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Pour la version Française cliquez ici Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : Miriam, who are you?

MIRIAM : I am a Norwegian woman who turned my life upside down four years ago. From a life with no sports I started windsurfing and skiing overnight, and have made this my lifestyle today. I decided at an early stage to document this process and share it to the world through the social media.

WINDBASE : You are young, you love extreme sports, so… why didn’t you choose kitesurf, as many people do nowadays? (Windbase note: I don’t agree whith them at all 😀 ). Then… What bring you here to windsurf?

MIRIAM : Ahem – I don’t know the definition of the word « young » in France, but I am pretty sure that this word doesn’t apply to me anymore! 🙂 I chose windsurfing because my hometown has an active windsurfing community. I think it is about time that we ask ourselves why the recruitment to the windsports goes to kiting. I can only speak for myself of course, but I think some women are put off by the welcome they get when they enter our community. Understand this the right way – I love windsurfing, and most people I meet are really nice people.
I started windsurfing three years ago. After I made myself a public person and started getting sponsors, some people found the opportunity to criticize me for not being good enough in what I do, and that others deserve to be sponsored instead of me. To me it seems strange that I am not allowed to learn to windsurf – it seems like some people expect me to become world champion the year after I started to windsurf!

I am being compared to athletes that have been windsurfing since they were young, that are professional windsurfers, and have no children. I am a 35 year old mother of two children 8 and 12, I am working full-time. I divorced my husband, got a new house, a new job, started to learn sailing and skiing, and in addition I put a lot of work into my effort in the social media. I think I deserve every sponsor I got! I get mocked and ridiculed on the beach and in the social media on a regular basis. For the life of me, I just can’t understand why some experienced windsurfers spend their time trashing people with a sincere wish to learn to windsurf.
Maybe my experience is unique and does not reflect the reality in the global windsurfing scene, but I must admit I start to wonder whats wrong when I observe that a big percentage of the recruitment goes to kitesurfing and not the greatest sport in the world – windsurfing!

Is there a possibility that what I have experienced myself is a reality others meet as well? If this is the case I think the windsurfing community should start reacting, and discourage people that represent this kind of view on fellow windsurfers. There are simple ground rules when you are on the beach: Say hello – smile – offer to help if needed – in other words; BE NICE – especially to beginners!

Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : The way you like to enjoy windsurf, and the sessions you share on internet, is like the way we have seen windsurf during de 90′ years. Can you explain your windsurf « way of life »?

MIRIAM : This is a good observation – In the 80’s and 90’s (when I was young!) windsurfing had a better reach into bigger audiences. Two of my idols are Jenna and Robby, charismatic athletes that offered far more than just performance to the public. More people perceived the sport as something they could do themselves for fun. Nowadays there is a general focus on the extreme achievements in the sport, I fear that this might alienate some of the people that potentially would consider picking up windsurfing as a recreational hobby. I decided to try and show that windsurfing is a great activity no matter what stage you are in, by documenting my own learning process from beginner to experienced.

WINDBASE : Which are your goals in windsurf? Your projects?

MIRIAM : I want to be really good at what I do, and I want to live the lifestyle of a windsurfer. To put pressure on myself to learn faster, I will start competing this year. I hope to qualify for a final in the PWA, and finish in the top ten in 2016. I have several projects for the future, but I will wait to share them until they become real. You know how it is – ideas don’t always make it!

WINDBASE : How many sponsors do you actually have? Can you name all of them in ten seconds, or the list is too long?

MIRIAM : Thats easy! Challengersails, Novenoveboards, Powerexmasts, AL360booms, PFTfins, Unifiber accesories, CLIPharnesslines, RedgullEurope and Surferskin! 9 sponsors in 10 seconds – no problem!

WINDBASE : Does your sponsors give you enough to windsurf and go skiing everyday, or do you have a job? Which one?

MIRIAM : I work as a personal trainer at my own small gym. I can decide my hours myself so I can adapt my training routine into my work-week.

WINDBASE : Is it hard to find sponsors? What do they ask to you? Winning competitions, big social media visibility…?

MIRIAM : When I started this project four years ago, I hoped to get sponsors one day. However I was convinced that I had to start racing first. While I built my windsurfing skills I worked hard on my social media skills at the same time. This effort paid off earlier than I anticipated, and I started getting offers from the industry at an early stage. I have been very clear in regards of my limitations when it comes to windsurfing, so my sponsor contracts are all with a focus on presence in the social media. In the future I hope to offer my sponsors more, of course.

