We shine the spotlight on South African charger, Aron Rosslee in our latest ’10 Questions’ Web Feature! Find out how it all began for Aron and what exciting plans he has for 2020 – right here!
Aron, growing up in Cape Town must have been exciting! Could you tell us about your childhood, family and how you got into kiteboarding?
Cape Town is a magical place, and the ocean has always been a big part of my life. My parent always encouraged my brother and me to spend time outdoors. When I was 14 years old, my father, who is a dedicated sailor, encouraged me to either start kiteboarding or sailing. I chose the first option, and thats how it all began!
Who are your main kiteboarding inspirations, back then and today?
That’s a tough one! I am inspired by many riders when it comes to their style and their contribution in the industry. When I was younger, Aaron Hadlow, in my opinion, set the benchmark in Freestyle. I used to watch The Freeride Project featuring Tom Court and Sam Light, who are also incredibly inspirational and nowadays, my friends!
Now that the GKA World Tour season is over, how do you like to spend your downtime? What are your goals for next season?
Now that the tour is over for the season, it’s time to come home to the Mother City, Cape Town; its the best time of the year to be here. I get the chance to catch up with friends and family, kite, surf, skate and party! It’s a good time to recharge, reflect and set some new goals for the upcoming year.
You and the Duotone crew recently took a trip off the beaten path (literally!) to Namibia for the 2020 Duotone Dice and Rebel photo shoot; the photos looked stunning! Can you share highs and lows of that trip?
Namibia was unforgettable; I don’t even know where to begin! Moments like driving over dunes, covered with ponds filled with flamingos and pearling 5ft waves left me awestruck! The spots we kiteboarded in were out of this world and slept under the stars. As with any trip, the lows are what make a good story! One evening, our truck broke down after a 13-hour drive, but we ended up having one of the best evenings, and Toby was able to capture some fun pictures!
Wind’s on, who is the first person you call for a session?
That depends on where I am in the world! If I’m on tour, my fellow Duotone teammates, Gianmaria, Fabio, Valentin and even F-ONE’s Maxime Chabloz are always keen for an adventure and session! When I’m back home in South Africa, I call my local brothers, who are also my closest friends. We enjoy scouting out new kite spots and trying out new tricks. Its good to know that your close mates have similar interests because it makes the journey more exciting, and you never know how it will turn out!
Freestyle or Park riding and why?
I honestly can’t choose – I enjoy both disciplines equally! Freestyle has always been my aim and the discipline I’ve always competed in. I do similarly enjoy park riding, and last year I got the chance to compete in the Kite Park League, which was an incredible experience, and the Triple-S was one of my kiteboarding career highlights. Park riding is relatively new to me, and I love trying new things. It’s good to challenge yourself continuously, and I feel like both disciplines feed off each other when it comes to tricks and style.
You take a trip to a big city, no ocean in sight, what is the first thing you check out in town?
No ocean?! Not sure why I would be going there then – haha! Well, if I did somehow end up in a city with no ocean, I would check out the local market, enjoy the culture and their local food. I do enjoy integrating myself into new cultures and to try to connect with them, learning as much as possible from them.
How long have you been riding for Duotone now and what is your quiver of choice?
I’ve been with Duotone since day one! When I was younger, my dad and I spent quite a bit of time researching the best gear on the market when it came to safety, quality and performance and without a doubt, Duotone set the standards.
My quiver consists of the Vegas and Team Series for those steezy Freestyle sessions, when the waves are pumping I’m on the Neo and Pro Session, and when the wind is pumping I’m either on the Rebel or the Dice for boosting.
You must have some mad stories kiteboarding in South Africa! Can you share with us a time that you were in trouble while on the water and how you dealt with the situation?
I definitely have some pretty crazy stories from my growing up here in Cape Town; one of the most memorable ones was a death loop! (A death loop is when your bar wraps around itself and permanently loops the kite) I was kiteboarding at Dolphin Beach and ended up past the Kite Beach. It was a pretty quick downwinder and a horrifying situation, but I tried my best to remain calm and keep my head above the water. The only thing and best thing you can do in that situation are to stay calm so you can deal with the situation.
Do you have any exciting plans for 2020 you’d like to share with us?
I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but let’s say I have some exciting ideas! This year I will also continue to push my riding level in all disciplines. It may not be the spin to win the game, but if it feels right and looks good, then you’re on the right track!
Thanks, Aron! We wish you the best of luck for 2020!
Fri 3rd Jan, 2020 @ 1:13 pm
By Jen TylerJen Tyler grew up in the chaos of Cairo, Egypt. It was on the beaches of the Red Sea where her love for the ocean, water sports and adventure grew.