He is young, good-looking, with a surfboard under his arm, and the surf under his heels... What makes him spend 6 hours a day working out, stick to a diet, avoid alcohol and other little pleasures of life?
Peter Tyushkevich - the most professional and successful Russian kiteboarder in the world. He is on the world TOP TEN and has a good chance to take the first line. Many have dreamed to be in his place: endless trips to the most remote and exotic locations, kiteboarding and recognition all over.
Birthday: June 16, 1987
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Kiting since 2002
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia
Sponsors: Flexifoil, Dakine, Npx, Balance boards, Graffit fitness club, Kites.ru
Champion of Russia 2005
World Champion Slider 2006
Winner of the lap of the World Cup by KPWT in France 2009
Numerous prize-winner at laps of World Cup Championships by KPWT and PKRA 2006 through 2009
Favorite location: Mauritius
For the first time Peter was born to kiters’ life on the final lap of the Cup of Russia at Black Sea Cup in 2003. And immediately he made a strong impression on the audience, judges, riders. After an unconditional victory in the first series, he moved away full pelt… to school. Once in 2005 he became the champion of Russia in kiteboarding and winner of the national lap of Red Bull King of the Air, Peter would enter only international competitions.
Hi, Peter! How are you? What have you been doing recently?
Hi! In the last 3-4 months I have been busy with the World Cup, there just one lap left. So I don’t even have time to practice, nor kiteboard for my own pleasure. I have also been practicing guitar solos, ACDC compositions, so there is a spate of work =)
What do competitions mean to you?
They motivate me. I look at what the best riders do and learn something from all of them. Sure too, after practicing for several years, I want to see where I am, and this is what competition lets me do. Another point is that in competitions I am making a name for myself, which is also important. On the other hand, there are no easy laps, nor interesting:), the competition is always a tough effort and nerves.
What is your life routine: what do you eat, how do you live?
There is not much of an entertainment on my daily routine. Get up at 9 am, after breakfast take half an hour of yoga, then 2-3 hours practicing on the water, then lunch and a second workout, dinner, yoga, another meal and sleep. And all over again, 7 days a week, 9-10 months a year.
I eat very simple food that cannot be spoilt: I often live on the islands, and all sorts of exotic food may settle badly, so I stick to the classics: pasta, cheese, chicken. I do not eat fish since I was a boy. I'm right above it, you know. Now I eat it, then it has me ... So, we’d better be friends.
Tell us about your practicing methods and other aspects (vitamins, money, healthy and unhealthy addictions, related sports, women, education, etc.) to make a modern athlete - kiteboarder.
My workout depends on the wind, and wind is a wanton thing. Now I mostly prefer Mauritius: it is a quiet place.
You are in luck!
Many people think so. They picture a beach, white sand and blue water, and I spent whole days lying on this sand, smoking bamboo, and kiteboard when I’ve got the mood. In fact, it is not exactly like that. Before I entered professional sport I weighed 15 kg less. I had to completely change my life to get into the Top 10. For me, this blue water is not a symbol of leisure, but of a picturesque office where I work every day from 11 to 8. And it is a tough job, both physically and mentally.
To be a good kiter, I had to completely change my life. It is not enough just to be at the seaside and practice all year round. One needs program, proper schedule for eating, sleeping, taking vitamins. As to me I do find it hard at times.... At some point I figured out, that over half the workout is ashore. And it is not only jogging in the morning and fitness I mean here. Practicing tricks is not only done in the water, first and most important it is done in the head. It really helps to continuously scroll it in mind, very clearly and in detail, and only after that I may try it on kite. That’s why there is no place for boose nor buds while practicing: the head should be clear and function well. You get some shots at night, you cannot kiteboard in the morning. Yet it is important to know how relax without painting the town red for a week but just get abstracted from everything.
Many people think it is so cool to live like I do: just kiteboarding for my own pleasure, always travelling. There are thought some blots in the landscape: imagine those many-hours flights, and many-hours time difference, fatigue, workouts, injuries ...? And most important: professional kiteboarding will not last for the whole of my life.
Have there been injuries in your career? If there have, what was the reason: improper physical condition, or is it just that nobody’s immune to injuries in professional sport?
Yeah, the latter, I guess. Most of the riders in PKRA tour have had injuries. As to me, the injury received in 2007 was the toughest! It was like a blow to kick me off the top of the world. One jump and everything was over, and all the workouts and practicing, all that had been killing me, was just gone. Still I managed to pull myself together, and in the couple of months, I could not be kiteboarding, I practiced in gym to stay in good shape. Still it was ever so hard to get back on water. Perhaps it was the most difficult month in my entire kiting life.
However, there were advantages to it too: the injury brought me back to earth and revealed the blanks and weaknesses. First, I am a bit too tall for kiteboarding, and second, not flexibille enough, plus innate muscular hypertonicity. Thus no sport for me without constant stretching workouts. On the whole I would recommend it to everybody!!! And if you think you are a snake man or a gutta-percha boy, stretch twice... With proper workout, the risk the risk of injury is minute. Yet, unfortunately, we often learn from their mistakes!
Once you are among the best at PKRA and KPWT, have you still got where to grow?
There is always where to grow. Moreover, I cannot say that every year I have less and less work on the water, on the contrary, there are more and more complex technical tricks which take me 5 times longer to master.
Now as a true Pro, what would you recommend riders who are just starting at KPWT or PKRA?
I have not just been showing off saying it is a tough job. Yet I do it, because I love it, because it brings order and meaning to my life. Sport is not just striving to be the best, to be the Champion. It is even more about overcoming inner barriers, achieving own goals and winning over own weaknesses – that is, going where everybody is going, yet following your own way. I dare hope, I have found mine: there is even a board by Balance called «Tyushkevich Signature». I would wish my fellow-kiters good luck with finding their own way and winning own victories.
Guess, you have done a lot to show that any person can reach the top having set a goal and being persistent in striving towards it.
I want to make clear: it is not a bed of roses, but I’ve been doing what’s bringing me pleasure, and that’s the most important thing. In the morning I wake up not with the thought: "F*, back to bloody office to sit there from 9 to 6. I wake up with a smile. I really like kiteboarding, and I'd do it for the rest of my lift. It is hard at times. Ligaments are stiff in cold and early in the morning, I stretch and curse my fate. It takes something to get to enjoy wearing a wet suit in a hail of wind, rain, at 13 degrees. But I don’t want anything else.
What are the plans for the future?
KPWT World Cup will be over in mid-December. There is a project filming a video – it is going to be a joint project with the Cabrina team. We shall be shooting in Morocco, Hawaii and Australia. The idea is to have really good camerawork and do the best with the newest visual effects. The project is to last for about 3 months, and we shall start right after the end of the season.
Kiteboarding Season 2009 is not yet complete. In December Peter Tyushkevich, presently holding the first line in the KPWT World Cup ranking, is competing in the final lap in Morocco for the title of the winner of the KPWT World Cup.
Video profile of Peter Tyushkevich (made by Tushkevitch)