Het blijft je bij!

You know all those things you`ve always wanted to do..? You  should go and do them!

De vraag waarom? Die krijg ik best vaak, het antwoord is simpel: Het blijft je bij!

Ja, het blijft je bij, nee je wordt er niet rijk van. Dat is voor heel weinig weggelegd. Het gaat niet vanzelf, het is keihard werken. En ja met een klein foutje kan alles over zijn. En ja je moet dingen opgeven, keuzes maken, teleurstellen. Maar waarom dan nog? Nog een keer.. Nou, het blijft je bij. Het gaat om het moment van die ene overwinning. En dat blijft je bij.

Dat ene moment. Waar je alles voor gelaten hebt, alles voor gedaan hebt –de weg die je hebt afgelegd, de persoon die je geworden bent – doordat je, je passie hebt gevolgd en niets anders:

De obstakels die je moet overwinnen. De obstakels die je los moet laten om te groeien. Leven gaat niet over vallen, het gaat erom wat je erna doet. Wat je eruit meeneemt en daarmee doet. Slechte dingen gebeuren die kun je niet tegen houden.  Het is allemaal onderdeel van het proces. Jouw groei als persoon en als atleet. Dat blijft je bij, niemand pakt je dat meer af, het is jouw ontwikkeling, jouw weg jouw passie – jouw droom!!

Perfectie kan er niet blijven, je kan niet op de lijn van perfectie blijven, perfectie is de rechte lijn door het leven. Het leven gaat op en neer en zal af  en toe die lijn raken – die perfectie: dat ene moment, die ene piek die jij nodig hebt om te winnen.

Je leert dat dingen in leven niet altijd perfect hoeven zijn, maar af en toe die lijn raken. Dat houdt je gemotiveerd. Dat daagt je uit. Dat laat je keihard werken voor datgeen dat je wilt bereiken.  Ookal krijg je soms de vraag: Wat doe je dan hier? Waarom ben in je in Nederland? Werken hier? Dat is toch niets voor een atleet? Mag dat wel?… Trainen alleen, dat heeft toch geen zin..? Je hebt twee masters..? Onthoudt: Niets is zoals het lijkt.  

“Imperfection is a way of freedom”

Ja, dat ene moment van overwinning.. en de week erna zit je weer gewoon  in de collegezaal alsof er niets gebeurd is sta je gewoon weer shakes te maken, dozen te stapelen,  of  cappuccino’s met hartjes in elkaar te zetten. Alles om toe te werken naar dat grotere moment – je droom waar te maken.  Met een vrolijke goeiemorgen voor die chauffeur,  die nog en lange dag te gaan heeft , maar hem nu wel positief begint ondanks alle chaos, ondanks zijn eigen verhaal. Voor die ene lach van die conducteur, iets kleins wat zijn hele dag weer goed maakt…. En die van jou ook, want het blijft je bij. Dat ene moment, die glimach, die alles toch heel even perfect maakt – dat moment waarvoor je alles doet. Het moment dat het harde werken waard is, ookal is het maar voor even.  Ookal is het iets kleins. Je laat iets achter, het blijft iedereen bij – je laat zien dat een glimlach het waard is, ookal is het voor heel even. Wees de reden van die glimlach, het begin van de goede dag.  Die overwinning is iedereen weer vergeten na een week, maar de weg die jij vrij maakt, wat jij laat zien, de mogelijkheden in het leven, hoe jij je passie volgt, die droom,  de glimlach die jij geeft – dat blijft ze bij! Je kan zoveel meer dan je denkt. Door mijn weg te delen, hoop ik dat ik jullie inspireer om ook je eigen weg te vinden in deze wereld, te geloven in niets en niemand anders als jezelf en je dromen waar te maken.  Doordat jij je passie hebt gevolgd.

You know all those things you`ve always wanted to do..? You should go and do them!

“Representing Possibilities”

Mijn leven is ook niet perfect maar imperfection is a way of freedom. Je kan geen grootheid bereiken met alleen obstakels te overwinnen. Het gaat niet om die te overleven , het gaat erom ze te begrijpen – ervan te leren. Ermee om te gaan en soms te geloven in die imperfectie.  Het gaat om kleine dingen bij succes, geen rommel. Je pakt in voor gevecht, je bereid je voor op een gevecht, je werkt toe naar die piek.  Dingen om je heen moet je leren respecteren, dat geeft je meer controle.  Leren accepteren en leren aan te passen. Het hele proces eromheen, of het werken (cappuccino’s met hartjes maken, dozen stapelen), school, trainen de supermarkt of t` dagelijks leven is. Wat het ook is goede atleten zien uitdaging en pakken die aan. Je gaat voor succes. Of het nou alleen is of met een team om je heen. Elke fout, is een leerproces. Die horen bij het leven, het gaat om de reactie erop.  Als je er toch aan gaat, dan helemaal. Je droom volgen, je eigen passie, niet die van iemand anders. No matter the conditions. Alleen dan gaat het je lukken. Om af en toe die lijn te raken, die lijn van perfectie, die ene overwinning op dat juiste moment! Die glimlach en je droom waar te maken 

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more left to take away. “

Ja en soms lijkt het of je in cirkels loopt, ronddraait en niks bereikt, maar vergeet niet dat een springveer ook uit cirkels bestaat en dat die de weg omhoog laten zien.  De weg naar dat ene moment.

En dat ene moment…. dat blijft je bij J En die ontwikkeling, de weg die je hebt afgelegd, de dingen geleerd, de ervaring, de avonturen, de nieuwe vrienden gemaakt, de inspiratie die je achterlaat:  dat proces, dat proces van imperfectie naar dat hele kleine moment van perfectie dat pakt niemand je meer af, dat maakt je sterk, maakt je wie je bent en laat je glimlachen. En alleen doordat ik mijn passie heb gevolgd, en mijn droom.  Dus daarom 

“Sometimes – Dreams do come true”

Blijf imperfect, blijf jezelf, klim de berg zodat jij de wereld kan zien, niet omdat de wereld jou kan zien. Geloof in dat ene moment en die lijn – ook al is die klein.  Op je eigen manier.  Er bestaat niet iets zoals een perfect werk – leven- studie -familie balans. Alles wat het vechten voor waard is brengt je leven in onbalans.  Wees niet bang om te vechten voor je dromen en wees niet bang voor een beetje onbalans – soms brengt dat je juist naar de beste momenten!  En daarna …. trek je het gewoon weer recht! Volg je passie, en je eigen droom – vertrouw op je eigen keuzes!

“Perfect people arn`t real and real people.. they ain`t perfect – Be brave, Be kind & Be YOU! ”

The dream of every polar bear!

Is it necessary? Do they have to? You make them do this?  No, no & no. Cold? Yes of course.  Is it fun YES, will I do it again YES, regrets? Not at all.

Off course there have been moments I had to defrost my lines inside the mc Donald’s or another restaurant close by to roll them…days I had  to hair dry my safety before I could unhook my kite and go home – that battery pack and solar panel on the van are great use in winter time too. And I regret the day I forgot  bringing hot water to open my wetsuit…  And yes there have been and still are moments my hands hurt so much I can’t talk anymore and the tears are coming out of my eyes.

But it`s better than nothing a whole winter long is it!? Why …?? I give you 10 reasons for winter fun. Embrace them –  after all its: The dream of every polar bear!

  1. Space 

Ride the locations you normally avoid. Sounds awesome right…. That butterflat spot just there in the corner, always crowded with students and teachers, angry, yelling – always in your way and crashing kites suddenly and everywhere. Guess what? Its empty now!   Or that spot close to shore everyone always complains about… well go for it, now – everyone is not here today. .. I really love the space on the water, for me it is 100% worth the cold (- thanks to the nice weather – kiters).  I actually learned my first unhooked tricks and kiting in wintertime  .

