Jesse is widely known for pushing the limits of Kiteboarding and his relentless stoke. At 28 years old, the thrill-seeking waterman has earned himself an unparalleled reputation in extreme sports. Jesse has set five world records, holds seven world titles, has claimed the King of the Air crown twice, and has been voted kiteboarder of the year 4 times.
Jesse has shaped his mindset from a life of transforming fear into flow.
“I believe that it’s not what you do but how you do it. From a young age, I faced fear-filled situations due to my passion for Kiteboarding. I kept pushing my limits out of a desire to become the best kiteboarder alive. Through this drive, my experiences were flooded with so many feelings and emotions, especially when I took on more than I could handle. It wasn’t that I learned how to land everything, I learned how to crash; I discovered how to fail and get back up. With laser focus, I pushed myself to become who I am today.
I created a theory that has worked for me and can be applied to pretty much any situation. This approach harnesses fear and turns it into fuel for perfect focus and, in turn, to perform at uncharted levels. With the proper preparation, fear is a tool to kick in the turbo thrusters and blast into an altered state of being, where one performance is at its absolute best.
This journey is far from over, and the mindset that I utilize now to calculate risk is ever-evolving. Join me on this journey. Get involved; I want to ride with you, train with you, or work with you to take this sport and our collective mindset to new heights and break the preserved impossible boundaries.
One of the beauties of kitesurfing is the versatility and uniqueness of the sport. You can push the limits and have an incredible time in so many different types of conditions. When Kiteboarding, you are dancing with mother nature and playing with multiple elements. One of the most dynamic disciplines of the sport is kiteSURFING. Surfing with a kite unlocks so many waves and so many ways to ride a wave. I grew up in the small town of Haiku in Maui, Hawaii. Just a few miles from my home is the world-famous big wave - Pe’ahi aka JAWS.
I watched the pioneering, daredevil surfers go out and do unthinkable things at Jaws from a young age. These brave souls danced on waves that everyone else believed to be unrideable. They changed the game forever and lit a fire for the next generation. As one of the young onlookers, I was beyond inspired and knew that I was born to ride Jaws.
After years of competing on the Kiteboarding World tour, my focus changed, and my sights locked onto Jaws. In 2011 I took the leap and went out to kitesurf Jaws for the first time, which many others had done before, but not like I would do it.
“I knew that it would take time, commitment, and extreme perseverance to push the limits out at Jaws. Fast forward to today, and I am in a small group of athletes who base their lives around progression at Jaws. I take absolutely every opportunity I can to get out there. I don’t care if the waves are giant or small (even the tiny days at Jaws are very big and gnarly). If Jaws has waves, I want to be out there for every second I can, as it’s such a learning experience to be in those wild swells. I always try to kite first, but I will take my surfboard out there and give it a shot if there’s no wind. One needs to know the wave inside and out if they want to push the limits. To be the best out there takes a ridiculous amount of time. As we see in other walks of life, victory and success are earned during the time leading up to the challenge, which absolutely applies at Jaws. To win, one is either extremely lucky or well prepared and ready for battle; I don’t like to rely on luck, so I create my own through preparation.
MIND AND BODY
Stoked, Sharp, Strong, Energised, Focused. I aim to feel better than ever before, every day. If I’m ON, I know I’m going to rock it and tackle any challenge that lies in my path. To feel amped and activated daily takes a commitment to prioritizing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The amount of happiness, energy, and drive that we find on any given day tends to be a reflection of how well we are taking care of ourselves.
My universal theory for success can be simplified into these five steps:
I prepare my mind and body for the worst and hope for the best. To be competent riding in the sport’s extreme elements, one needs to follow unique and dynamic training routines.
For example: in Big Waves, a surfer needs to have -
Strength to get themselves into the wave.
Flexibility to absorb any obstacles on the wave.
Mental/physical endurance to calmly make it through the inevitable wipeouts that one might find in huge surf.
If one is adequately prepared, they should go for it; why not?
However, before taking the leap, one needs to analyze all the potential outcomes, be okay with the odds, and trust oneself/one’s training.
Finally, we need to send it, take it all in and go. Embrace all the fear that rushes to the surface and utilize it to fuel the perfect, unmistakable flow state focus.
As we go and take life by the horns, we will surely need to adapt and continuously iterate our plan.
Regardless of the outcome, we will need to recover, absorb what we just did, learn from it and go out there to do it again!
2X RED BULL KING OF THE AIR
2013 & 2020
4X KITEBOARDER OF THE YEAR
2012, 2013, 2016 - AWSI
2020 - IKSURF
6X WORLD CHAMPION
2008 - OVERALL, FREESTYLE, RACING
2009 - OVERALL, KITELOOP, SLIDER
2019 - VICE WORLD CHAMPION - GKA AIR GAMES
BIGGEST WAVES EVER KITESURFED
NAZARE, PORTUGAL 2017
TEAM LONG DISCTACE WORLD RECORD
KITE THE REEF FOR ALS - RAISED USD 500K FOR ALS RESEARCH BY KITEBOARDING 1237KM ALONG THE GREAT BERRIER REEF
RECORD DISTANCE LAND GAP
ARGENTIA - 2016
WORLD RECORD WITH RICHARD BRANSON
5 PEOPLE - ONE KITE - NECKER ISLAND, 2019
STARRING ATHLETE IN NETFLIX FILMS:
NUIT DE LA GLISSE
ADDICTED TO LIFE
DON'T CRACK UNDER PRESSURE
DON'T CRACK UNDER PRESSURE - SEASON 2
FEATURE STORY IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ALWAYS STRIVING FOR
When Jesse’s not out at Jaws, pushing the limits of big air kiteboarding, or leading a luxury adventure experience, he spends his time training, working, and enjoying life. He is constantly training to progress his mind & body to be ready for the next storm. He’s working with his sponsors to achieve their goals through relentless product testing and unique content creation. And he does this all to enjoy each and every day with his family and friends.
“The most extreme and exciting endeavor I’ve ever taken on is starting a family of my own. I found the woman of my dreams, Juliette, and we have been blessed with the most magical baby girl Lou. Understanding what it means to be a father has been so much more than I could have ever imagined; our daughter Lou inspires me to be all that I can be every day in every way. I have the utmost respect for all parents out there and feel beyond thankful to have my two girls by my side. Traveling the world or spending a mellow day at our jungle home in Maui, it’s more fun with my beautiful girls.
JESSE RICHMAN / LIVE IN THE MOMENT