WINDBASE : Do you consider yourself as a pro windsurfer, or, do you want to be a pro one day?

MIRIAM : Per definition I am not a professional yet, but I dream of becoming one in the future. I feel convinced that if I continue to work as hard as i have for the past three years, it will become real!

WINDBASE : Do you think you would have so much sponsors if you weren’t so cute?

MIRIAM : I know for a fact that looks don’t play any part in who gets the sponsorships and who doesn’t. This boils down to one matter – who represents the sport and the sponsor in the best way. I am quite sure that if any windsurfer has put down the same effort and investment as I have done for the past four years, they would have achieved the same as I have done. My sponsors understand how much work it takes to produce promotional material on a daily/weekly basis year round. I can assure you, they hire me because I give more back, not because the way I look. I addition I try to play fair and behave nice. You see – I believe in Karma – you will get what you deserve in life.

WINDBASE : What do you prefer in windsurf? A fast slalom session, a wavy one, or freeride / bump and jump cruising?

MIRIAM : Easy – a fast slalom session! Why? thats basically the only thing I know how to do yet! 🙂

WINDBASE : When will you try to ride big waves?

MIRIAM : I will try to ride really small waves this year, I have no experience in this, but it looks like great fun, and I would really love to try if I can find a « kind » spot.

Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : Can you describe us your sensations when you are on your board, with fast planning?

MIRIAM : ohhhh – thats the best! I see everything like in a tunnel, the edges get blurred out – everything is like slow motion and the sounds become distant. And you cruise into the sun and it lasts forever! Every worry is gone – you forget everything except the moment. For sure this must be one of the strongest kicks you can experience compared to the low risk of injury!

WINDBASE : Do you think your happiness in windsurfing, your motivation, can attract more women to our sport?

MIRIAM : I hope so! I try to share how this sport has changed my life in order to motivate others to choose whats right for them. Not necessarily windsurfing, but sometimes daring to make a change can mean everything!

WINDBASE : You seem to train very hard, on the water, and in fitness sessions. Can you explain us your normal training week?

MIRIAM : During winter I train Cross-fit and then some weights at my own gym. Usually skiing two or three days during the weekends, and the occasional windsurfing session if the conditions are right. Normally I train low to medium intensity training 6-8 hours a week, medium to high intensity, 4-6 hours a week.

WINDBASE : Sorry for this question, but I have to ask, as its important in our sport… How tall are you, and what is your weight?

MIRIAM : I am 175 cm, weighing between 63 and 65 kg in winter. Five years ago I weighed 58 kg. It has been a hard battle for me to accept weighing more. However I have experienced a tremendous progress in my windsurfing skills associated with gaining weight caused by muscular growth. I guess « Strong is the new skinny » has become my new motto 🙂

WINDBASE : Can you tell us more about your quiver? How many sails, how many boars, which sizes, wich fins… We want to know everything about it! 🙂

MIRIAM : I love talking about my gear!

I have 3 Three-G wavesails sizes 3.5,4.2 and 4.7. Upward I have 6 Aero+ fully cambered racesails from 5.4 to 9.2. In the top I have a 11.0 Formulasail, all from Challengersails.

I also have a 6.0 Fluido softwing for testing. This years pleasant surprise – a combination of easy handling and race feeling – full wing profile but no cambers. Maybe I’ll try the slalom version next year instead of the Aeros, thats how well it handles!

My boards are 2014 Novenove wc slaloms, 89/109/129. I hope to get the 2015s soon – 95/115/125. I have a 86 liter wave board, and an inflatable SUP from Novenove as well.

Powerex delivers my masts – 3 rdm carbon wave masts, and 6 sdm carbon race masts. Beautifully crafted masts with an excellent response.

AL360 delivers my booms, three E-3 carbon slalom booms, and one slim carbon wave boom. State of the art craftsmanship and a pleasure to hold.

CLIP harness lines makes moulded harness lines. They come in a variety of colors, are easy to adjust, and works great.

Unifiber delivers my double, wheeled board bags which makes my traveling so much easier.

I recently got new fins from Italian Plan Fins Technology (PFT) they are razorblade sharp carbonfins which seem to be super fast and super controllable. They sent me 30/32 in G10, 34,36,38,40,46 in carbon.

Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : Which is your preferred board/sail combo? For which wind?

MIRIAM : I love cruising in 16-20 knots with my 109 wc slalom and 7.1 or 7.8 Aero+.

