Nina Csonkova has only been paddling since the age of 18. In the short 12 years since Nina has proven to be one of the best paddlers in the world. A true natural trains and paddles hard thus achieving world wide freestyle success. It is truly a great honour that Nina has agreed to take part in the Unsponsored Q&A series.
Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.
I got two times silver medals and one bronze medal from the Kayak Freestyle European Championships. I was first and third in overall world cup rankings and I have won Euro Cups several times in a row.
When and how did you first start paddling?
It was 2003 when I met my husband who was already very successful kayaker.
What was your first kayak?
My first own kayak was wavesport EZG 42. I loved that boat!
What is your current location?
When did you realise that kayaking could be more than just a hobby?
Kayaking is still my hobby. I always dreamed that I can kayak full time and don’t have have a proper job. And somehow I manage it but it doesn’t mean that I can do only kayaking. I have to do a lot of things to keep my bills paid.
What has kept you in the sport?
I love what I do. So I guess it is a love for this sport. The other thing is motivation. I am happy when I can reach my goals and move to next level.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional kayaker?
If I wasn’t kayaker I would like to work with sportspeople in some way …coaching, organizing events…
What does a regular week look like at this time of year?
We are still paddling on the water but we started to do other exercises as well like gym, running, balance training…
What allowed you to progress your skills?
I have a awesome coach who help me a lot. Without him I couldn’t be here.
Do you have any pre-paddling rituals to help calm your nerves or get you into the zone?
Not really. Everytime helps something else.
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world to paddle?
My next dream destinations are Ecuador and Mexico.
When and where was your last swim?
I don’t swim much I rather walk a rapid if I am not sure about it. But my last swim was at Koppentraum, Austria sometimes around 2006 maybe.
What is your favourite kayak of all time and why?
I don’t have a favourite kayak but I really like to paddle my current freestyle boat – Vajda Boost and my creek boat – Jackson Zen.
What do you believe is the best kayak design to date?
I believe I paddle on best kayak design.
What do you think has been the most innovative change introduced in to the kayaking world?
Hard to say because I am in kayaking only 12 years but from my point of view it is composite materials.
Many thanks Nina!