Maroean Mones (29), owner and founder of Girlzactive made her passion her profession and during her women's kiteboarding camps she likes to inspire other women to do the same and to get the most out of life. After she suffered a major knee injury she moved from a professional field hockey career, into kiteboarding. A sport where she could live life along the beach and, most important, spend her time inspiring other women how to enjoy this passion.
Girlzactive organizes all kinds of kiteboarding trips on beautiful locations and believes happiness can be found in the smallest things. Healthy food, personal training and life coaching are combined with our beautiful sport…. But who is Maroean?
Residence: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Occupation: Owner / Founder Girlzactive.com
Education: International Hospitality Management / Political & Constitutional Law
Favorite food: International, but when I'm back home, the ‘hutspot’ of my mum is the best :)
Where you used to dream of: I always wanted everything, never had one purpose, except that I've always had the urge to keep traveling.
What do you dream of now: Continue to enjoy life, relax a bit more if possible, discover every corner of the world and make a success of Girlzactive.
Favorite place in the world: Africa might have stolen my heart in many different ways.
The people, perfect kite spots and every day sunshine!
What made you start kiteboarding back in the day?
I've always been a sporty and busy one. After my injury came back for a second time, keeping up with my field hockey career wasn’t an option any longer and when I lived on the Antilles (Aruba) I discovered the sport called kiteboarding. A sport that I could practice anytime, anywhere, without needing a team and be on the open sea started to trigger me. In addition, I could set my own limits, something which is very nice with my knee! The fact that it was a male dominated sport back then even made me push the limits a bit more. ;) I used to snowboard from being little, already jumped on a surfboard every now and then, loved longboarding (skate), started kiteboarding and a few years back my wakeboard made my collection complete. Boardsports are the best!
So kiteboarding became a passion, but how did you turn it into the your job?
Back then I had a career as corporate banker and had a hard time with working in the office 9 to 5, couldn’t find my way in creating a healthy lifestyle and more important, couldn't find the ‘all in one’ perfect woman holidays for young professionals, that I was looking for. So, I decided to change things (yes scary, no fixed income, no home base, etc), but I went for it. I loved the atmosphere, enjoyed the conditions that the weather, the sea and the beach offer you. Your head is empty and you feel completely free, that explains my love for this sport and the urge to learn as many other ladies as possible! Of course, the nice people who practice this sport made me want it even more. Everyone has the same goal and they are helpful, relaxed and wonderful open minded people. What could be more beautiful than sharing the sunset after a perfect session on your board? - An idea was born and as I wanted to offer more than plain kiteboarding, we are building on a concept that offers women's kiteboarding camps while also teaching wellness for your body and mind. We want to take you along into our lifestyle, teach you about healthy food, your body, your kiteboarding gear, techniques skills and most of all hit the water together, with a smile!
How often do you practice yourself, is there still time for it?
Anywhere in the world, where the camps bring me. Unfortunately, I am mainly at work at the locations where I travel and I have to cope with short sessions every now and then. This way of live doesn’t make you rich, so no time and money to book my own kiteboarding trips. But once I hit the water, I enjoy every minute! Last year I bought an old Volkswagen van (T3) and I’m planning to travel with this blue baby instead of the plane every now and then, so I can hit the water down the road!
Which locations a female kiteboarder should not miss in your opinion?
There are many beautiful lagoons. - yes I am more the freestyle flat water girl than hitting the waves, but my new directional makes it change a bit ;) - Of course I have been fortunate to test many spots, but if I really have to choose: the clear blue waters of Zanzibar and Kenya are the best! If I want to be more wind secure? Brazil gives me a huge smile every November. And definitely looking forward to the waters of San Blas at this years winter women's kiteboarding camp. Well, there is still so much more to discover, if you do believe I need to for sure try your favorite, please let me know by dropping me an e-mail, I’m up for adventure and meeting even more kiteboarding women!
Looking back, what advice would you have given to yourself when you first started?
The advice I would give every other entrepreneur. I am a perfectionist, so I didn't really enjoyed building this company enough, always wanted more, better, higher….... Now I know, you have to keep your head in the game, believe in what you do, work hard, but most of all have fun, be yourself and enjoy it, then the rest will come, trust me.
Enjoy! Every moment. It does not matter how good you are, as long you do what you do with a smile!
Hope to see you during one of our camps, or meet you somewhere in the kiteboarding world!
Lots of love Maroean
* Questions? Ask them in a comment or send Maroean an email via firstname.lastname@example.org, she loves to hear from you!
Maroean Mones is the owner of Girlzactive, sponsored by Liquid Force, Brunotti, Josea Surfwear and Island Tribe.
More inspirational story about women in kiteboarding world:
Bianca Forzano, owner of Bianca Bikinis
Mia Toose, owner of Truli Wetsuits
Julie Shaw, Overcoming fears and giving back