Thanks to dad driving me and pulling of my shoes on the end of the session if I couldn`t feel a thing anymore.  And mum for always leaving space drying my wetsuit around the heaters or on the floor during the night – which is also warm.

2. Friends

You got to meet the true diehards and locals at your spot. And I am always surprised that those people are the windsurfers, and mostly   (no offence- only respect!! ) the older people I find out there at the spot.  I like it when they tell me about the real winters some years ago ( and gave me some useful tips to survive the “cold”). Yes we … the younger ones are spoiled – easy get a ways to nice places, thick wetsuites without holes etc. We have to admit we ain`t that tuff yet! But these people are great to meet. And because only the real ones are out there, you make friends faster, sometimes friends for live.  And yo might even find your new boy/girlfriend out there! 

3. Parking

Yeaah usually that kiteschool is grounded right before the entrance of the spot,  your friends are always earlier and have taken the last best spots – for you a walk left over and parking on a sketchy road next to the dirty ditch.  In winter time… you can park basically wherever you want! Alwayssss.. on top of the spot. More motivation needed?

4. Useful sessions

It`s cold, its painful at times (depending how much polar bear you are..?) , so the sessions will be shorter. The only way to have as much fun for me was to make them more productive. Already guessing you will be changed quicker, talk less. Set your goals and go for it focus on the tricks and progression.  Its more quiet on the water so more trick attempts in a row… no excuses anymore!  I did forgot about the cold when focusing on that trick.  Bonus you will be on time home for dinner, because its dark soon anyway! 

5. Pushing the Limits

Get used to it. Push the limits. Some (I don’t mention names.. also the older or in other words the more experienced ones)  told me cold is an emotion you can switch it off… But it must be me- I have never found that switch…. It is cold, it hurts and my hands are falling off – no matter what. So my advice:  just deal with it. I always keep in mind – it can only go up from now. Autumn is easy now – trust me!

Just like the first:  BRAIN FREEZE…… the first crash is always the worst, after this you can run the world. And when your hands hurt and warm up again.. it hurts, but you know its gonna hurt – better be prepared.

6. Your time to shine

This is your moment of fame. Not too many people on the water, so it`s your time to kite in front of that camera, your time to shine –  getting the shots. Sharing Stoke with people on the shore, taking pictures spontaneously – usually the non-kiting (still loving winter) ones. Because finding a volunteer for holding a camera and getting cold fingers… could be a problem.  

7. Take the chance

Well maybe I shouldn`t include this one.. but sometimes  you are allowed to bend the rules a little is it?  As long as you don`t ask permission, no-one can say no is it?  Now it’s the time to…. Cross…., try that…… kite on wing places or wing on windsurf places.. launch your kite in the next ditch or……For the foilers the seagrass is gone in winter time.. GO for it!!

*disclaimer: all these tips are on your own risk…

8. Appreciation & courage

Because the hot shower is worth so much more after a freezing cold session. And the session is worth even more, be proud on yourself you went out there even though it probably only lasted for one hour. To appreciate this you have to stand out in the cold. That takes courage.  Don’t worry, many others never tried. You are a hero now!  

9. Memories forever – leaving wet & sandy footprints – all over…

Frosty landscapes, snow, Ice cracks. Frozen hair, frozen lines, no safety, too cold hands, tears of pain.  And how you fixed it to bring it home… how many times I had to walk into the shops or sit in the car , cry before I could rol my lines.. These moments , these  memories last forever and are worth a lot

  • .Like the times I put on my wetsuit in a warm banking office – the once that are always open… or in the train… sorry for the salt, sand and water.
  • Or need to go shoping or getting petrol in full suit, because I didn’t really think it though.. going to the spot in wetsuit and back home to the warm shower in wetsuit….
  • All the hotels I used to change on a warm place…………
  • Chased by the owner of  the gym…

10. The dream of every polar bear!

Why not..?? These sessions, although cold, make me enjoy thel ittle moments again. They make me appreciate HOME.  The nice surroundings that are usually taken by kites… or just the people walking that bring the smile after seeing you kiting the ice. It’s fun and I will never miss out on it!  Ice and cold: The dream of every polar bear!  Be brave, take it as it is and absorb it:

 You want notice when its summer or winter when you are happy and having fun! 

Don`t forget the ice – scraper and the dog for the mental support!

The moments that matter! – the year of 2020.

The year of 2020 – The moments that matter 

Hope you all enjoy your 2021 as far as possible!?

Starting the year of 2021 in the freezing cold of the Netherlands… frozen hands on the water,  I missed that.. NOT. But hey,  I can’t complain a few years earlier I earned to kite in the middle of the ice. (it’s still feels like summer now  ) … Winter just became my new summer!  

While at the moment of writing this little story,  the politicians are discussing the evening clock and all rules I don`t even know about yet – But hey!  today its 45 knots and above 5 degrees, we are allowed outside.. that means WINNING!!  And that’s what matters!

“we can`t control everything that happens, but we can change our experience of those things”

 … Lately I get a lot of questions about my 2020 and about my 2021.. and what the hell am I doing in the cold on the water.. working every night….since mannyyy years.  “When are you leaving again? Training? Competitions? Travelling? Is it possible? Cancelled? Postponed?  Well,  I don’t have the answer either – it`s all difficult and strange, with a feeling am I doing it right or …… what will happen if ……”. It has been a year of chasing freedom, home gyms….and new experiences. Learning to enjoy the moments that matter!  Leaving to train has become expensive with all obligatory tests etc… and risks not to come back or… cancelled. So meanwhile I make the most of being HOME! 

2020 – You have been one hell of a  stormy year in all directions!  Yet an extremely though year, for some more than others. But it can`t rain forever (even not in Holland) and the dark clouds, they come to pass not to stay – don’t worry, I promise.

I (we) have been “home” more than “normal”. And that’s when…I realized, there’s no going back to “normal”.  It will never be the same. The world changed and so did we.  .  Sadly seeing people leave this world (are they victim of the virus or the rules?), on the other side lives are saved, I  lost and I learned,  we cancelled and found new opportunity’s, I closed doors and opened new ones, got stuck but created new ways. After all, all around the world life is not the way it used to be – anymore. So many questions, but there are no answers – just choices, life is to be lived. Just because things are not at their best right now does not mean that we should give up or shouldn’t enjoy the moments we actually can! Yes we haven’t been training as we wanted or competing the way it is supposed to be… reaching the goals we wanted to, everything is uncertain – it is what it is. And yes life is unfair at times, and it might be not the year I (we) hoped for.. what  did I hoped for anyway….???

I just want you to know: There are rules, but there is really no wrong way. There is not a specific “right way” to go through this pandemic. Neither there is “an award” for who is the best or the most miserable going through this. There is no government in the whole world saying “fun” is cancelled.(and that’s an important one I personally think!)  Neither that we should go in social isolation or finger point at each other. While appreciation, cancelled,  social distance, acceptance, quarantined, evening clocks, virtual dinner, balcony bingo and shared screen meetings are the new words we learn. Neighbor bush tennis is a new sport and patience is a big part of our “new” lives now.  

And yes this year might destroyed some lives, dreams, families – everyone  struggled. And yes there are no promises 2021 will be easier. Simply because: you can`t prepare for the future. We never know what life might throw at us tomorrow….. 

“it isn`t where you came from, it is where you going now – that counts”

So I made up one rule this year, finding out the things I wanted to do wouldn’t work out as usual:

Don’t miss out on the right things worrying about all the bad & wrong things:  All you can do is focus on the good, the reasons to smile, to laugh and do the best you can!! Take care of yourself and those around you – focus on the moments that matter!

