GEORGINA MONTI: KITING WAVES AND MAKING THEM
You might remember our little Q&A with accomplished athlete (and #kkwavemaker!) Georgina Monti from a few months ago, and you might be wondering what she’s been up to since then. Well, surprise! She’s been adventuring in the ocean, honing her surfing, kiting, and diving skills, and inspiring others to do the same.
Georgina’s life and athletic career began in the UK, but over the past few years she has transitioned herself over to the Dominican Republic, where she can train and play on the surf all day. Luckily she was able to make some time to answer a few questions about her passions and lifestyle for us, and it’s left us all thoroughly motivated!
You’re an extremely active person. How do you keep yourself properly nourished on the go? Do you have a current favourite snack?
Staying nourished on the go can be pretty tricky as there's not much time in between work, surf, kite, dive and everything else, and as a pretty energetic and active person, I eat a lot! My favorite go to is a spinach omelette-- super quick, healthy and filling! Obviously, I can't whip these up whilst I'm in between places, so I love snacking on dried fruit...and also have a weakness for chocolate!
Do you travel for work/training very often? Do you have any tips for sneaking in “me time” while you’re away on business?
Fortunately, I work online, so don't have to travel too much. But it's difficult to switch off when my office (my phone) is always in my pocket. “My time” is when I'm on or under the water. No wi-fi, no work-- just me.
Free diving must provide some pretty exceptional sights and experiences. Is there any one free diving moment that you often find yourself thinking back on?
Freediving is truly magical. There are no street signs, no roads, and no people. There have been a couple of unforgettable diving experiences that I often think back to, like when I dove through a wreck, or swam alongside turtles and sharks. Hopefully, I'll be topping these moments this year with some bigger sharks and deeper wrecks!
You clearly love the water and have a special relationship with it. What is something that everybody could start doing today to help preserve our oceans?
The biggest thing we can all do to help preserve our oceans is to minimise our plastic usage. Buy a refillable water bottle, take your own reusable bags to the grocery store, say no to straws. All these little things can make a huge impact. Another thing is to pick up trash. Whether I'm walking on the beach or diving, I will pick up as much as I can carry. I even dive with a netted bag to collect it in. Also, if you're a seafood fan, learn where your food comes from. Trawlers are netting our oceans dry, so only eat fish caught from a sustainable source.
You’ve got two elements to contend with when you’re kiting. Is that challenge part of what you love about the sport? What’s the best you’ve made out of less than ideal conditions?
Most definitely. There's something incredibly empowering about harnessing the wind, grabbing your board, and cruising out into the ocean. There are also so many options within the sport, like speeding around in lighter winds on a foil board, slashing the waves on your surfboard, or throwing down some freestyle tricks on your twin tip. This means when the conditions are light, strong, wavey, or flat, I can still go and have an epic session!
Whether it’s the equipment, the disciplines, or the participants-- has kiting changed much since you started?
Yes! So much and it's incredible! The past few years, foil boarding and foil racing have become increasingly popular and it's so much fun! Not only that, but twin tip racing has also made its way into the Olympics, which is a huge progression in our sport!
It sounds like you spend about 90% of your time in and on the water. Other than nutrition, how do you take care of your skin, nails, and hair?
A lot of people imagine beach hair as long luscious locks, but in reality, I spend a lot of time brushing dreadlocks out of my hair. With the combination of the wind and saltwater, my hair can get pretty dry, so I make sure to rinse off with fresh water after every session. Fortunately, in the Caribbean there's no shortage of coconut oil, so I lather it onto my skin and hair, and often use conditioning masks too!
College takes a lot of effort on its own. To have layered training for a new sport on top of that must have been exhausting at times. Do you have any advice for anyone in a similar boat?
I would definitely lose enthusiasm a lot, it was tough. But I always saw it as me building my empire and moving closer to my goal of living a life with as much time in and on the water as possible. I would recommend keeping your goals in sight, and making sure you make time to do what you love in between studying-- that will keep you motivated. Oh, and coffee!
Cabarete is best known for its amazing beaches. What’s something else that it doesn’t get enough credit for?
The greenery! The Dominican Republic is one of the most lusciously green islands in the Caribbean and I am still in awe every single day. There are tropical jungles surrounded by hills with rivers meandering through that make you feel like you're in a Disney movie!