Freya Hoffmeister, the Woman in Black, lives in Husum, North Germany, when she's not traveling for sea kayaking around the world. She's either picking her van, tent or a rental car to sleep in: independence is her lifestyle.
Accomplished in several styles of paddling, including marathon racing, Greenland style rolling, expedition paddling and rough water kayaking and who knows what else she's going to try next. Freya chooses boats, paddles and gear depending on the conditions, her moods, and by pure chance! A squeeze into a squirt boat, a sidestep to white water rivers, a sprint and balance act on a surf ski, its all about variety in life! No time for her to get bored and when you see her having fun playing around or experience her endurance on a race or trip, you might feel what a kayaker's life is all about.
She started kayaking 1997 with a folding kayak on quiet waters, where her newborn son grew up in the back hatch.
In 2003, her interest was raised for the 'rough' waters, exploring with her first sea kayak along Germany's and Denmark's coastline, inviting her to play. In 2004 she participated in her first international sea kayak symposium in Anglesey, which made her instantly hooked and an extensive kayaking travelling career had begun.
FreyaIn open water racing Freya won the Arctic Sea Kayak Marathon in Norway 2004, placed 2nd 2006 in the 300 km race around the Danish Island Fyn, and took 14:07 hrs for a 120 km one-day trip around the Isle of Man.
Having been a former gymnast, bodybuilder and skydiver, Freya has the balance and flexibility needed for rolling. Soon after she started Greenland style rolling, she was already teaching rolls at symposiums all over the world.
In 2005 Greenland style rolling has become her trademark. She had not only mastered most of the 35 Greenland rolls in a very short period of time, but had also made up some of her own, and added some creative balancing movements ON the kayak. Freya won the overall women's class on the 2006 Greenland national championships. Her total of 8 gold medals in rolling and races made her the most successful foreign competitor ever.
She's been a guest teacher in Japan, New Zealand, America, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Finland and Germany so far! Invitaions to Iceland, Israel, Italy and more are on the 2008's list. Combining this teaching with various kayaking trips in the area has been an exciting way of traveling for the last few years.
Freya started her 'longer' expeditions career with a three weeks trip in May 2006 on the remote South Coast of Newfoundland, where she joined Wendy Killoran. Her appetite was wettened now for longer trips on even more challenging coastlines! Together with her partner Greg Stamer, she circumnavigated Iceland in June 2007 in the record time of 33 days/ 25 paddling days only.
A solo trip around the challenging and unforgivable coast line of New Zealand's South Island made her the first woman to circumnavigate, and the 4th person overall, again in the record time of 70 days/ 47 paddling days only.
Freya is part of Justine Curgeven's 'This is the Sea III' video.
She is available for lectures about her trips and with her special rolling classes for symposiums all over the world.