I was serving in a bar in Hood River, Oregon (the ultimate wind sport and outdoor sport mecca) this past summer when I overheard a table of old windsurfers complaining about the onslaught of kiteboarders on the Columbia Gorge. They were threatening to petition to have them removed from what once used to be windsurf launch only beaches.
As I passed I caught in ear shot that they would [petition] if kiting didn’t bring such beautiful athletic women to the beach. I had to laugh, as every day I rolled down to the event site (main launch beach for both sports) there would be more babes in bikinis pumping up kites. And as the sport grows with a decade of riding under its belt it is no surprise to see more girls move into professional riding and instructing.
With rider’s like Kristin Boese (once featured in German Playboy), Susie Mai, Claire Lutz, and new break out rider Dominique Granger from Canada, teams are welcoming the sport’s shred Bettys.
The REAL team in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is especially known for breeding and bringing in female talent. This coming season the Real team welcomes last mentioned, Dominique Granger who is the freshest of female kiteboarding talent. She is sure to impress, with only two years of kiting, already throwing unhooked rolls and raileys as if it were child’s play.
I recently hit up the Real team managers Sam Bell and Jason Slezak as I wanted to be one of the first to get the lo down on this outrageous new talent. They put me in touch with Dominique, and not only is she talented and beautiful, she is way cool too (some girls have all the luck).
Dominique is a 23 year old Montreal, Quebec native. Her story into kiting is intriguing as she grew up afraid of water. She never went near the water until 2 years ago when she went to Hatteras to conquer her fear. For Dominique, the 3 day camp at REAL Watersports was the breaking point.
“I guess being taught by someone I didn’t know obligated me not to show my fears, and eventually get over them. Since the first ride on the board, kiteboarding has become the goal to reach; the guiding light that makes me work harder to get over my fear of water.” Dominique recalls.
Three years later Dominique has kited all over the world. “The first year I was riding, I spent the summer kiting in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean near Victoria, BC.” She than moved to Hatteras the summer after and “ just spent the winter in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.”
Dominique has been fortunate in finding such a unique talent and passion. Now a coach at REAL in Hatteras her “goal at REAL is to ‘share the stoke!’” When I chatted with her I was inspired by her vision to bring her skills and passion to others.
“I really want to make people like kiteboarding as much as I do and prove that girls can shred on the water. I definitely want to bring more women and children in the sport!” Dominique has personal goals this season as well (that we all look forward to watching) although her determination to share kiteboarding is what makes her a great REAL team member. She fits right in with the crew at REAL. The crew has a great welcoming vibe and down home feel!
Upon introduction I immediately noticed how down to earth Dominique was. She loves working with people and she is able to make people feel comfortable no matter what the situation (and believe me the first few days of kiting can be terrifying). She is approachable, warm, and unbelievably talented.
During our interview, I did the usual Jenna Hannon quick draw to help us all get to know Dominique without reading a textbook. Here is what the Canadian kiting babe at REAL had to say:
Jenna: Set up that you ride?
Kites: Naish Helixes: 5m-7m-9m
Board: Naish Haze 128cm
I also sometimes steal my boyfriend’s awesome Rawson 5’3 surfboard…
Jenna: Favorite trick?
Dominique: Raileys and unhooked rolls.. feels good! A good nose butter is always fun, as well as strapless riding.
Jenna: Favorite place to kite?
Dominique: Cape Hatteras, NC, but also Nitinaht Lake, on Vancouver Island in Canada.
Jenna: Best kiting buddy?
Dominique: My boyfriend Trevor Murchie!
Jenna: New trick to learn?
Dominique: Working on my tricks to blind and strapless airs.
Jenna: Favorite Vans shoe?
Dominique: The Wellesley and the design of the Parra models. The plaid of the Dustin
Dollin DD-66 is also pretty awesome! I always have a lot of favorite!!
Jenna: With an answer like this she is sure to be one of the coolest chicks I have had the pleasure of interviewing. Keep shredding Dominique and we look forward to seeing the bag of tricks this summer!