 ……..because  once this storm is over you won`t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won`t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won`t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm`s all about. And so you should make 2021 another storm to never forget for yourself- wherever you are and whatever you do! Be brave be kind and be YOU!

The moments that matter – 2020 I:

  • Started off in  Cabarete, with lots of kiting in all disciplines and new adventures and friends, ready for more foiling and snowkiting the weeks after (I thought).
  • Snowkiting competitions ended up with lots of free snowboarding and skiing instead.
  • Learned for the first time about the Covid 19 and quickly realized it wasn’t a joke: Everyone and all underestimated this virus, not realizing what kind of impact it would have on our family’s and lives. What this virus will take from us and how hard we will face the reality after… But maybe also a bit what it will bring us.
  • Broke my wrist with while skating .. oooops. But if I had to anyway – the timing was perfect.  Got finally back on the water in June. That made me make more walks than ever, discovered the dunes just around the corner…but no, walking ain`t for me – yet.  But I  also learned to surfskate,  endless rides on the new swell…the concrete waves. Which was way more fun!
  • Got myself a new challenge and inline skated 100 km & 120 km – which was pretty cool to do. And I will do it again some time  next up: rondje markermeer……………
  • Learned to wing & that’s where the door opened into a new direction on  gusty lakes… they instantly became fun!  Tried to SUP foil for the first time in my life… costed some bruises and some fights in the waves, but ..yet another door opened……… And I also went on a little wing adventure which taught me some more ocean knowledge.  Did my first attempt to surf foiling – which I still suck at for the moment and – I am a bit scared for… the mast the waves, the leash.. But to be good at something you have to suck at something first is it… ??
  • Flew a 21m for the first time(without downlooping it  straight into the water). Finally took the floaters & the chickenloop of the bar…………. Also…. Decorated a pole on the beach as a Christmas tree with my kite … somewhere in spain…….  Oooops….Still not the most skilled “foil nerd” out there…learning every day 
  • Worked more than ever (- people keep on ordering) – counted teddy bears on the road (bicycle) to work. Through the empty streets and city centre of the first lock down.  No partying people anymore in the city in the middle of the night, whishing me good luck at work.  And the second lockdown made it even worse, I can`t imagine a Friday evening with partying people anymore…?? I need to have permission to be outside t cycle to work every night… and yet I explain it every night….because police officers are just doing  their work.
  • Learned Balou (our dog) what kiting is all about.
  • Travelled for the first time again during the whole covid situation:  To spain for the Spanish tour, became third.  Realized I needed a bit more practice.
  • Discovered kitespots in Germany, camping with all (!) kitegear, winggear & foil gear.  Twintipped more than I foiled. – but enjoyed every moment!
  • Became 20th on the individual Europeans in Poland. Kited in more seaweeds than I would have ever imagined.  Finally legal, participated my first ever team event as Dutch team in Austria at the europeans (the new Olympic class). Which was fun to do.
  • Slept in a van for over a month, drove more than 6000 km in total with my co driver:  DOG. Meanwihhile……Killed 4 phones in a year incl. simcards – personal record. Reconnected with my best friend on the road the VW van.  read more Learned everything about how to convert a van, how to install solar panels, a window, became an electrician, still learning for car mechanic though.
  • I have been HOME with Christmas! (right on time for dinner). No Christmas tree but a house full of kites boards, skates, skateboards, skies snowboards, wings and love  its Christmas every day at our house. I have been awake during the Dutch New Year. (that has been a while……).. and HOME.
  • After tooo many requests I finally started the shop again… still a work in progress project.. but coming sooooooon for you guys toooooo!!  So from frozen to liquid water you can support my dreams and become part of my road around the foiling world again.. representing the Dutch on competitions and trying to reach the top in kitefoiling!!    Anyway … stay tuned! 

I should have… I wish… I planned … ooohw: cancelled!  I miss.. but I embrace what I have and appreciate HOME!! Grateful for the little getaways and training moments we have now and then.  I can still work, study and am still al live – which is pretty cool  . The most valuable things in life cannot be seen, bought or touched – 2020 taught me.

The Netherlands became our new adventure project with the kite, sup , surf foil, wing, skates, skateboard AND  winter just became my summer so let`s enjoy it!

From being unplanned, flexible  and unorganized, too creative and making a mess, to all of that  finally works out in a good way, because 2020 was and 2021 still is all about that!  Stop swimming against the current (accept life is what it is and it will be unfair sometimes) – it doesn’t make any  sense, go with the flow:  be imperfect, be that one that says; “Nah that ain`t for me”- set your own goals and go or it – even though its different!

 Keep shreddin`  & see you out there!! 

The 2020 Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay Europeans

” Experience can`t be learned and every experience is worth having!”

Last week, the 15th -20th of September 2020 The Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay Europeans took place. It was the first dedicated event in the 2024 Olympic racing format. One format – 20 team – existing out of one man and one woman –  9 nations all together at one lake: The Traunsee in Austria. Might be even one of the last events for the European winter time. Well, I have to admit I have never been in Austria in summer time. Austria proofed itself to be a nice kitefoiling scene and a perfect summer destination – although it wasn’t that warm on the water all days.  

The format is mixed team relay so that means one man and one woman from the same nationality form a team. Together with Sven as team buddy and Casper as the coach we travelled to Austria to discover this new Olympic racing format and squeeze some points in for the Netherlands in this European Championship.   

It is our very first team relay (besides a little try-out the day before we left from the 2nd stop of the Kitefoilcupholland). Personally,  I have seen different try outs last year on the individual formula kite worlds and the Europeans. Unfortunately I could never participate, by than I was alone and without a team or coach. Super stoked that since last year Kitefoilteamnl started. It’s a trainings group formed by fanatic kitefoilers of the Netherlands with Casper Bouman as our coach. Everything is super new for all of us and the level of the competition was super high.  Each event the level is rising and big steps are taken – That I know already! Especially when knowing the sport will be in the Olympics of 2024, all countries are forming teams and finding ways to train and develop themselves to be the best. That’s exactly  the reason we give the European team relay a GO. Didn`t expect anything, we had no idea what to expect anyway! We have to start somewhere so this journey will be one big experience for all of us. Bringing home more knowledge that we can use to grow our skills and  rise the level within our team so we grow together and pass the knowledge on to next generations. All with the goal to reach the top level and compete international. Besides that, this event we set the focus on our own small goals, be better than the day before. Have fun, make mistakes and learn.

The competition:

The first days Lake Traunsee delivered some perfect, sunny  18m weather! We had a little tour around the lake, enjoying the nice surrounding and views from the water. In Holland we only see the water, dunes or the beach – no mountains indeed our country is flat as a pancake. Also the past weeks we had strong wind and waves back home. And now? Amazed by how flat the water can be! 

The first two days are super difficult for us – but we did learn every race. We will compete in fleets of 6 teams, back to back -3 fleets. The first day the men start the second day the woman starts. Changeover is a swimming relay – from the water. The last finishing team member that is what counts for the score. The day the competition started the weather decided to be a bit difficult. The locals promised us if there are no clouds there will be wind later on – the thermal breeze will kick in – sure thing. But if there are clouds… We played a little waiting game before the AP suddenly went down.  We managed to do 2 races before the wind died off again. Some parts of the course had a lot of wind while suddenly in the other end the wind disappeared. Luckily everyone struggled a bit into this conditions – blame the clouds.

Second day, again the wind has been on and off, super light and strange. Some moments nothing at all, while some moments it was perfect. In between the AP sends us back to the beach or again out on the water.  A big challenge already started early on the beach not to fly away starting my kite at the little grass launch area (thanks to the English coach holding my feet on the ground)- not to get tangled – end up swimming before even starting the race. The light wind conditions were difficult -but for everyone. As well as the course is super short and with a lot of movements – so no mistakes allowed.  