WINDBASE : Can you tell us more about windsurf in Norway? Does many people windsurf up there?

MIRIAM : I really don’t know… based on the member of different Facebook communities I would estimate the number of Norwegian windsurfers to be around 500, give or take a 100.

Windbase :Can you windsurf all the year in Norway, or do you have to stop after July and August, when the ice comes across the sea, and the bloodthirsty killer whales come to chase you on the water? (Windbase note: promised, author is not drunk…)

MIRIAM : I estimate that around 20-50 Norwegian windsurfers sail all year round. The « normal » season is from may to october. We wear suits and boots all summer, the water seldom gets warmer than 21 C.

WINDBASE : Did you ever try ice windsurfing?

MIRIAM : Norway doesn’t have a lot of the wind/ice combination. We do however have wind/snow combination, and I have a Kitewing to use with skis, when its windy.

WINDBASE : Do you think skiing helps you for windsurf, and windsurf helps you for skiing?

MIRIAM : I think there is no direct link there physically, but the most important part is the same – Stay on focus! Forget your fears, forget you’re cold and forget your pain. Focus on your technique and that you are having a good time!

Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : It seems you go to the Defi Wind this year. What is your goal here? Do you adapt your training for this event?

MIRIAM : I am going, but my place is not confirmed yet, as there was a misunderstanding in regards of the registration. I will go, and hope there will be a space open for me 🙂 I will go several days before the event to try and get used to the conditions down there. My goal is to finish all the races. I think I can do well if the wind isn’t totally crazy!

WINDBASE : Did you ever sailed on a long distance competition?

MIRIAM : Not yet. In my training I do 1 hour sessions sometimes to practice for this.

WINDBASE : You are part of the Slalom Team Norway, can you tell us more about this team?

MIRIAM : I formed the STN some months ago for various reasons. One of which is to lift and promote the slalom discipline in Norway, secondly to lift and promote the best slalom racers in Norway by participating in high profile international competition. Third I hope to generate a positive focus on the windsurfing sport in general by showing the excitement and joy connected to this sport. I am joining forces with the most positive and helpful clubs and individuals in the country on this project, and only time will tell if we succeed. We are basing our strategies on inclusion, not exclusion, we will arrange clinics with the team where anybody can join to learn from the best.

WINDBASE : Do you plan to participate to the PWA tour? Can you tell us if you train so hard to finish in the PWA top 5 in 2016, shouting « surprise!!! » to everyone?

MIRIAM : Miriam: I plan to do a PWA tour this year if I can afford it. I don’t think that i have to finish in the top 5 for everybody to be surprised – it probably will be sufficient that I enter any PWA event 🙂 I would be more than happy with a top 10 in the women’s PWA slalom. Top 5/6 are in a different league, it is hard to visualize that I ever can be of any threat to the fastest ladies.

WINDBASE : Do you have windsurf trips planned for 2015 2016? Wich countries would you like to visit, in a windsurf meaning?

MIRIAM : Well, I am going to be busy with the events – South Korea, France, Alacati, New Caledonia, and South Africa next winter. I will do as many national and international events as possible in addition to this. Maybe a trip to Italy too 🙂

WINDBASE : Are you related to Svein Rasmussen? If so, did he attract you to windsurf?

MIRIAM : My fathers name is Svein Rasmussen, however not Starboard Svein. Same name – different man.

Miriam Rasmussen

WINDBASE : Do you think windsurfing is a macho environment? Was it hard for you to discover windsurfing due to it?

MIRIAM : I wouldn’t call it macho – but definitively male dominated. However this has changed a lot during the past years – there are more girls sailing now than ever in Norway. Whats not to like about all these great guys in their rubber suits anyway! Girls that don’t windsurf don’t know what they are missing out on! 😉

WINDBASE : And, I had to ask you this, as many people are wondered about it. Do you have a boyfriend?

MIRIAM : As previously stated – I am a 35 years old mother of two children age 8 and 12. I don’t have boyfriends anymore – I have a husband! 🙂 The reason why he is « invisible » in my social media life is that he is also my photographer – he is always on the other side of the camera. He is of course a skilled skier and windsurfer, and supports me in everything I do.

WINDBASE : Thank you Miriam. And, for those who want to follow you :

https://vimeo.com/miriamrasmussen

http://www.miriamrasmussen.com

https://instagram.com/ptmiriam

https://www.facebook.com/ptmiriam

twitter: @pt_rasmussen