Satellite Sports Network Words

Meet Pro Kiteboarder - Laurel Eastman in Cabarete

by SSN Staff

Where are you from?
For the past 6 years my home has been in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. I have settled here because of the outstanding quality of life, the fabulous community and of course the great wind - waves - warm water!
Your age?31

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in California, before moving to Cabarete I was lucky enough to live in Montana, Arizona, Europe, New Zealand and Hawaii


Any kite sponsors? Who?
Best Kiteboarding

Special achievements...?
Well....I think surviving the early days of kiteboarding was a huge achievement for us all! I think back to the way I learned and the gear I was using and compare it to what is going on in the industry now and I am very thankful to have made it.....


Being a pro kiter on the World Cup Tour was also a great achievement for me, finishing 4th overall in 2002 and the fulfillment and achievement of competing amongst the best of the best was very special.

My involvement in the Women's Sports Foundation (an American non-profit org founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King to promote equality in sport) is also important for me personally, I have been blessed to be involved in fundraising galla dinners and even featured in their gorgeous book: SuperHeros: 100 Women, 100 Sports. I am a big believer of equality and I think kiteboarding is a fantastic way to empower women.

On the same note I am so lucky to work with 3 times world champion Cindy Mosey on her women's kiteboarding event the Cindy Mosey Island Odyssey. My role is as head coach and this is one of the most fulfilling things I get to do....and she always takes us to great places.


Life occupation besides kite...
I have a kiteboarding school, which I run together with the help of my amazing team. My role in our little company is mostly directing, and also focusing on customer service quality, communications and marketing. Its a very dynamic business, the work is very seasonal so I have the opportunity to have many many different instructors from all over the world working with me, and I have the change to travel a lot in the slower months. Besides working with my team, my favorite thing about my job is meeting guests from all walks of life and hearing about their home country and cultures and their life adventures. I am very much a people person, so this work seems to suit me very well.

As I mature and expand my professional life I envision myself working more with media and communications, writing, video, television etc.

Tell me a little bit about yourself
I am a compulsive smiler. I love to smile, I just can't help it! I love joking around and laughing, good natured teasing and watching funny movies or programs. My two biggest passions are sports and nature. On the sports side of course I love kiteboarding, I am also a spinning instructor and I am keen to try any sport and have new experiences. For the nature I love being in wild places, love landscapes, trees and flowers....and the sea.



Why Kite school?
It was never really my plan to open a kite school, the opportunity presented itself and after some gentle coaxing I took it. Best thing I have done, it was a leap for me (way out of my comfort zone) but it has worked out beautifully and I strongly encourage everyone to be very aware of the things life presents to you and even if they are a bit scary or half crazy to just go for them.
When did you open the school?
July 2003


What gave you the inspiration to start it?
My biggest inspiration in the kite school was and continues to be my friend and fellow competitor Silke Gordlt. Silke was a gorgeous, stunningly beautiful - tall, blond, strong, smiling woman. She died in a kiteboarding competition in her home country (Germany) in 2002. This was before kites that de-power and before quick releases were standard. When I was thinking about my involvement in my sport and where I wanted to go with it I came back to her many times over and I realized that if I can help make kiteboarding a safer sport, help people get into the right way, learn how to practice safely - then I can serve her spirt and honor her. She loved kiting so much.