Conceived in a tent in Mexico and born on a mountainside in Northern California, in a summer rainstorm, Laurel has from the beginning been a powerful force in the universe.
With a surfer dad and activist/artist mother, Laurel was grown from a love for sports, nature, travel, and communication. Learning to walk by chasing the ducks, swimming in the rivers and playing the in garden was just the pre-school necessary to create such a wild and free spirit.
A true wild child, Laurel was a typical rebellious teenager growing up in Southern California, but stayed passionate about sports, playing at a very high level with her volleyball team. Amazingly she pulled through her crazy party stage and developed into a brilliant and motivated student, Laurel whizzed through high school and finished her first year of college at age 16.
Moving to Montana, where the pristine and overwhelmingly powerful Nature dominates, changed Laurel’s life. Driven by an intense love for wild places and outdoor sports like snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking and cliff jumping, Laurel entered into 4 intense years of university, focusing on Environmental Studies, Education, and Spirituality.
With a shiny new degree in Human Ecology in her hand, Laurel wasted no time in beginning her field research, and the day after graduation she boarded a plane for Europe. In the 5 years since, she has been home in California and Montana for only 5 weeks. The gypsy blood of her Slavic ancestors and ambient conditioning of never living for more than two years in one place kept Laurel on the move.
From dancing on bars in Portugal to ripping the mountain in Chamonix, walking dogs in London, teaching in West Africa, guiding young travelers around Europe, filming dolphin encounters in New Zealand and extreme snowboarding and skiing in the South Island, NZ, Laurel has experienced an incredible amount of diverse cultures and lifestyles in her travels.
And then came kiteboarding, and her life would never be the same. With a torn-out magazine page in her hand which depicted the freedom of flying and adreneline Laurel was searching: Flash Austin in an upside down Christ position (deadman) flying over the palm tree lined coast, Laurel bought a plane ticket to Hawaii.
Knowing not a kiteboarding soul, she arrived on Oahu and within 3 days had a job at the local kite shop selling lessons and T-shirts. The head instructor was Jeff Tobias, who immediately took Laurel under his wing and guided her development into the talented kite star she is today. After a year of hard work, teaching and training, Laurel set out once again for Europe, this time with a board bag and a dream to be the world champion.
The world cup tour in 2002 took Laurel to kite in places she never would have imagined. From lakes in Austria to the North Sea, rivers in Oregon, big waves on the North Shore of Maui to the pristine coastline of Brazil. But it seems one place caught her attention more than any other. Hispaniola, one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, home to the Dominican Republic and the world famous kite town, Cabarete.
One thing leading to another, Laurel picked up sponsorship from Hotel Caracol where she lived and trained for the 2003 events. Now it is her permanent home, and even when she is off gallivanting around the world on her adventures, her presence is felt through her kiteboarding school, Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding.
Learn more about Laurel : Read the interview of Laurel Eastman