Story of these days: I made a super light wind tack and crashed the easy gybe after… missed out on the finish mark but luckily or not my teambuddy was already swimming in the light wind of the changeover area. That all happens, without mistakes we never learn.  This day our focus was related to the starts and change overs. To make them perfectly on time – which is totally not that easy as it looks like.  As well as doing these simple things good – no matter the conditions.  And that’s where we did a good job in the last 4 races of the day. Showing we grow in the event.

The third & fourth day

Qualification series are done and the fleet will split up into gold, silver and bronze. Ups and downs for everyone the past days. From this day we had to race in the bronze fleet and try to make our way up as far as we can. Focusing on that changeover and the first starts. As well as staying out of trouble.  Some fun and close racing we had in this fleet. Happy with the progress we made and making up for the first days. Getting to know the format and getting used to the track with the gybes and laylines. Starting to understand what is important and seeing what we can improve to get the best out of ourselves.  Work on our technical skill,  time/ distance management . And also starting to get used to the foil and the kites everyday a bit more. We took every race as a new begin and went for it. The only down point might be the waiting time on the water – which is a bit long and the spot not that big.

Final day

Called: Super Sunday. It’s the day of the finals. We unfortunately didn’t made it to the top 2 in our fleet to get a change to race the finals. But we did our best and learned a lot! We had one last race today, with the 15ms –finally. This day we finally could decide who started first and who second. We mixed it up a bit to have some fun – Ending up 17th  overall. 

That’s it for us now it`s time to watch the exciting finals & have some fun ourselves after – this lake is to enjoy after all! J Thanks for racing and showing us ow its done sometimes. Congratz to Connor and Ellie of the British team winning the final and becoming European champions 2020!

A lot learned and a lot to learn

The format is exciting – fast and fun. I like the part of the changeover and that it is a team relay. The short course is fun and technical and makes it exciting especially when its super close racing at the bottom marks. It took me some time to find my way through this format and to focus on the things needed. I had to make some mistakes to learn that.  What I enjoyed too is that it`s bringing up another level of game play and strategy. From not knowing what to do and what to expect to developing more knowledge and skills. The last days I started to get it, had more fun racing and now I am even more motivated for what’s coming the next events! 

Glad we managed to go to this event at least with one team and bringing home a loooooooot of good experience to share with the rest of kitefoilteamnl. ” Experience can`t be learned and every experience is worth having!”. We are not there yet but closer every day! And I believe as a team together we can do this and rise the level of the kitefoiling in The Netherlands.  So we can participate and represent the Dutch with more teams next time! 

Get to know more about kitefoiling and kitefoilteamNLWhat is kitefoiling? My kitefoiling adventure

What is kitefoiling

*Note that not long after writing this article: Olympic kitefoil racing became individual. Two medals one for man & one for woman. (see the other blog about the Olympic individual kitefoil racing)

What is kitefoiling?

When mentioning its perfect kitefoil weather.. Or having an awesome foil session in 10 knots. Yet, sometimes I still get dazzled eyes asking what the heck is hydrofoiling / kitefoiling?!

It’s just another new generation of kitesurfers flying over the water like Aladdin on his carpet… their very own magic carpet. These days Kitefoilen /hydrofoiling / kitefoiling has reached the tipping point. With loads of new people entering the world of floating above the water in silent speed and no chop.  What once began as a bit of a fad for the people looking for something different, or – no offence – something for the older people – it has now become a mainstream attraction for young and old. All over the world.

Might be because one of the biggest benefits is that you can comfortably ride in light wind conditions – which where before better known as no wind conditions. Kitefoiling or hydrofoiling does not require a lot of wind, which makes it very popular in light wind areas or on light wind days. But in decent wind it can be fun to. Kitefoiling is not only limited to racing, and flying in silence above the water. No, jumping, handle passes, riding waves…….  With a hydrofoil..??

So yes, A hydrofoil is a surfboard with a wing attached to a mast underneath the surfboard. When generating enough speed on the water, the wing has the ability to lift you and your board out of the water. Bit like an airplane. This decreases drag by a huge amount as your board is not touching the water anymore, giving you the sensation of flying over the water. Yep like…… Aladin. It is something complete new and different than kiteboarding in general. Furthermore, there is no sound! You’ll ride in absolute blissfulness as you’re not affected by the chop of the water anymore. Sounds nice right? or to good to be true..?

Kitefoil racing

Now with the rise of the hydrofoil, it’s allowed kitefoil racing to become a well-regarded international sailing sport, so much so that it’s been accepted into the Olympics of 2024. And the Worlds in Scheveningen, the Netherlands – 2022. With the hydrofoil, the racing side of the sport has been taken to new heights. For now, being the fastest sailing craft around a course, other than an Americans Cup boats, it makes for some pretty exciting scenes – both for the spectator and participant!  Speeds of more than 65 km/hour are reached.

Kitefoil racing implements his racing events like a yacht or sailing race along a course, that involves both speed and tactics. Boards with hydrofoils  & foil kites are the equipment to race on. The goal is to outperform other kiters and come first in the race – the fastest and smartest.

Formula kite – Olympic discipline

This is the high performance hydrofoil class, using regulated registered series equipment. The equipment is selected by the world sailing As kiteboarding equipment for the Olympic event in 2024.  The format will be mixed team relay. But also the individual Europeans and the worlds are under this discipline.

Kitefoil World Series – Pro Tour

This is a full development class, an open class – with minimum equipment regulations. Here the newest developed hydrofoils & foil kites are allowed to be used and tested among the other equipment.

Kitefoil Mixed team relay – Olympic format

For the Olympic format and all competitions related to formula kite. Kitefoil Racers are allowed to register one hydrofoil and up to four foil kites for use at the games or any other formula kite event – you can register every event again. Both men and women will be able to use kites from 7 to 25 meters and will race in anything from 5 to 40 knots, depending on the water/weather conditions.  The equipment that racers can register will be decided upon by World Sailing every three years rather than all competitors being bound to a ‘one design’ system in which they would have to race on identical equipment made by one manufacturer. Instead, providing they stick within the guidelines, so all riders will be able to fine-tune their quiver and to suit their own  riding style, bodyweight and personal preferences just as they’re allowed to in other Olympic sports like snowboarding and skiing as well.

The kitefoil mixed team relay will be a short track on a short windward / leeward course. The team should consist out of one man and one woman from the same nationality. The team members will be covering  alternating laps with a changeover zone. But there are some more suggested other options of race formats to test. Competition will most likely consist of an opening series of heats. A knockout stage or other form of final in which the winner of that last race wins the event.

Overall it is  expected that races will last in the region of 10 minutes for 3-4 laps of the course. This Olympic mixed team relay for the kitefoilers will the first time a relay format of this type has appeared in any Olympic sailing discipline. It would no doubt be an engaging one to watch. With the hope of World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee is that the massive wind range that foil racers are able to compete in will guarantee some spectacular racing for everyone!

Winning at the Olympics will be about being the fastest racer, not the best equipped racer!

Formula Kite Series Spain 2020 Alarcón & Castellón

The Formula Kite Series Spain, the first two stops took place in Alarcón & Castellón from the 10th of jully until 21st of july

Beaches are opening, cities around the world might slowly be coming back to life (except for some trying to break the world record of lockdown ). But then I realized, there’s no going back to “normal”. The world changed, things changed, families changed and so did we. Everything is different. But the formula kite Spain found a way to host the events anyway. On a safe and responsible manner. It just asks some discipline from the people around.

There is no going back to normal I already did know that – some weeks & months ago. But, luckily for us there is a going back to the water, going back to competing a bit! And for me a going back to the water and foiling after a way too long break with breaking my arm- sliding some rail on skates …. And 4 months without kiting -oops.

