From Cable to Freestyle - Julia Castro
When Julia Castro got the call from the International Wakeboarding Federation asking her to represent Spain at the World Cup event in Shanghai, she wasn’t sure how it would all pan out. The tough competition from pure wakeboard riders of more than 30 nationalities, did little to phase her as she made a statement and took 5th place.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Julia do well on the cable, gaining recognition at the Plastic Playground event in London. She’s also been pushing the limits in kiteboarding events worldwide across multiple disciplines, even getting a taste of the fierce Kite Park League line-up. Now looking to get back to her freestyle roots, Julia’s focusing on joining the World Kiteboarding League. We take five for a quick catch up.
You’ve mentioned that you’re going back to freestyle kiteboarding. What do you mean by that?
When I started kiteboarding all I saw was freestyle competitions, people doing freestyle, freestyle videos and more freestyle. It’s a discipline that shaped me as a rider and I’d like to give it another go as my progression before I got injured was good. Hopefully I can combine some KPL events like the Triple S and a few on the wakeboard circuit into my new focus of the WKL. I really like where this tour is going, so let’s see!
On a kite and behind the cable you ride the Gambler 139. What makes it perform so well in both.
I use a 139 because in wakeboarding, having a larger surface area makes everything easier. It has lots of rocker which helps when landing tricks and pressing on the obstacles. This feature might not make the Gambler the most efficient upwind, but it’s key to this style of riding.
The board is made out of wood which absorbs quite a lot of impact when compared to other materials, which is ideal for those hard freestyle and cable landings. At the same time it’s stiff enough to kick up huge freestyle tricks - Jerome Cloetens loves this board and he rides big.
This year you can set the stance narrower if you like, which can be more comfortable and easier on the knees and back.The rails on the underside of the board make it super stable when cruising along and landing tricks. It doesn’t affect how the board feels on the sliders and engages in the water well when riding without fins.
What did the other competitors think about your kiteboarding background?
At the parks I often get people telling me how much they’d like to learn to learn to kite. In wakeboarding there’s a divide between those that like air tricks on a cable, and those that don’t, but riders think it’s pretty badass that I can do big air tricks that many of the guys can’t.
How does riding cable help you in kiteboarding?
It helps me big time. The cable runs at 30km/h so every time I get scared of going big or fast on a kite I go to the cable and get some perspective. It has also pushed me to become way more technical and confident in my riding generally. You have to be or you crash.
Thanks Julia and be sure to check out her last video for some riding inspiration.