Riding the Wind: A Kitesurfing Odyssey from Windsurf Championship Titles to IKO Examiner Aspirations.
26 Dec 2023
Embarking on a water sports journey that began with championship titles in windsurfing, Michal's story is one of passion, adaptation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. From the shores of Poland to the sun-kissed beaches of Fuerteventura, his narrative unfolds like a captivating tale of wind and waves.
A Windsurfing Legacy
Michal's connection to water sports runs deep within his family's DNA, with his grandfather paving the way as a boatswain at the Sopot Sailing Club. Starting windsurfing at the tender age of 3, guided by his father, Michal quickly rose through the ranks, clinching World and Polish Championships. However, changes in windsurfing regulations propelled him towards a new adventure - kitesurfing.
Martigue - France - 1999, 1st place World Championship
I had just concluded my professional windsurfing career with the titles of World Champion under 14 when the rules changed with the introduction of the RSX. I saw no viable path to continue competing due to my average height and relatively lightweight. In 2007, my parents gifted me my first set of kites: a 124 cm kite board, (now inherited by my son!) and a C-shaped 14.4 m kite. You can imagine my learning curve! Additionally, the spot in front of our catamaran base in Sopot was not the ideal place for kitesurfing, but I quickly adapted and mastered the art of kiteboarding.
Kitesurfing Across the Globe and Making Fuerteventura Feels Like Home.
Michal's love for travel led him to explore kitesurfing in diverse locations, from the iconic One Eye in Mauritius to the chilly waters of "Cold Hawaii" in Denmark.
I have been living in Fuerteventura - Canary Islands for 10 years, and during this time, I have taught at Playa de Sotavento, which is like home to me. I don't have a specific favorite spot for kitesurfing. Every spot is different, offering a completely unique experience. I love to travel, and I have many instructor friends around the world, so there are many places I would like to visit, thus having the opportunity to see my friends and kitesurf together. Actually, it doesn't matter where; what matters is who you kitesurf with.”
Hel Peninsula - Poland - 2010
His experiences ranged from freeride to Formula Race, freestyle to kite foiling, but it was riding the waves that brought him the utmost joy until his son discover his passion for kitesurfing:
“My absolute favorite experience with kitesurfing is with my son Kasjan. The smile and joy we shared when we kitesurfed together for the first time: he was 5 years old, standing on the board between my legs, radiating pure happiness, shouting "dad, faster," are priceless memories.”
He also finds wingfoil an interesting experience and for this reason he became an licensed IWO wing foiling instructor. Playa de Sotavento - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands - 2019
Family, Teaching, and the Birth of Rewa Surf
With a background in psychology and physical education, Michal, along with his wife Kate who is never short on creativity and has a background in management , played a pivotal role in establishing Rewa Surf. From windsurfing courses to kitesurfing, their journey unfolded unexpectedly but became one of the best decisions of Michal's life.
Every day, I go to the beach with students with the same joy. Despite physical tiredness - several hours a day in strong winds and full concentration are exhausting - I never have enough. To tell the truth, if it weren't for a number of decisions made by me, and then with my wife, vision, intuition, favorable circumstances, and, above all, openness to the world and the pursuit of new possibilities and wonderful people we meet along the way - all this would not have happened. I have gained further, very valuable experience and a goal worth fighting for.
Tarifa - May 2023
Newly certified Assistant Trainer with Examiner Aspirations.
Michal achieved the title of Assistant Trainer in 2023 and is already setting his sights on the challenging path to become an Examiner. He was inspired by his Training Master Mariano Lorenzetti.
“I've always had a competitive spirit. Over the years, I started checking the IKO website to see how I compared to other instructors. Having the opportunity to see how many of us there were, I aimed to be as high as possible in the ranking. The first two pages are "reserved" for Examiners - the most experienced ones. So, my goal was to make it to the third page.
Despite the challenges of juggling a full-time instructor role with the responsibilities of directorship at IKO Center René Egli Fuerteventura, Michal's determination remains unwavering. His recent completion of the Assistant Training Course (ATC) and organization for the Instructor Training Course (ITC) makes him very proud and confort him in his decision to reach the top level.
IKO Center René Egli Fuerteventura Windsurfing & Kitesurfing - Playa de Sotavento - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands - 2023
I’m aware that my development and the acquisition of additional professional qualifications recognized worldwide, my position among the top IKO Instructors, are a great motivation for the people I work with and a guarantee of knowledge, experience, and, at the same time, responsibility.
I admit that this is a breakthrough moment in my life.
Mariano, be careful, because I will chase you! Thank you for everything, It’s a great privilege to be your Padawan.
The Power of Passion, Adaptability, and Personal and Professional Growth.
As he sets his sights on becoming an IKO Examiner, we follow his journey with anticipation, inspired by his wisdom. Here are a few of the rules he set for himselves and others.
“Enjoy every lesson you teach. For me, being a kitesurfing instructor is the greatest job in the world. Every student is an opportunity for personal development. And the greater the challenge, the greater the joy in the end. Always keep an open mind and listen. Sometimes, solutions come from where you least expect them. When you meet people better than you, don't envy them, don't lecture them; accept advice and comments from everyone with humility.
Seize the opportunities because, as the football proverb says, 'missed opportunities will come back to haunt you.' And the most important thing: never give up!
In the ever-changing winds of life, Michal's story is a reminder that, sometimes, the most extraordinary journeys begin with an unexpected gust of wind. May his sails remain full, and his trajectory continue to soar to new heights in the world of kitesurfing.