We spoke with Spanish pro-rider Adrián Carbonell recently to discuss kitesurfing, his motivations, experiences and the upcoming KANARA challenge app. Full interview transcript below.

Para leer la versión original en español de la entrevista, haga clic aquí.

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Alejandro Latorre (CEO, Co-Founder of KANARA KITESURFING)

A very good day to everyone. My name is Alejandro Latorre representing KANARA KITESURFING, the first platform that rewards you for kitesurfing; an app that allows you to challenge your friends, win points that can later be redeemed within our marketplace for products, services and experiences related to our sport and lifestyle.

Today we are stoked to be joined by Adrián Carbonell.

Adrián Carbonell is a Rider who, despite his youth- as you can see-, is achieving incredible results, has incredible potential. To give you a little perspective, in 2018 he was Rookie of the Year in the Spanish Kiteboarding League (SKL) and in 2019 he was already runner-up. If you’re not aware of the SKL, you could say that it is the most important national competition there is now and you could also say that it is a Spanish championship; Riders of the stature of Alex Pastor, Liam Whaley, who have both been world champions, can participate and you can imagine the merit of being runner-up in this competition.

Later we will go into how he prepares for this type of competition, but first thing we wanted to know, Adrián, is how your beginnings were and what made you get hooked on this sport.

Adrián Carbonell (Pro-Rider)

When I was little, when I was 4/5 years old, I had already started surfing, but when the time passed, when I was 11 or so, in 2013, I saw my cousin, it was thanks to my cousin. I saw him kitesurfing in front of the house where I spend the summer and he asked me if I wanted to get on his back to feel the sensation of sailing. When I tried it I said, this is my sport! I want to do this.

That summer, I started a school called Kite Power, which is in El Perelló, a 7-day course, then I already went with my cousin, with my father, we went everywhere and continued training because I loved it, I did surf but the feeling of being navigated above the sea, jumping, flying, I loved that.

Adrian Carbonell Photo II Source Instagram

Alejandro Latorre

I understand you, because it is what this sport has: that power of hooking, of adrenaline, mixing with the environment, nature, open field, it is amazing.

Thinking about competitions, when you decide, I’m good at this, I’m going to prepare myself, I’m going to be a professional. How did you think about it, how did it come to your mind?

Adrián Carbonell

When you start to kitesurf, you have several options, various disciplines within the [sport], so in the place where I always trained [in] freestyle, I decided to go for this discipline, I started practicing and practicing, watch a lot of videos on YouTube and then in 2015, the Best Kiteboarding brand, they signed me as a Rider and from there they proposed me to start going to competitions because they saw that I had a good level, that was a motivation. My first competition was in Gerona, La Costa Brava, where the Spanish championship was held before the SKL was there.

At the end of the Spanish championship, it was in the Junior World Cup, that was my first competition. In the Spain under 19 [division], I was runner-up and the truth is it went very well for me.

Alejandro Latorre

What is the competition that would make you win the most? And are you interested in the Olympic Games? Would you change your discipline to participate?

Adrián Carbonell

The competition that I would be most excited to win is the GKA which is the world freestyle competition. I would love to win it, there are many stops around the world, there are many places; winning it or being in a good ranking would be a great motivation.

About the Olympics, I have not tried the discipline with which I compete, I have only played one day to try with that discipline, but never trained seriously to compete.

Alejandro Latorre

You are focused on reaching the GKA and you want to play a good role there.

Adrián Carbonell

I do not rule out preparing to go to the Olympics, it has to be very cool and it would be a great experience.

Adrian Carbonell Photo I Source Instagram

Alejandro Latorre

We, at KANARA, encourage friendly competition. For us the competition is important, already this sport is very fun, but we want to contribute that plus so that the riders can challenge each other, earn the points.

Do you think the app can be a good tool to encourage competition?

Adrián Carbonell

It seems like a very good idea because when I started freestyle, I played with my friends what we called a game of kite, where the first one did a trick and the next one tried to do the same or overcome. That competitiveness is always good, you get more motivated and you advance much faster.

Alejandro Latorre 

Would you say, [seeing that you have practiced with your friends], how do you see the kitesurfer community that you have competed and rode in various countries, do you think we are strong? You see young people increasingly practicing this sport, do you see it growing?

Adrián Carbonell

Yes, in Spain there is a lot of quality of riders, in all disciplines, but it is true that for example in Brazil, Fortaleza or Cumbuco they have generations that start training from the age of 7 and go a lot, there the conditions are very good. But in Spain we have a lot of motivation and we want to get very high. We would need to have a bit of those good wind conditions all year round.

Alejandro Latorre

For example Tarifa, there you can compete all year.

Adrián Carbonell

Even so, the conditions are very extreme, the lift is very strong, they are not constant winds, it is more difficult to progress like this.

I went to Brazil for a month, during the whole month there was wind and it was perfect, it is normal that in these conditions you progress much faster.

Adrian Carbonell Photo III Source Instagram

Alejandro Latorre

Returning to the competition, they have suspended the first test of the SKL, the next stop will be Oliva. How are you going to prepare for this test after being stopped for so long by circumstances? Have you been training at home in a special way?

Adrián Carbonell

Yes, for 4 years, I have a personal trainer with whom I prepare all winter, two days a week I prepare with him to avoid injuries, take power for the duration of heats, 7 minutes full, every time I feel better in competitions.

I am also very focused on my studies, with exams… and if we add the confinement … I try to take the maximum time to prepare.

Alejandro Latorre

If you remember your beginnings, you have previously commented that you played a game with your teammates to see who won. The competition is within the DNA of athletes, what motivates you the most to win kitesurfing competitions.

Adrián Carbonell

When I started, what motivated me the most was when they saw professionals such as Liam Whaley or Alex Pastor on videos, I saw their videos competing and thought that I wanted to be there, reach the top. That motivated me a lot, seeing cases like theirs, seeing what reached the top in world competitions, also when a competition started, seeing many people and being able to win in front of those people and how they cheered, it was very cool.

Adrian Carbonell Photo IV Source Instagram

Alejandro Latorre

Being in this sport, I imagine that you have the opportunity to know a lot of places and also meet a lot of people that I imagine, have you created a close relationship with the community, how is that relationship?

Adrián Carbonell

I have a close relationship with the riders from Valencia,a close relationship with them. We have also organized trips to train and we got together with friends from Tarifa, from Malaga. Actually, we all get along very well and we are a big family.

Alejandro Latorre

That is very good, whoever wins, give congratulations and that helps motivate us all to improve.

Adrián Carbonell

For example, in the last SKL, competing against Jerome Cloetens, who beat me, he encouraged me that in the next competition I would win. There are very good vibes among everyone.

Alejandro Latorre

Many thanks, Adrián, for telling us about your experience and giving us your personal touch about sport! In the description we will leave your social networks so that everyone can follow you and be aware of your news, when you compete and more. We hope to see you soon on the beach, see you do those tricks and leave fans with their mouths open, Thanks, Adrián!

Adrian Carbonell Photo II Copyright Samuel Candenas Spain Kiteboarding League

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