Yes, not that much training, but a good way to go and jump back into some competitions again – I thought at least. And convinced by Jis, training buddy and also part of kitefoilteamnl we made ourselves (as far as possible) ready to go!

Sooo yep, the past two weeks have been all about the Formula kite Series in Spain. First in Alarcón & second in Castellón.  Representing the Dutch    I must say it was a bit weird travelling in this time and wearing the mouth mask. Something I really had to get used to – thought I wouldn`t survive that. Just like thinking what the rules are before entering a shop or an airplane……. Having breakfast with hand gloves, personal sticks and mouth masks.. after showering in disinfection. Its all part of the game now… …  

First destination: Alarcón

Alarcón was an interesting spot. It seemed like in the middle of nowhere, following the gravel roads in between the sunflowers ending at a long blue lake! Surrounded by small mountains and lots of green nature. It actually looked perfect. Great scenery for foiling.  And it was. On the water it was super nice! With the sun the water was bleu. The wind was a little bit of an adventure in between the mountains and the long lake with the wind blowing crosshore.

For the foiling competition the course had to be in the length of the lake. It appeared just wide enough – at some wind shifts it wasn’t? or it made it just more fun playing with the laylines to get it to the mark rounding. Let`s say it was much more interesting racing like this than just making long lines – good for us because now your own skills and plans are getting more important than always having the best and fastest equipment.  Which we don’t have yet, cause it is super expensive….

The kiteschool and organization in Alarcón  made us feel welcome and explained everything about the spot and surroundings.  So the first day we didn’t had the wind, but in the evening a big storm with a lot of rain and thunder. That day it was nice to meet up with some riders again from spain, France, Poland, Rusia. The day after was a super light wind day – as we all know NOT my specialty. But I did enjoy a ride with my 18m. It was hard sometimes, because the wind was super strange – some wind holes and some good wind and sometimes you had to be patient. But anyway we had our first ride and I made it back to the shore without swimming – fun to try the spot.

The weekend after is  the competition. The first day was fun we did 4 races. And we had some “decent “wind. At times it was more than enough and at times I was asking myself if I lost the wind somewhere on the track. It was hard to figure out where the wind was and play with it. Also because sometimes your laylines were just not fitting in the lake. The first race I was a bit confused as usual, just looking what went around. But the second, third and fourth I did know what to do. 4 nice – 15m races J  The next day we did 3 races more and there was still some clouds, thunder and rain around which made it difficult to set up the track and have stable winds.

In the end I finished 3rd  (which they still don’t know at the podium ceremony. Because on the website I was at that moment 4th….) and 15 overall out of 36 competitors.

Next destination:  Castellón

Castellón is a spot on the Spanish coastline. Feels good to see the palm trees and the nice sand again! Here we have been training with some other competitors the days before the next competition over the weekend. The days before the competition we had some challenging wind. And with challenging we mean light wind.. sometimes light wind sometimes nothing. A big challenge for me at least ) and for our older kites to keep them `flying’. The definition of kite washing and titanic are born on this beach. I even had a ride back to the shore behind the other kiter with my kite washed.. thanks – saving me a swim 

 Surprisingly into the competition we had two days of nice wind. The first day started with light wind so we took the bigger kites but after two races.. it was oke and we could already switch to smaller sizes. The races were on the open sea and more making stripes than playing with laylines and tactics. Here the difference in material became more clear and we missed something in the end – speed / angle upwind.  We already did know that, but fighting against it is sometimes difficult. I just started to see it as training – competition – that made it better and I had fun anyway. The second day was a bit sketchy / it seemed not that much but in the first races it was more than enough, the last race became less and .. the 18m decided the last race that it was enough and it dropped out of the sky  – going for a swim – just before the starting line. But I liked this day , searching for wind and challenging conditions.

I ended up 3th / 4th  (which they didn’t know at the podium ceremony. Because on the website I was still 3th….) and 23 overall out of 37 competitors.  Well that made up for the last time 

The scores were not always that clear and on the end of the day a bit mixed up. Well I was not there to win anything , just for fun and to get back on the foil and into competing, before starting to train again in the Netherlands!   Oke and maybe a bit to see the development in the equipment…..with the Olympics in 2024,  the material will be settled for the next upcoming years. But which or what will be the fastest in which conditions…? Or with what rider…? Or… what skills!

We had some awesome weeks, two super good organized events and we met some great people.

You know?  before the foiling and this year I have never been to Spain… Thanks for the Fun & racing Spain, we will return for sure! And being our own travel agent worked out quit well! We arranged everything ourselves: Low – budget and with no mistakes we completed the mission  And brought home some more knowledge for everyone.

Individual European Championship Formula Kite – Puck, Poland.

Individual European Championship Formula Kite (kitefoilen) – Puck, Poland, better know as seewead party.

Keep hustling & Smile! .. & The story of the last race..?

Let’s start at the beginning where I have to admit, in the first place I really didn’t want to go at all.  I closed the door a bit and had some fun learning how to fly the wing and getting back some freestyle in Germany – while camping with our kites. Far away from all the material and training discussions – conclusions and also on the other hand the positive team vibes. Knowing I missed a lot of training – don’t break your arm while skating guys. But that’s me , that’s how I learn, by doing, messing- up , falling and only than you know how to get back up. Own up what you didn`t do right and if you learn from it, it is an experience – not a mistake. And that’s why I decided to go to the Europeans  anyway. In Spain I had fun but I did know I had to train and adjust a bit, equipment wise and training wise. Just one and a half month back out there. Never flown new kites/ bars. But Hey! Being part of this event will be already a  learning experience as always. – and you have to stay up to date is it? -See how fast everyone is nowadays! and It has been a while since an official event, that made me curious about the riding level and the new gear for the Olympics. Still not everyone could make it and is allowed to travel. According to the right regulations, the international kiteboarding organization did her best and organized an event for us in Europe, Puck – Poland.  Online skippers-meeting and WhatsApp updates are the new common rules.

Day 1:  So definitely I wasn`t  yet the most motivated person – trying (missed the opening and the practice race already  ).  And yep if you see the scoring (some of you did)… I did a bit of a collecting DNC`s party. Not intentionally. Because I wasn’t motivated didn’t mean I started to fight and found the motivation to try to make to most out of the event and out of every day –  after the first starting signal.

Actually the first seaweed race I did pretty well with a 15th place. There was not a moment without half of a tree behind your mast or wings.  Trying to jibe like … crash or just holding on the edge. Burning legs to keep up the foil on the reach – also a strange feeling – the reach never seemed that long and slow.. usually the  most fun part of the race became the most sketchy part of the race.  The second race I ended up…. Wrapping a wet burrito and swimming. One point for the burrito team. Someone decided to fly up the kite without reason… and bump mine inside out in some way. The races after I did  a 17th & 20th place – all day with the 18m. Sounds like a perfect foiling day 

 Day 2:  The next day was kind of the same, starting with the 18m. I had one big struggle to go out, the wind was a bit offshore, the exciting beach to launch, in between the trees with 4 people holding the kite to catch every bit of wind… and you had to be lucky in a gust to sail away. I washed my kite already before the race even started. The wind was super shifty and … I didn’t know what the kite was doing at all. Good thing the race committee had to reset the course. Thanks to the guy in the water helping the soaked kite relaunching. Well better late than never I was just on time for the start of the first race.

