Hey Mario, five month ago you got injured during the Think Blue. Kitesurf World Cup in St. Peter-Ording. How are you today?
I feel great. There are days where my knee hurts, but this is normal. All in all I am very happy and the rehabilitation works good. Every week I make progress.
How does this progress look like?
You realize it when you can make a specific move, like going up the stairs, without having big problems anymore. During the weight training it become noticeable when you can use 10 kilogram more for example. Then you know that you make progress.
Do you have any idea, when you can get back on the water?
Not really, but I don’t put myself under pressure. I just look how my body reacts and talk to the doctors.
Normally you would spend your days on the water at the winter time. How does a typically day look for you right now?
After my injury I had to stay in the hospital for two weeks and I had to conserve my knee a few weeks more. Meanwhile I work out five days a week. After I get up I absolve a short basic program and then I go to the gym, the physio therapist or I get a massage. And every two weeks I go to the doctor.
Sounds like a hard program. Let’s talk about the past PKRA World Tour. At the end, Christophe Tack and Karolina Winkowska could make it. Deserved?
In my opinion they are the deserved champions. Even though the fight between Karolina and Gisela (Pulido) was very tight and both of them absolved a great and high-class season. The results were always very tight.
Christophe already showed that he could become World Champion at the beginning of the World Tour. In the first five World Cups it seems like nobody was able to beat him. It was very impressive and I was very happy for him. Of course Liam came very close at the end.
You talk about Liam Whaley, who could win three World Cups this years?
Absolutely. In my opinion it doesn’t need a lot of fantasy, to see Liam becoming World Champion in the next years. In 2013, as he became second in Spain and China, he already showed that he has a very high potential.
So he is a contender for the title?
Yes. I think either Christophe or Liam will win the title this year.
And Aaron Hadlow? At least he won five world championships and he ended up first at the Think Blue. Kitesurf World Cup last year.
Aaron is still one of the best riders in the world. No question. But I think that Christophe and Liam are fired up for the title a little bit more.
Who definitely surprised me this year was Youri Zoon. Although he had a lot of injuries, he celebrated a great comeback last year and ended up 4th. He has big ambitions and a high physical fitness.
And who will be the next female world champion? Karolina Winkowska or Gisela Pulido?
If I have to bet, I would say that Gisela will make it. Even she lost in 2014, she is the better rider. I saw some videos of her kiting. Very impressive.
And the German kitesurfing scene? In the past years we just saw you and Linus Erdmann at the World Cups. What do you think about the young generation?
We have some great talents in the junior section. Instead of a “special one” we have a great base with a lot of good riders and I think that some of them will become a professional. The German Championship is a good way to present them.
What are your plans for 2015?
My biggest target is to get well soon and take part in a World Cup. At some point you will know, that you are ready to give 100% and till then, I have some other project to work on.
Thank you very much and get well soon.