This year has been a wild ride. From starting the year out in Cape Town, South Africa to writing this blog from Viana do Castelo, Portugal… it feels like I haven’t stopped moving.

It hasn’t all gone to plan. Being off the water for nearly 6 months meant a lot of canceled flights and kitesurfing events. I found myself sitting in Dubai lost, frustrated and wondering why I was there and where I was going next.

When all your plans break down, it’s like standing in front of an empty whiteboard with a marker in your hand.

And then Bowen Dwelle walked up and wrote Brazil on it.



Some of life’s experiences are so challenging that surviving them spits you out the other side as the next evolution of yourself. Like Pokémon, but less cute.

When the opportunity to go to Brazil to experience and film a downwind adventure with SurfinSemFim came up, I was stoked. And terrified. At that stage, I had no clue how to ride a directional board (think surf board for kiting). But I wasn’t going to let that stop me!


Getting back into the groove at Windtown in Cumbuco, Brazil. Photo by Luke McGillewie.


“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
– Richard Branson

Brazil has been on my ‘To Kite‘ list since I discovered kiteboarding. And I got to experience it in the best way possible. We traveled and kitesurfed along 200km of stunning, remote beaches in northeastern Brazil with the incredible guides and guests at SurfinSemFim.


An epic support crew at SurfinSemFim.


I honestly didn’t think I could do it. 

I haven’t been on the water for more than 20 minutes at a time since I broke my leg. I spent the month before Brazil going for teeny tiny kite sessions and slowly building up strength so I could go hit some waves.

I never planned to ride the whole 200km. In fact, I didn’t think I’d be able to ride any of it. I would film from the beach and have a short session at each downwind destination. And that would have been amazing.

But when you’re surrounded by a group of such passionate kiteboarders and spending your days with the inspiring guides and crew at SSF… it’s hard not to let the stoke take over!


The crew from Brazil and Venezuela plus a Canadian and a South African! Photo by Analice Diniz.


I am proud to say I kited 100km of Brazil’s coastline. It was challenging. I was exhausted. And I loved every minute of it.

This is that experience I was talking about. Growth doesn’t come from going through life taking the easy road. Growth comes from putting yourself in front of a challenge and smacking it in the face!

Wrapping it up at the downwind destination. Photo by Analice Diniz.


Up until this point in 2018, I haven’t felt stronger or more capable. I am so fired up to continue pushing myself on the wave board… and in general! And I know without a doubt that this comes from being around the right people.

So thank you. To Bowen for inspiring me to go on this trip. To Jalila and the SurfinSemFim team for taking such good care of us while we were there. And to Luke for the teamwork and support both on and off the water.



Get ready, waves. I’m coming for you!


This post was originally published by Crystal Veness

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