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Kitty Erina, Paraglider (NLD)

by Bold Apps on March 13, 2018

Age: 29

Location: Flevoland, Lelystad 

Country: Netherlands 

Sport(s): Paragliding (hike&fly and XC)

Instagram: @kitty.erina_red.arrow 

What does SheShredsCo mean to you? My second family! A way to support other girls getting further in their sport. Support and motivation for my own development as an athlete.  What challenges do you face being a female in the sport? The challenges in this sport is not necessarily being a woman. It's true that most paragliding pilots are men but the whole community acts like a family. You're always welcome and everybody takes you in without ever meeting you. The development of smaller wings (for those with lower wingload, often women)s getting more and more. I'm glad to see a development there! The only thing is that certification for these wings is a challenges companies face. I've got good hope that this will change soon too. The bigger challenges is letting the world recognize this as a official and even Olympic sport. Sponsors are hard to find, even for athletes competing in the RedBull Xalps, one of the most challenging race in the world (and my ultimate dream).
Where is the most unusual place you have done your sport? Unusual?  Haha no where really, in my the whole is my playground and a landing field. The sky is everywhere and here for me to play in. 

What has been your most memorable moment so far? There are so many. My first real mountain flight for example. When I started with paragliding I started in Holland on the winch. I was addicted immediately and ordered my own wing. In October that year my first mountain course was booked. In September I got in a really serious car accident. I wasn't sure I would get myself back again. My wing came in a week after Ive got back from the hospital. I wasn't able or allowed to fly. I fought myself for almost a year. A lot of therapy and training. A year later I booked my course again and went to Italy. When you start flying your first flights are starts and landings, that's it. My fifth flight my instructor told me I was allowed to fly myself if I would stay near to another instructor I the sky. And I flew for almost an hour. The moment I touched the ground I was exhausted and tears flew across my cheeks. I was so incredibly happy. I never felt like that before. No one would ever tell me I wasn't able to fly anymore. Right there and then I decides that this is my life, my one true love. Nothing in the world is ever gonna stop me from flying. I have to die doing it. This is who I am and where I belong.

Who/what are your inspirations There are a lot great pilots. I look up to every one of them. A special one is Ferdy van Schelven. He's a Dutch pilot and competed multiple times in the RedBull X-alps. He flies incredible and learned to fly in our flatland as a comparison to them who learn to fly in the heart of the X-alps area.

Favorite thing about SheShreds products? The products of are truly inspired and made for us lady athletes. When I'm not working and not dressed in high heels and dresses I love to wear gear. It's so me. It shows who I am off stage and doing what I love most, shredding the air.


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