The second one I washed my kite once again – it`s pretty clean by now – and my burrito skills are still on point…  It was a bit of an unavoidable tangle after a gybe with squeezed in peoples crashes and other gybe`s. But sometimes you meet new friends out of it – maybe we start the conversation on the beach next time..  J It`s not always going as planned, you just have to keep smiling and move on – let it be.  I did know the routine now and I found the perfect field to dry the kite already yesterday. Thanks to all the camping people who left the campsite during the day….  The next two races the wind did pick up and 15m was perfect. For once I could really race and I had the feeling , just the feeling there was less weed. I just finished the races – no tangles anymore today. Just some kite bumping … seems normal in our fleet nowadays.  And it really was hard to get through and avoid the crashes in between crashes or tangles.  Sometimes a bit like dolphin through the seaweeds over the finish line – around the 17th / 20th place. But I definitely had a smile on my face because it was fun – not sure if I was the only person but… It was a nice day with the 15m – couldn’t get any better compared with the conditions we had. We did had some nice fights downwind and into the finish reach.

Day 3: A Windy day! The third day was a bit more windy, 11m  day – for me at least. This time my kite stayed actually dry until the second race. Achievement!  So…. I could enjoy the break racing for myself J Making the best out of the day. You never know what happens tomorrow. And I made the deal with myself to have fun and enjoy! After the break the wind dropped a bit, I didn’t dare to go back and kept flying with  the 11m . While I saw with a question marked face some 25 meters up in the sky…. Let’s say I just finished the races today. 18th /20th places. Because I lost it a bit in the downwind where I usually win ground. Still we had some nice battles and tangle avoid moments.

Day 4: So now the wind comes from the other direction and we have to launch from another – even smaller beach. People at the dock next to it are looking ….what is happening here… ? at the beach no-wind .. out there…? You never know.

A little fight with the 18m to keep it up into the air and the foil to go out. We managed to do one race, a super strange one – with shifting winds, a loooot of wind and no wind.. missing lay lines all together in the shifts and not so much seeweads. None compared with the past days.  We did almost fly away on the top mark and lost all the wind downwind … On the way aback to the beach in doubt to change for a smaller kite.. the half of the fleet was already swimming. I waited outside till the gust could give me a ride to the beach. No swimming for the 18m this time. Before we could go out again, the rain started and the water became glassy. The races where postponed. Well we tried our best to avoid it .. but the girls had to try one more time getting out there – yes, because it looks so nice out there – heard this joke before… good thing I waited to the very last moment. To not swim in front of the beach. Good choice because the rest of the day, no wind and just rain made it the end for today.

Final day:  The top 14 will fight for the last two spots in the final. The final will be held between the top 4. Whoever wins three takes the title; European Champion (with taken in account the scoring of the days before). This time I could watch, because I didn’t make I through. The rest of the competitors had a last race on the end of the day. To be honest I wasn’t that keen to do the whole dress up party for one race but hey – I felt I had too anyway. So yes, scraping the last bit of motivation together,, coming on the beach and seeing: the struggles to go out, the gusts, some strange ones, kite sizes from 9m to 25m…. Help..? choosing 15m what’s just in between but after feeling that gust – I quickly chickened out and switched to 11… why not another kite on the beach just for one last race .. is what I really thought.

So finally we come to this question:

You know the story of the last race..?? keep hustling & Smile. Or ..?

 Yep –  I never actually made it to the last race…not further than the start. I kept hustling but:

After some struggles (kite falling out of the sky – shooting back up etc.) I got out easily if you compare it with other days. Dry kite, foil still in my hands, not flown away. But on the beach I noticed something wasn’t straight but everyone said noooooo its oke.. I couldn’t  feel it good because of the gusts and the wind – looking at my kite with a face pleaseee stay in the air – pleaaase don’t do anything stupid kite. But soon I noticed… depower shooted through the safety system…or something like that. But now I was outside,  one race I can handle that. (I tried to pull it trough but flew away ,… ) and it was actually already start sequence. 10 meters after the start I hit some plastic and crashed that made everything worse –I couldn’t hold on to the kite.  the not straight flying kite. I did the promised 360 back  to the beach.  So the story of the last race..? yes – another collected DNC. At least I tried and now you all know the story 

I have never been tangling that much, feeling like an attraction (the one you have to pay 0.50 eurocent for at the local supermarket)  bumping every kite – while mowing the lawn.  Keep hustling, keep smiling & Keep sailing that’s what we did! In between the seaweeds , the offshore winds and the bumpy rides and wrapped up kite -burritos. I did it for myself, doing what I love the most – no matter the conditions! So yes It actually couldn’t get any better- at the moment . We had a lot of wind and a lot of races.  Than you Poland you made us appreciate the good days, and water without anything inside!  Nice to meet up again and being able to compete! Now it`s time to train, get faster, organise the right equipment and get ready for more action!!  Congrats to all winners!! Till next time………

The you – know – what: Use it wisely

The you – know – what: Use it wisely

Hamster virus or  the virus of stupidity? Anyway – Use it wisely.

The you – know – what …It made me realize waking up, seeing the sun shining – outside,  I have the chance to see another day – be thankful. Many others are not able to, some never – and it happens faster than you ever can imagine. Within one week I started to ask myself the question again and again… Is this our world? Yes now it is. Some are still free, some are locked, beaches are closed, gyms, restaurants, schools and even the borders – everything thats not important to healthcare. Some friends are stuck on places you don`t want to be- almost in a war kind of situation. It s serious.

The reason I share this story with you : This week my opinion got asked… I actually dont got one: I am just curious whats going to happen with our world.

Our world: I looked around with my surprised face. My eyes wide open (and no I wasn’t in the supermarket in front of the toilet papers – this time). Is this our world? An elderly woman asked me if I know she could go inside to her husband. Once she told me where he was – even I know that moment I couldn’t help her I tried – really hard  – because that’s my work and that`s what we should do during this times – help each other. But then I realized no-body could help her anymore… Life changed, the world changed- we have to accept it and deal with it – help people even though we know we can`t. Be nice but keep distance and listen to the advice.

..a bit shocked to leave the elderly lady alone, waiting like that. I gave her one of my kitesurfing magazines to read an get a bit of distraction in this ..world.

Walking further outside the door with my fresh cast, all test survived – still in another world. It changed in a week. A reporter catches me to ask about my work, my cast, my arm and anything inside and outside the hospital – I didn’t realized it, did some staring at what’s going on around. My friend works at the IC in Italy and.. meanwhile I am seeing her with tears in her eyes this morning on skype:

” no- one knows what`s really happening inside the hospitals”. “The neighbors are in quarantine… friends in voluntary quarantine to travel others stuck on dangerous places… people lose beloved ones they never had the time to see or properly talk with…or let the phone ring 10 times, just because you didn’t make the time – later suddenly became never” “healthy people can transfer the virus without noticing… or too late.. and I need to make impossible choices” – i dont like this world – and people dont take it serious. That all, because you’re live was based on financial decisions, egoistic decisions, you wanted that party, or that gym session above all and now you regret not picking up that phone earlier or saying hello once in a while a little more. “threated my first patient and now months later, I already did too many – too many who did not survive – I can`t do it anymore.. my parents…they are in another hospital…how long can we continue like this…?”:  she said.

I didn’t noticed but the reporter is staring with me for already half an hour, quietly – listing to the conversation with my friend.  In the supermarket and the streets around we still make fun about it, children play, we are talking cloe to each other, but this world here is different. It opened my eyes – wide open. With respect to all nurses and all other hard working people inside this world, our world. Be nice, help people out, but keep distance and listen to the advice. And just make a stupid video, enjoy netflix, start another challenge at home, have a skype party with friends, play with the toilet paper, shower in desinfaction.. but dont go running all on the same road… enjoy the nice weather from your backjard for a while. We are in this together as one world.

“I work inside the hospital & transport on location , not at home and in the night shifts aswell (not as a nurse  )and I do have a cast around my arm I have been in there, seen the quarantine, the tests, experienced it all yes”… oow … “My story from inside and outside this world, you asked?”

