Bring the Fire
Alex Pastor Freestyle Kiteboarding Sessions
Join Alex Pastor kiteboarding at home in Tarifa, taking advantage of the epic wind and beautiful scenery for a day in the life of the freestyle legend.
Mitchell Doyle Markgraaff
Tell us what you’ve been up to the last year or so?
The past year has been really intense considering how many projects we had on the go, combined with raising a very energetic 2 year old.
After our honeymoon, we fell in love with Bali and the waves, so we decided to build our dream holiday home. But, just after we got started, I got the chance to move AP Kite Club to a much bigger shop in Tarifa, and customize it from scratch to our needs, which is an opportunity I couldn’t miss. After many bank negotiations, we made it happen and I’m so happy to have the new shop! Now that everything is done and after many delays we have our Bali home almost ready, got a bit of a breather, and I’m almost looking forward to the next project! But first, I wanna reconnect with kiteboarding and get a lot more time in the water this year, and kite more than surf (Laughs).
What does Freestyle mean to you?
Freestyle has basically been my everything for most of my life so far, and it will always be special for me. In fact, even though most people are always switching disciplines and a lot of people are fully into big air now, I still believe Freestyle is the most fun and aesthetically the best looking discipline. Still my favorite by far!
Where do you feel the future of Freestyle, and Freestyle competition is going?
This year we saw a big evolution in Freestyle due to the change in judging criteria, so I’d say that’s a key factor in making a change in the direction riders will go. At the end of the day, competition riders are the ones working the hardest, so if they’re incentivised to go in a certain direction that’s where it will go.
I love how they’re doing events in interesting flat water spots, and doing unbelievable toeside tricks. I think the next step is to combine freestyle with some kickers and rails; that would be the dream freestyle event.
What gear are you riding at the moment?
Other than that, I try to ride the most suitable gear for the conditions. When I was competing, I had to do freestyle even if it was blowing 40 knots and choppy. Now, if there’s some waves I’ll take a Session and a Comp and go out with that, or if there’s a super light summer breeze I’ll just take a foil and an Ultra.
I would love to ride a little bit more big air this year, mostly because I’m super excited about the new Lift!
Best kiteboarding destination and why?
I love to kite at home in Tarifa on the good Poniente days (onshore). On the good days in Spring/ Summer it’s almost unbeatable, but if I had to choose somewhere else I’d say the mainland of Greece, there are some unbelievable spots like Drepano or Raches.
Favorite Airush project of all time?
The Reefer shoot was definitely my favorite! We drove all the way to Cape St Francis from Cape Town and built ourselves some hand rails out of wooden logs and rope. I never thought it was gonna work out, but thanks to the help of our amazing team and the crazy ideas from Clinton (as per usual), I think we got some great shots.
What do you still want to achieve in your career and riding?
I haven’t thought so much about it recently, but now that you ask, land a Mobe7 maybe?
I have been close a couple times, but the younger riders landed it before me so I lost the motivation to keep trying (Laughs). It would be a dream to go for it again and land it at some point.
I guess my number one goal in my kite career was to become a World Champion, and as that’s done and now that I have a little one, my goals have switched over to do everything as best as possible to support my family.