Switzerland’s Camille Losserand won her first world title, the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Surfboard Kite World Championship, in Tarifa, Spain, last June. She had just arrived back in Tarifa, her “second home”, but is heading to Cape Town shortly to train for the upcoming GKA season in Big Air and Kite-Surf, where she also scored the third podium place in 2023. Losserand, 20, talked to Ian MacKinnon about her year and hopes for her coming season, set to begin in Cape Verde in February.
Question: You got your first world title, the Big Air Surfboard Kite World Championship. How do you feel about it now looking back?
Camille Losserand: The Big Air category is the main one that I’m always training for. So to win this event, I was not really sure to win it. But I was just thinking, OK Cami, just do your best and see how it goes. Winning this event was very special for me because it was in Tarifa, so it’s my second home. To have all my family, my friends on the beach, my coach as well, that was motivating me, really a lot. Yes, it was a really nice day. It was very special and I hope that I can maybe follow up and have this title again this year. I will train and do the best I can and we will see if it’s going to work or not this time.
Q: You suggested that you weren’t sure to win it. Was it a surprise for you that you could do it?
CL: I was not really thinking about the results. Like in every comp that I do, I’m just thinking, OK Cami, do your best and if it has to happen, it will happen. I was not really thinking about the results, but more about how I can land my tricks. I really focused on that. Also, to have my coach, Fabio Ingrosso, with me, it was mentally really helpful. So I was not really thinking about the result, but about having fun on the water and doing the best that I can.
Q: Had you been with Fabio for a while before that?
CL: I think maybe now it has been four years. Because, first he was contacting me to train for the Olympics in race. But it was not really my thing, and I was more into strapless. So I stopped training in foil. Then I did some camps with him as well, so it’s been four years now. Fabio still coaches Mika Sol and more freestylers as well, like Gianmaria Coccoluto.
‘100 percent trust’
Q: And so how do you work? Does he coach you on the mental side of it as well as the kiteboarding?
CL: Yes we do, and I think that’s what really helped me during the Big Air comp, because I knew that he was on the beach giving me tips and he was calming me a lot as well. I mean, I trust him 100 percent because he knows me very well. I think he was really helpful. He gave me some tips that I could change just before going in my heat.
Q: Do you work together with him on the purely mental side?
CL: Yeah, Fabio’s helping me with that, and my parents as well are really helping me on that side. But I don’t have someone specifically for mental coaching. That would be great and I’m thinking to maybe do it this year.
Q: You got third in the Kite-Surf contest as well. Is that something that you that you aim at? Maybe the waves are something you need to work on?
CL: I do, because I grew up in Switzerland, but there were not any waves. So it’s true that I’m not very good at that. But I really want to improve and I want to travel and catch some waves. But I was feeling super-happy to finish third in the wave comp and get the ranking. It was a nice surprise. But I know that I have to work a lot on that because there’s a lot good girls in the waves. That is something that is part of the competition, so I really need to improve this side.
‘It’s my passion’
Q: The Kite-Surf can be either pure surfing or mixed format or pure strapless freestyle. I guess you would prefer just strapless freestyle?
CL: Of course, I would love that because I mean, I really like freestyle. But I think to have a mix of waves and strapless freestyle is something very good because at the end, I think it’s important to be good at strapless freestyle and in the waves. So yeah, I just need to improve on that. I like to ride the waves as well. It’s a really nice feeling.
Q: You mentioned that you used to race foil. Do you do any other kiteboarding or wingfoiling?
CL: I do some Twin-Tip Big Air and I did some winging while I was in Dakhla, Morocco, for the comp. I really like the feeling. I’m not planning to compete [in Twin-Tip Big Air] but maybe in the future, we never know. Now, I’m focusing on strapless freestyle and the waves as well, but I think it’s good to do a bit of everything because it’s my passion. So it’s good if I can do more things.
Q: In the coming year what do you see? Obviously you say you want to repeat winning the title. What are the biggest challenges to that?
CL: I know that I that I have to improve in some tricks and to learn some new ones. So I’m going to spend hours and hours in on the water to improve those tricks. I will try to do my best, not putting too many too much pressure on myself, because that’s not how how I work. But yeah, I’m gonna do my best and we’ll see if I can do it or not.
Q: What what are your goals for the coming year then?
CL: I would say, a little bit as I did this year, I need to have fun when I’m on the water doing my best in the competitions. As I said, I really want to improve in waves. It’s really important now as the GKA is more into waves. But yeah, just to have fun, travel, and be with some friends. The season’s starting pretty soon, so where the spots are, I think I’m gonna be there two weeks beforehand, so I can train a lot for the competition. And I hope that I can maybe travel to Peru, or something like this, to catch some good waves.
images: Svetlana Romantsova / Samuel Cárdenas