Freedom as a way of life. He’s at home on the water and stand up paddling is his passion: in 2019 Kimo Kersting became the German SUP Sprint Champion - and then Corona thwarted his plans. This year he plans to pick up the pace again. With his abitur diploma and a new sponsor.
With courage and talent to sporting success
A summer holiday on Fehmarn in 2014 and a good dose of youthful recklessness first brought Kimo Kersting to SUP. He visited the SUP Festival on the Baltic Sea island with his family. Although he had never paddled on a board before, the then fourteen-year-old spontaneously decided to take part in a competition. A manufacturer was quickly found who provided him with a board and Kimo went to the start. “I was very lucky that I could impress Mistral with this courageous start. They saw great potential in me and immediately agreed to be my sponsor.” In the following years, Kimo entered every competition he could with the support of his parents. He became a three-time NRW Sprint Champion, two-time Sprint Overall Champion of the German SUP League and took part in the European Championships in Sardinia in 2018.
His plans to compete at a new level with a faster board after graduating from highschool in 2020 were abruptly thwarted by Corona. Just like his travel plans. Because in addition to competing, Kimo loves to travel. In a school project he converted a Mercedes Vito into a touring van, which he would use to travel to the best surf spots. Absolute freedom - on the road and on the water - is Kimo's life philosophy. After finishing his abitur exams he wanted to venture out into the world: Central America, Indonesia - surfing the best waves in the world, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures. But nothing came of it. The safer alternative was to drive his van to Portugal. Very few contacts, enjoy some freedom despite restrictions and get out on the water.
Big plans for 2021!
Kimo has three wishes for 2021: “I haven't written off travelling yet and I don't want to either. As soon as possible I want to fly to Indonesia and go surfing. And make a short film. Then I want to go to university. I’ve just applied for the Sport Management and Sport Communication program at Sport University Cologne.
And, of course, I’ll also continue to do SUP competitions. It has become much more than just a hobby for me, but there has been far too little of it in the past few months. My last competition was actually on the City Wave at the boot 2020. I want to focus more on training and competing again. With my new sponsor Indiana SUP, I want to go all out. We have a lot planned for the coming years.”
Kimo's tips for beginners: “Just get on the board!”
Don't overestimate your own abilities on your first try.
Paddle in a group the first few times and not alone.
Use a wide and approx. 10-foot touring board - you can also paddle in pairs or with children.
Advanced paddlers can switch to a narrower board, which is faster.
Surf schools rent boards to try out and for first tours.
Be mindful of nature and do not paddle through nature reserves.