My name is Daniela Moroz and I am a kiteboarder from the San Francisco Bay Area. Your first reaction is probably “what’s kiteboarding?” So, here’s a simple explanation: Kiteboarding is an extreme sport similar to windsurfing or sailing. Instead of having a large sail attached to a boat, in kiteboarding, a single rider harnesses the power of the wind using a large kite and rides a surfboard-style board.
I began kiteboarding when I was about 12 years old, following in the footsteps of my parents, both of which are long-time competitive windsurfers that have chased the wind all over the world. I started competing internationally on the racing world circuit when I was just 14.
In 2016, at 15, I won the Formula Kite World Championships. In January of 2017, I was awarded "Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year" by US Sailing.
My life is centered on a precarious balance between school, homework, swimming, kiteboarding and traveling. My time consists of hours of school, late nights of doing homework, driving to and from the pool and gym at inconceivable hours, training on the water, and of course, flights and airport layovers. The past couple years for me have been especially busy with school (I’m a junior in high school now), and the travel to international events has picked up quite a bit.
I am very lucky to have grown up in a very healthy and active family that highly values nutrition and fitness. In the past few years, I’ve especially come to appreciate the healthy setting in which I was raised. This has led me to develop a true passion for nutrition, and making my own healthy food at home and while I’m traveling.
Growing up in the flatlands of Northern Indiana, you don’t really get to explore epic mountains and it kind of lacks any real adventure, so I had to create my own. At a young age, I started climbing every tree that was possible and when I was finished climbing those, I would climb my neighbors’ houses.
My mom would get phone calls at work saying, “Your son is on my roof again!” I just had all of this energy and excitement for the outdoors, and needed to expel it. I grew up in a family that didn’t really teach or understand the proper nutrition. I love my parents, but it was an open cabinet policy and for the most part, I could snack on whatever, whenever and however I wanted.
After gaining the nickname of “Fat Tom,” I started a challenge where I would only chew gum for 100 straight hours. This somehow turned into anorexia without me knowing, as I would eat an orange and then not eat for two days. After graduating, I eventually gained all of my weight back…plus more. I joined a gym and the owner took me in like her son, not only teaching me about nutrition, health and fitness, but also getting me into yoga and triathlons.
This eventually turned into my first project, where I rode my bike from Newport Beach, CA to Boston, MA. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of what I could do, and I became eager to challenge my mind and body. I followed the ride with a project known as “More Than Just Miles,” where I ran from Seattle, WA to Daytona Beach, FL in support of bringing awareness to a genetic disease known as Cystic Fibrosis.