A gift

Forget about the other viruses going one these days: the hamster virus and the virus of stupidity. But honestly, I think it’s a gift, a gift of time we never have. Always people have the excuses I don’t have time, I can’t make time. Here you go: Now you got it. Use it wisely. Now you have the time to play with the kids, talk to your parents on the phone, to read that book or watch that movie, to study, to sit on that couch you didn’t even know there was in your house, to clean everything you needed to clean for ages, ask your friends how they do – by zoom. Time, to reset and realize what really matters the most in life. To overthink your dreams, passion and goals. Use it wisely. Before starting to get angry, panic around or complain or do if nothing is going one.

Some of us have been there and have seen how it is in the hospitals, quarantine and around – it`s not a joke. Seen with own eyes what is going on, been inside this story. And usually I am the one going against it and ditch that rules, because I am not scared and like adventure. But this ..this is different. People are crying – outside – because, people who are loved really die, alone. Never seeing your beloved ones anymore. Nurses have to make sacrifices they never want to. Need to implement ramp scenarios teached on university but never thought they would ever use. But its what’s really happening now – all around the world – and we are just hanging on.

So if you have been given time, because of a cancelled trip or work shift, you’re not allowed to do your favorite sport- Use it wisely.  I know you are disappointed not being locked down on that favorite kite or holiday island, not being able to work, too see your friends, you wish you studied for another job to work now (accountant or transport.. or nurse), but there are worse things in the world right now. Enjoy your gift – time and Use it wisely. Be glad if you are at home and safe – keep it like that.

We can still make fun about it, because when you look outside the window the sun is shining and all is the same but the world is different. We can still do things we want to and have to do, because we got time  – Use it wisely.  And not by emptying supermarkets or pharmacies…or going against rules that are necessary, follow advice and keep on smiling there is more than you think! You don’t have to react to everything and always – let it go. Open up for new things, help and be nice – stay home.

“And personally..? “ Well …eeeeuhhh I dont have too much to say  “you use it wisely..?” “What about the isolation..?.. did youre life changed..?”

I just love it when the hardest choices are made for me… (for the once of you who missed the cast around my arm)

  • I don’t hold myself back. Even though a broken arm or something else that still let me walk. There is always a way ..always, you just have to find it.  So the Red bull race in Norway.. I didn’t even think about how to fit that hand glove with the cast. I will make it happen, just like holding that kite. Be brave and go out there. Against some opinions.. but I can’t decide not to do it – if I can. That’s not me. Appears that they cancelled the race because of the you-know-what….and shut down the whole country.. and two weeks of quarantine to Snowkite in a country is a bit too complicated if home is nice too… And the countries around did shut down too, so the choice is made for me again – no snowkiting also somewhere else, stay safe.
  • Same story: Soccer, rainy , outside and we had one person short. We just can`t afford it to get a fine and to lose, to lose the points we need – because it would be an easy win… And I can’t let a team down. Because that means no champion this year – not an option. So even though I had to run away from the ball, hide for the shot of the defender,  I would have gone there for sure. What appears? They cancelled all the competitions – next weeks…

 Happy me again 

It let me think Isolation ready or normal lifestyle…..?

When you actually find out, your normal lifestyle is already self- isolation – proof…

  • We did some unintended hoarding already – no not because of the you-know-what. But because of going to Norway. So we are ready for 3 weeks at home.. Usually we don’t have any food at home.. need anything?
  • We do have a floor full of gym toys, maybe sooner than we had a real bed – I didn’t had a gym subscription anyway.
  • Well,  I already practice my skate tricks, soccer tricks inside the house on rainy days… sorry neighbors, plants and mum (but you should blame dad for the ideas and kicking the ball always to hard). Am I the only one in this? The kitebar is also swinging around in the room. Just like the dinner table we use for table tennis or the wall made empty for tennis…or who has still the skippy balls at home..?
  • No – one looks strange now if I have 1 arm and 1 arm inside my jacket, I can’t shake your hand. Its policy now is it? Maybe I should keep the other arm inside as well, do you think?

Finally people woke up or am I the one isolated always… ?

Thinking more about that… my life goes one like usual…. (Sofar)

  • Watching the class together with my teammates back at home. Usually I am the strange one watching all classes from under a palm tree, from a boat, on top of a mountain or in the ice cave – on the other side of the world. They might follow me next time….well and its 2020 after all so we all have some sort of skype, Facebook, Instagram to stay in touch. It’s not that hard, I had to fight the first years to convince everyone I could study online, stay in touch online, work online… the world is changing. oké and I stil have to watch 30 lectures old 3 hours back ……………. How long should I stay at home? another year?
  • They don’t always have to bump into you in the train or bus anymore.. and no traffic jams. Its nicely quit outside in public transport and people keep distance. You get even a seat in the busy train in the early morning or on Saturday night after a shift – nice! but also strange in a way…..
  • And you know? You can always switch of the tv or social media. (if you only know how many time my phone is on flight mode… ssst). Take a break from everything and stay in your own world and use your time. But not too long, the world might have moved on during that time. Not guilty… but yes I am the one who sometimes misses out on complete conversations and appointments, questions…etccccc.

Home or?

  • I can finally (yes mum – really this time) unpack my boardbag, which I already had to do for ages. Every time I left I just took another boardbag, snow, sun – or the same and never unpacked just switched incl. the dirty clothes… The story of the past months. And finally the skies are waxed up and ready.. for next season. This season the wouldn’t make it ready anyway 
  • Actually home feels like a holiday now if you are there three quarters of the year. No place like home. Finally the time to fix that door we had to do already a few years ago…  And did you now I also have family? Just wished them happy new year J finally I wake up and  I know where I am. The same place for more than a week. And you know.. I also have neighbors.. not just the bisons..? I am the biggest tourist there is nowadays in my own country.
  • Say yes, Finally time to clear that hard drive and all the SD cards of the phone, drone, gopro and camera… I run away from already way to long. Ooow and… finally: Found the Dutch chargers for my laptop again. Every time I start searching I end up somewhere in between not finding it and not a wanting to  miss my flight.
  • Do all the 10.000 updates on my laptop, which I never even try to do with the Wi-Fi networks I meet  abroad…waste of time (and maybe, just maybe not patient enough).
  • Finally I hear the delivery man thinking ( and the neighbors) they open the door , are actually at home to receive their own package for the irst time in yearsssssss.
  • Many are complaining and I know it will affect everyone around. But hey be positive. Think about other things.. meanwhile I have so many shifts I can’t even work them. As a freelancer it`s about time now to find something else, be creative. Cause everyone around is complaining and I have so many shifts I can`t even work them ..without that much effort. So there is plenty of work out there. Find the places where you are needed. Or in this three weeks you can be a pro in editing software, designer, another language and wayyyy more, while safely staying inside.
  • Finally the time to kite– you don`t want to talk to people anyway if fits windy – finally a legal reason to rush to the beach, be unsocial and kite… and rush home again (in wetsuit)  because it cold. Play indoor soccer.  Stop making excuses and do the workouts you always and always wanted to do. Just finish that puzzle. Or try that new skates + trick.. or maybe leave this idea for safety reasons…

You’ve got time – use it wisely.

“What do you think about the shopping?”

The dangerous hamster stupidity virus:

Am I the only one not getting it….??

  • Empty supermarkets within a few minutes…I really do enjoy shopping in the supermarket now. I used to hate it, in and out and you always forget something. I mean how funny is it seeing someone grab ALL – I mean 30 bags of 16 toilet paper rolls. Just stare and watch – I did this morning with just tree apples in my hand. The lady at the desk said: “ that’s all? “With a surprise face I told her: “Yes that’s all”.  I mean how many sheets of toilet paper you use in a day..?? As well as I noticed the Dutch don’t like mandarins – even the expensive, not so fresh, already cut fruit is more popular. Do we live of bread and toilet paper? It`s 2020 guys! The virus kills, you get sick… and you have lots of toilet paper – nice! But for what?
  • And you know? if you come in the morning the supermarket is al filled up…and so is your kitchen by now I guess?

