this Q: Where’s your favorite place to surf? summer, which is something Kruesi is very excited about. Though there are currently no GK: Any point break or reef break with glassy kitesurfing competitions, she hopes that will clean overhead waves and no crowd is my soon change, and in the meantime, she’ll just favorite place to surf. enjoy being the face of the kitesurfing industry. Q: Why kite surfing instead of other styles Kruesi loves all types of surfing, but one of her of surfing? favorite styles is strapless kitesurfing because GK: It’s not a one or the other kind of thing. it allows her to do more tricks. She feels lucky I just see myself as a surfer, and kiting as an to be able to do what she loves for a living and extension of that. Anytime I can get on a board is content with life as is. She was and make big carves or smash kind enough to offer an insight to waves I’m a happy girl—be it on the GRETA’S 5 the kitesurfing world and dish out ocean, snow, lake or land. FAVORITE all her favorite activities. Q: Where are you from? If not THINGS ABOUT Q: How and when did you get into Southern California, what made THE OCEAN: the extreme sport of kitesurfing? you want to come out here? 1. It’s alive Gretta Kruesi: I first learned in 2. It humbles her GK: I’m originally from Charleston, front of my parents’ beach house 3. It teaches her South Carolina but it was when I 4. It’s good for in Charleston, South Carolina. This was living on Maui that I decided to the soul was back in 2005, and there was make the move. Maui is the capital 5. No matter what, literally no other girls kiting there of wind sports and the perfect place she’s always happier at the time. The surf was pretty to make a name for myself in the after being in it bad that summer and I remember kite world. But, I also realized that seeing a few local guys having so kitesurfing alone, wasn’t going to 3 THINGS much fun on these kites! I made it be a long-term sustainable career GRETTA DOES IN my mission that summer to learn, plan. I was traveling to LA a lot for HER SPARE TIME: and am thankful to this day for the work both in modeling and action 1. Surf friends that took me under their sports, and it didn’t take long to 2. Paint wing. I am still hooked to this day. 3. See live music realize Southern California was the obvious move. I now couldn’t Q: And what did you like about GRETTA’S 5 imagine living anywhere else. the sport? FAVORITE GK: I love kitesurfing because no Q: Aside from surfing, what else PLACES TO SURF: matter the surf conditions, there’s do you like to do? 1. Zeroes always a way to push myself and GK: I paint and cook! Street art is 2. San Onofre make the surf fun. When it’s flat my second love and painting has 3. County Line or onshore, I can work on strapless become a career of its own. I’m also 4. Breakwater airs. When it’s good, I catch a ton 5. Salt Creek a bit of a homebody, so any night more waves than I would regular I get to stay in and make food is a surfing. And when it’s big, I’m more good night to me. confident and will go out or drop in on heavier Q: You’re also a model. How did you get into conditions I might not otherwise. doing that? Q: Are you currently competing? GK: When I was 20, I modeled for Lacoste GK: There’s currently no world tour dedicated and a few other big brands that taught me a specifically to strapless wave riding. They tried lot. Around that time I also started pursuing to start one a few years ago, but I think there kitesurfing, so it was a natural progression were still a lot of developments to be made. to start working with swimwear and sports My kite sponsor, Ben Wilson Surf, is the only lifestyle brands. surf-specific kite company out there. Simply Q: What other kinds of careers interest you? put, our goal is to bridge that gap between GK: Sure, as a creative person there’s always a surfing and kiting. I don’t think our focus will laundry list of projects; things I’d like to learn be on competitions until the standard across or do more of, but I honestly couldn’t imagine the board is up there with the TDZ crew. In myself doing anything other than what I am the meantime, I’m pretty stoked on being the now. I feel pretty lucky to say that. only girl on such a talented and progressive team and how we’re all encouraged to keep

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| AUGUST 2015