Bruce Gonlag

School Owner & Instructor

When did you start kiteboarding/watersports and how did you get into it?
I have always enjoyed the ocean from a young age. Whether it be body surfing, body-boarding or fishing. I started kiteboarding in the year 2000 at the age of 24 when there we only 2 brands available and the equipment was extremely basic and super dangerous.
I had been flying power kites for a few years and was doing allot of kite buggying(3 wheel buggy) and kite land boarding. When I saw kiteboarding in the water on TV, it was a natural progression and looked super fun and allot softer/less painful when falling. So I bought my first inflatable kite, which was a Wipika 2 Line 11m kite. It took a few years for the 4 line system to become available and the first systems that we used were home made.

How long have you been in the kite/watersports industry?
Whilst struggling to learn how to perfect the sport, I had heaps of people on the beach asking me for help and advice and I found myself helping other people more than doing it myself. Once I heard about the first IKO Instructor training program, I immediately booked myself onto it. It was 2002 when I resigned from my job and opened my first Kite School (Airways Kiteboardschool) in the UK and started doing kiteboarding lessons full time. I have been teaching kiteboarding since then, so its 18 years this year.

What do you do in the kite/watersports industry?
I run the BKA Kiteboarding School and actively help in the BKA shop with retail and anything that involves Kiting . I actively teach kiteboarding with the help of my team of Internationally Qualified Instructors. We offer beginner courses, intermediate courses and advanced courses. We offer advice on the different styles and types of equipment that we sell at the BKA shop. We offer repairs of equipment, servicing of gear and custom tuning of equipment based on the kiteboarders preferences. I have also in the past been actively involved in the setting up and running of the South African Kitesurfing Association.

What did you do before?
I matriculated from school in 2004 and went to technical college. Following that I worked in a light metalwork engineering company for a few years.
In 2008 I then opened my own business with a friend of mine doing Electric Fencing. I left for the UK in 1999 and had a variety of jobs whilst travelling around the UK and Europe. Once I started my own kite school in the UK in 2002, I would bounce between Cape Town (for South African summer) and the UK for the British summer.

What is your speciality in the kite/watersports disciplines?
My passion has always been kiteboarding riding a twintip. Old school freestyle is the best way to explain my discipline. I started competing in 2003 and actively still compete in Freestyle competitions. Currently I enjoy doing Kite Loops as the sensation that one gets whilst throwing the kite through the power zone is so intense and exhilarating. Wave riding on the twintip should not be excluded as we do many down wind sessions which involve allot of wave riding. Board off spins and tricks are a favourite and the upside down Hangman ( jumping with the kite as high as possible and hanging upside down while at the top of the jump).

What motivates you or what is your motto for your watersports?
Help others as you would like to be helped.My motivation comes from engaging with people who are keen on the watersports, especially of surfing, SUP and  Kiteboarding, guiding them, advising them and assisting them in becoming an Independent in theses disciplines.When I started to learn kiteboarding, there were no schools and limited people with experience who could advise me on how to do the sport. I really appreciated all the info and advice that I could get from the pro’s. This motivates me to help those who are busy learning or wanting to progress to higher standard of riding and skill sets.