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An interview with Lewis Crathern

Lewis Crathern

An interview with Lewis Crathern by Emma Roberts, 15.

Lewis Crathern is the 4x British Kite Surfing Champion, and the 2016 Vice World Champion kite surfer, who has a programme with schools promoting wind energy. He is also a coach, and a professional broadcaster.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lewis during my work experience and had the opportunity to ask him some questions based on his career.


The interview:

We started by chatting about his childhood and what primarily led Lewis to pursue kite surfing. Coming from a very sporty family and living by the beach, Lewis began windsurfing when he left school. He spoke about loving windsurfing, however another local sport caught his eye.

“I saw kite surfing, and the people were jumping so high. I just thought, WOW, I have to do that.”

Having first to learn how to fly a kite, it took Lewis a good few months until he felt safe because he had to learn how to fly the kite long before he could try the board. Lewis said that when it came to kite surfing “You have to be okay with not being able to do it the first time”. However, Lewis expressed the importance of “taking that first step to get a lesson” when interested in kite surfing. I think this wonderful advice can be said for numerous things, including many sports like kitesurfing, or even other hobbies. Lewis said “I want to urge people to try it and to believe they can do it”.

Lewis’s tips:

Lewis’s biggest tip was to “spend as much time flying the kite before trying the board because the kite is 95% of kite surfing”. He explained that although spending time in the gym nowadays is effective, when he was learning, the actual sport itself was enough training. The exercise that comes with kite surfing is so good for your arms and core that feels as if you’re getting “in a big workout on its own.”

During our interview, Lewis shared things he did to help prepare for competitions:

“My best results were when I hired a campervan in some of the countries I was in and I had air conditioning in there. I locked the whole thing up and didn’t speak to anyone. I think self-confinement worked for me. Definitely playing music. I like house music to get me in the mood. I’ve found I’m a sportsman who doesn’t seem to talk to the opposition.”

Sporting passions:

When Lewis isn’t kite surfing, he enjoys playing golf, having created very fond memories of playing with his dad when he was younger. ” I spent a long time focusing on what the ocean gives me, being a big part of my life now. Only in my thirties, I started playing golf again, and it really reconnected me with the land and the hills.”

The ocean is a huge part of Lewis’s life. He went on to talk about the feeling of freedom he achieves when kite surfing that he finds hard to experience on land. For Lewis, being on the coast, or even just walking along the beach, is about ” being somewhere where your everyday problems go away”. He finds kite surfing provides him with a sense of “freedom both physically and mentally”.

I then asked Lewis about his favourite place to kite surf. His response was this:

“My very favourite place to kite surf is Worthing, in England. I’ve been all around the world, but when you’re born somewhere which provides you your future, you appreciate it. It’s also the wind and storms we get here. People focus on bad weather as this annoying thing, but we are so happy as kite surfers that a storm’s coming! It changes your whole life in England when you can enjoy the bad weather. The windier it is, the higher you can jump – the extreme conditions are where I feel most challenged. I get challenged here and that’s why I love it here the most”.

Growing up, Lewis has three main sporting icons. He has looked up to 5x world champion kite surfer , Aaron Hadlow who is now a close friend of his. Lewis also spoke about being inspired by both footballer, Christiano Ronaldo, and by F1 racer, Lewis Hamilton, throughout his life. He admires Ronaldo’s confidence in his own ability, and Hamilton’s involvement in all aspects of his sport.

After talking about his journey into kite surfing, we began discussing his future plans. Lewis said he doesn’t compete as much as he used to because now his career branches out into various paths. He’s been presenting in schools, talking about both kite surfing and wind energy. He’s also a broadcaster and commentator for events, as well as being a kite surfing coach. “Those are the areas I will be doing more of as I get older”.

I found chatting with Lewis really inspirational. He certainly encourages people of all ages to try something new if it takes their fancy.

You can read more about Lewis and the awesome work he is doing here.


photos by Sam Clark


This interview was conducted and written by Emma Roberts, age 15.













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