In Egypt, a women-only kitesurfing camp in Gouna aims to create a space where women can feel empowered and comfortable in order to build the confidence they need to make strides in the sport. Kite Tribe Girls was brought together by Mia Ayoub, who originally had moved to Gouna to work in real estate before finding her passion for the water sport.
It all started when she met a kitesurfing instructor at a friend’s party. “I told him hell would freeze over before I would try such an extreme sport!” Ayoub told BECAUSE. “He convinced me to give it a try and I got hooked. It was my first board-related sport and I got the basics from my instructor, but I had to persist and really work very hard to actually get riding. One summer I decided to leave my real estate job, and with plenty of time on my hands I progressed very quickly.”
Kitesurfing gave Ayoub an opportunity to combine her skills and her passion and create something new. “Kitesurfing is such a young sport and to be part of it as it grows is exciting,” explained Ayoub. “Kite Tribe Girls lets me do what I love while actually calling it ‘work’…I am extremely lucky!”
By creating a women-only camp, Ayoub wanted to remove any element that would cause a woman to feel uncomfortable or less able in such a demanding sport. “Men tend to have a more competitive streak, and in kitesurfing this can be quite intimidating,” said Ayoub. “I have had experiences myself where men feel that they need to be better than you out on the water.”
But Ayoub believes that in order to excel at kitesurfing, or any sport, you need to be able to relax and take your time. “There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition, but with a group of women, you’re more comfortable revealing your worries or concerns about trying something new, discuss mistakes and triumphs and to give each other little tips or advice. Kitesurfing can be scary, especially when you start to really progress with tricks. Kitesurfing is a really hard sport to learn, and it’s mostly dominated by men. It is empowering when women progress and can kitesurf with the guys!” said Ayoub, who believes the sport has the power to make women stronger, healthier and more self-confident.