We are proud to share with you a little more about Karol Knopf, who is now part of our incredible team of Expert Locals of Rio de Janeiro.
Karol Knopf has traveled the world on board her stand up paddleboard (SUP). She has paddled around the Paradisiac Islands of Africa (Cape Verde, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, Seychelles), Asia (Myanmar and Mauritius) and also across unexplored rowing places within Brazil (Amazon and Pantanal).
Her last adventure while on her SUP happened while recording for a show on Canal OFF (a Brazilian TV Channel), where she travelled for 60 days, paddling through the Amazon River. Not only did Karol go through wild, inhospitable places, staring at animals like snakes and alligators, but she also carried her son Kai aboard. By the way, he was still in her belly.
Kai was born and is now Karol’s newest passion. While he is still a baby and can´t accompany her on her adventures, she divides her time between paddling out on the ocean and taking care of her child. And, when the sea is too choppy for a crossing, she hangs along the coast to gets some waves. And she does it very well!
(Interview translated by author)
Tell a little about yourself (including what you think no one knows!)?
I am a lover of nature and especially of the sea. I find myself when I am in the salt water, doing any type of sport. I feel complete in the water and it gives me peace and a great feeling of happiness!
Who was your inspiration to start practicing surfing?
My godfather who showed me Surfing and, since I was 15, I’m in love with this sport. I try to have as much fun as possible and always take home some of the energy I get in the water.
Who was your greatest influencer or mentor during all these years?
I do not have an influencer or mentor. I think I always look for what makes me happy, regardless of who, what and where. But it’s always good to watch people who already have a greater ability in the sport and learn something from them, but I do not have a specific name. I think anyone who exhibits something good and positive in the sport will influence me.
What are your favorite spots in Rio de Janeiro?
My favorite place in Rio, undoubtedly, is Prainha. And, I´m always searching for some waves and for paddling at Praia da Barra. It’s close from home and I always have lots of fun.
What about the world? Where are your favorite spots?
I have had wonderful experiences around the world and one of them was in an unforgettable place for me, called Palau. It is a set of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
I also have a huge passion for Indonesia, especially for Mentawaii and Bali. Places like Hawaii, Colombia, Peru, Philippines, Africa, Thailand and the Marshall Islands have left me with beautiful and timeless memories. Oh, alas … just talking already makes me miss them!
Tell what you want to offer on your goFlow Experiences. When you go out with someone for a goFlow Experience, what can they expect from a Session with you?
I will try to show them how the sea is wonderful and can give us such good and pure energy. I want the person to have fun and learn a bit of a sport that offers me peace and a different look every day.
Which board (equipment) do you use? What do you recommended for beginners?
Usually Race boards, which are specific for long paddles, some are more difficult to learn on as they are narrower. For beginners, I advise the most stable and larger boards, which facilitate learning.
The traditional Sup Race I use for the day-to-day paddles, but on my trips, I take an Inflatable SUP because it allows for easy transportation and works as well as a normal SUP.
What do you like best about SUP?
What I like the most is the real feel of walking on the sea and being able to reach any corner of the island or coast, all while doing an exercise that works the whole body.
What are your other hobbies or passions?
I love various sports and I also use the gym to round out my training. My passions are always being in touch with nature and of course my family. And my son Kai ❤
Any tips for before and another for after your session (food, preparation etc)?
One tip for before, would be to use lots of sunscreen, a hat, drink plenty of water and do a brief stretch. And it’s very important to be feeling good.
For after, make sure you refuel with food, get hydrated and to stay in the shade a while, since the session is almost all under the sun.
What does the expression “being in your flow” mean to you?
Being in the Flow for me is allowing yourself to feel the energy of the moment to the maximum.
Describe Rio de Janeiro in 5 words or less.
One of a kind. Beautiful. Contrasts. Life. Receptive.
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