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Colleen Carroll

_S5A9220Graduated: Western Washington University 2008

Degree: Environmental Studies and Economics

Currently: Professional Kiteboarder for North Kiteboarding International & ION

Personal website

Q. Name the college kiteboarding club you were apart of and tell us about your involvement?

A. WWU Kiteboarding Club. The kiteboarding club at Western actually helped me to first break the barrier into being an independent kiter. I had been tentatively learning to kiteboarding with my Dad, Brother and my dad’s friends down in Hood River, Oregon since around 2001/2002. We would all go out in a boat and give it a try once a summer or so, not making much progression and calling it in before anyone got hurt in the gusty gorge winds with the almost non-existent depower of the old kites we were experimenting with. We had then started to pick it back up around 2007/2008 testing it out at the friendlier conditions available at Jetty Island in Everett, Washington (about an hours drive from my college town). I started to have more luck with learning and started to get more excited about the sport but not having my own gear inhibited me from progressing quickly. This is when I met the few members that made up the WWU kiteboarding club at the time. They introduced me to the local shop that lent me gear in exchange for helping package shipments. They invited me to ride at our local Bellingham spots with them and watched over me until I gained confidence that I could go out on my own. At that point the club was made up of only a small handful of members and I only joined in my very last quarter of university so my involvement at the time was relatively small however, had it not been for the WWU Kiteboarding Club, I may not have gained the passion for kiteboarding that I have today.

Q. Where were your local spots?

Our main spot was called “Locust” and it was located at the north end of Bellingham Bay. We’d ride here almost year round as it would get a nice thermal breeze in the spring to fall and also frontal wind fall through spring. We had another regular spot at the south end of the bay called “Hunter” that was mainly thermal driven and would mostly be ridden throughout the summer. It can be a bit difficult to forecast for this area because the weather changes often and quickly but there is a very cool local scene here and locals who are happy to share information about where to go and when.

FRAMED // Colleen Carroll from Vincent Bergeron on Vimeo.

Q. What school did you attend, the program you were enrolled in and your top achievements?

While studying at Western, I was really excited about sustainable business and learning about ways to keep our economy booming while minimalizing our impact on the environment. At the time there wasn’t really a program for this at my school however, the closest thing I could find was to major in Economics and also Environmental Studies. It was very interesting to me because often my courses would completely conflict the ideals of each other and then occasionally I would have a professor and course that would weigh in all sides of what was going on and bridge the gap between the two. Here is where I really got excited about studying. I was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society and graduated with my Bachelors in 3 years however, finishing my degree at the end of 2008 and at the very rock bottom of the US’s recession didn’t lend well to starting in on a stimulating career path using my newly acquired degree. So I continued to kite and started managing the same kiteboarding shop that lent me kites years before and started in on what would turn into a very exciting career in kiteboarding.

Q. What are you doing now?

I am traveling the world as a professional kiteboarder for North Kiteboarding international as well as my other sponsors ION and Sensi Graves Bikinis.

Q. What were your best times in the CKA?

My best times with the CKA actually just came recently. This past spring, I was in Hatteras, NC for the Triple-S Invitational and stayed on the island for the week after the event to shoot photos and video for North. This week just so happen to coincide with the CKA’s National Championships. I ran into Brian Walters and some of the CKA crew who invited me to help judge their freestyle and slider portion of the event. I had a blast being a part of the event and was very impressed with the level of riding, the camaraderie amongst the riders and also the organization of the tour as a whole.

Q. Where do you see the CKA going in the future?

I see the CKA continuing to grow in numbers and also for it’s events to flourish. Running a complete tour as the CKA has now for multiple years is already a feat to be proud of and with the existing momentum behind it; I believe the tour will continue to develop becoming larger in number of participants and also caliber.

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