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A moment of reflection with Stefan

We take a tea break with Stefan Spiessberger to reflect on his 2017 and hear his thoughts as he looks forward into the new year. 

What was your highlight of 2017?

My highlight was definitely the World Tour stop in France this year. 6 years ago at the same event in Leucate I had the worst heat ever. It was gusting 45knts and I couldn’t land a single trick; I remember it like it was yesterday. Fast forward to 2017 where I made it all the way through the comp ladder and into the Finals, finishing in the top 4 for the second year in a row. It’s still not my favourite spot but I guess training in Tarifa pays off and I manage to do all right now in strong conditions.

Did you achieve your goals for 2017?

I set my goals pretty high at the beginning of the season and wanted make it into the top 3, but in the back of my head I knew it would be more like top 5. In the end I was only 100 points or so away so I wasn’t too far from what I’d set out to achieve. Next season i’ll keep reaching for top 3.

What challenges did you overcome in 2017?

The hardest part of the season was that long break between Leucate and the following contests. 3 months is a long time to keep momentum, and after such a good result in France I needed to keep motivated through the summer. I think keeping busy shooting for The Bubble, as well as doing other small edits definitely helped me a lot to stay on track.

How many places did you travel to in 2017 and which was the best spot for riding?

I think I travelled to 13 different countries! Russia with the North Kiteboarding crew was one of my favourites. It was quite a mission and we ended up spending lots of time in the car scouting for wind. But when we got what we were looking for the conditions were so good! Perfect flat water spots that almost nobody knows about. We’re lucky to travel to so many places every year but most of them you already know inside out. It was a good change to know nothing about the place. It encourages you to take a different approach, be patient for the conditions and experience new cultures. Russia was an adventure for sure.

What are you thoughts on the development of your gear for 2018?

There is not much that needs to be changed I think. The Vegas is such a solid kite now and the boards work really well. After my trip to Brazil at the end of the year I feel really confident on the 2018 gear and I hope we can keep it as good as it is.

What are your goals for 2018?

I’ve had a pretty exciting start to the year and I’m currently working on a cool new project with ION in Western Australia. I’m really into shooting again and can’t wait for the new edits to come out. I’m staying in WA and getting ready for the competition season which will probably kick-off in France. The last contest of the 2017 season in Brazil ended after my first heat as the wind died,  but I was really keen on trying some new stuff that i’d learned. So that’s my goal for this season, to get my new tricks into my heats and see where it gets me.

Any new year’s resolutions?

To drink less coffee!

So there you have it folks, Stefan’s 5 minute reflection on last year and thoughts as he looks to the future. Be sure to watch his 2017 year round up video HERE, and stay tuned in on the WKL tour to see how his competitive year unfolds. Good Luck Stef!