We should all be a bit more creative, we’ve got time now is it..? It reminds me at the moment on a boat in the Philippines I got pushed a bucket or something into my hands when entering the toilet…. A “tabo” – I learned a year later. No its not to wash your hands/ face or flush the toilet.. or a cooking pan (looks like it though). No its another way…there I learned how to survive this toilet paper crises… and more … baking your own bread is really not that difficult and its fun! Well, and not only with this, also with staying home and keeping distance of each other. We can do this.

Or just enjoy your quarantine – time while visiting another country. Every problem is an opportunity! Mindset guys…don’t lose it – open your eyes. Like mine did at the hospital. Change is the only constant thing. We will adapt, we will grow and we will gain a greater appreciation, strength and passion. Together we are strong. Let nature be your teacher and use the time given wisely. Even if it means not coming outside or allowed to go anywhere, than just stay at home and be safe – shouldn`t be a problem is it? Be aware you might never get a change like this again! Make the best out of it  See the world changing but also see it as an opportunity.  While others are fighting where we stop. Lets not intterupt that, but support each other, stay at home or away from everyone. We often lose sight of it but: Health is and stays more important than anything else on the world!

“…..and we have seen the example in italy. the reporter concludes….” What do you think?

And I , I think: We can`t escape, the news, the quotes, the story’s, facebook – The-You-Know-What. It is what it is and we have to deal with it.

Airplanes disappeared from the sky, cycling to work through the city, in the middle of the night suddenly became boring, no bridge huggers, still looking for people dancing around coming out of the café, drinking to that party without reason. It’s scary when I`am literally alone on the world early morning with my bike….. Did the world stopped turning? 

 Thinking, when finally seeing people how to greet them or at the traffic light to press the button or not. It’s the little things.. While in the parks, beaches and on the water it seems nothing is going one, everyone enjoying life, freedom – all running on the same roads, talking with friends we now meet in the supermarket, but is that the right thing to do? They have time enough while others have time too short. Can we make that joke? Can I greet my friends? We have to wait on distance of each other for this storm to pass…? 

I don’t know.. But what I do know: We took everything for granted and we have to solve this together. Now the strange thing is there are two different worlds. The-You-Know- What gave us some really bad things, experiences, but also some good things and lessons: Don’t take any sunrise or sunset for granted.

On top of the mountain where everything makes sense or..?

On top of the mountain where everything makes sense or..?

It’s a question I answer a lot to: for a lot of people it`s all about the nature and enjoying, they are really good at it. But for me it`s different at the top of the mountains.

… Or not at all.. because some things I will just never get. And yet every year I think about it – still. No matter how many years, hours, days, lives, century I am on the slopes or in the mountains. How many times I climbed to that top. I still don’t understand some things – even though I try really hard.

People always tell me to enjoy, enjoy the little things, appreciate what I actually have reached already. But they don’t understand me – even though I try really hard. I tell them I enjoy progression and challenge – adventure, the unknown. That moment I have fun. Some look me scared in the eyes… When I reached that mountain top, my climb starts. I want to learn new tricks, push the limits and explorer new boundaries. Create my own way down. All the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it and sometimes that way up is longer than you think… or down, how you see it. But if you learned that new trick or survived that deep slope – I am ready for the next top to start climbing – it just never ends for me – but then, and only then I really enjoy!

I always think that every mountain top is within reach , if you just keep on climbing. Soon as I am there I start thinking in possibilities.  What now? What’s next?  …. Meanwhile I see some people next to me stare at it, take a picture and enjoy the view – knowing  they will never get to that mountain top – it`s not within reach. I stood next to these people many times, just looking at them with my surprised face, listening to their conversation… In secret my mind is already counting down to find my way without thinking, just going – that mountain top is within reach you know?  I don’t know why, it just happens. But what I do know: The top of the mountain has a different meaning for everyone around me. Just like winter sport. And just like people, we are all different. Good because if everyone was like me, we wouldn’t be safe out here after all. And that’s okay! But it still doesn’t make sense to me – even though I try really hard.

..Enjoying the moments…

like those people who are happy enjoying the sun and just touring around on the slopes in the mountains. All day every day. Same time – same place – same ski lift – same slopes. And still they seem happy, doing the same over and over again. Well the turns they make are always different but.. they come down safely and that’s all that matters.

Just like every year I am surprised how many pizza shovels there are on the slopes. All day every day. No progression and still going strong – just getting down and enjoying that view, that lunch, be happy.  Going through the same struggle every day – looking can I make that turn, am I not going to fast, don’t drop out of the lift. One slopes is taking forever. I wish I could do that.

And I do deeply, deeply respect people who can read a book on the slopes at a bench in the middle of the slopes. With all those people and challenges around. How? Or the people that just go for a walk along the slopes on top of the mountains. I mean the view is nice I know.. but to manage to go down through that forest – without getting lost or dropping down a cliff – would be even more awesome is it? still doesn’t make sense to me – even though I try really hard.

Because I can`t. Every time I try and try again. I just can`t enjoy it without progression, without stupid things, without crashing, without exploring that boundaries and pushing that limits. I always come up with something even if it’s not on purpose. And I will stick to it. And especially not if I know I could have done something but it just doesn’t work now. I don’t stop trying for some reason. That’s what makes it fun for me!  And how I learned a lot.

Stop:

“Because when you stop and look around life is pretty amazing”

Until people stop me and tell me to look around. How nice the view is. I didn’t even realized. Didn’t even think about it. But you know what? They are actually totally right. It`s nice here, life is amazing – indeed. Glad you notice, cause I didn`t.  But as soon as I am left by myself that feeling comes back again. What boundary do I need to cross today, what adventure can I think off. Where can we go of the beaten path. Even the skilift has no escape and I will try to implement some handle passes on the way to the top.

Because for me:

“it`s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”

The mountains teached me a lot. It brought me where I am today, the person who I am nowadays, the skills I have and the adventures I take, the  funny moments and crashes that are part of it. This is /was my comfort zone and also everything but my comfort zone. This is where I learned to challenge myself, to push myself to get better, to be better, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Here I learned: the difficult is what takes a little time, the impossible is what takes a little longer. Don’t give up just because something is hard, pushing through challenges is what makes you grow! … And great things take time, so does skiing almost 125 km/hour again or landing that trick. I might have to accept I enjoy that way! This is life – and I decide.   

….. I like to learn as much as possible BUT a bit more about something important I learned (and I am still learning):  Enjoying the little things in life, appreciate what you actually have reached. No- one will take that away from you! If I forget: remember me – again and again. Stop – look up, look around, enjoy. You will see the world and the view that was already there for days.. while I was still going and going, focused to learn something new.  

“there is nothing to proof and nothing to protect, I was who I was and I am who I am and that’s enough”

If there are no kickers, halfpipe or sliders, I will race down again. Even though I know I am not going to compete. I push myself to go faster and faster every single moment.  It’s not that I have to proof anyone what I can do. No- one would be asking questions if I didn`t try a new trick. Or being angry at me for not trying something different. Pushing me for being not as fast as yesterday. There will be only one person that might be disappointed that will be … yes that will be me. The rest just happy that I am safe back home – I know 

On top of the mountain where everything makes sense or..?

It’s a place where we learn a lot. About ourselves and life, where we enjoy the moments and have fun. Realize that life is about more than always progressing. That the top of the mountains has a different meaning for everyone around.  Standing still for a moment is the challenge of the stubborn go-getters as me. Accept there is no finish line.

Thanks to all people around I realize that!  I might never get it – even though I try really hard. But I realize it, and I know: Don’t forget to look up sometimes!