Evaluation after 8 Months of Speedsurfing

Its November, since April I have been speedsurfing without any school or time consuming job, for the record I never lived from unemployment pay (it is all money saved over years)! The goal was improve some personal records and extend this 100% windsurfing period as long as possible. I searched for answers about speedsurfing. I tried to make this article shorter, but impossible. Too much happened past 8 months.

Evaluation
Some very important steps done this year (not all fun). Hardcore testing, to get all effects and trims on paper. Lots of fintesting done, Sonntag fins are my type of fins, this works for me, but more important is the great friendship with Alex and Joerg, windsurfing without Sonntag fins is not possible for me!! Also the change from Neilpryde to Starboard/Severne gave new refreshing insights, I found not only great performance with the equipment but very great acceptance in the Starboard/Severne family, I feel a part of starboard/severne and enjoy the many discussions about products/development. Other important step was the Wad1team (gpsteamchallenge), something that made speedsurfing fun again at our local spot. The boat for wad1team was worth all money, since it contributed to many (personal) records

I learned after many discussions with guys from windsurfing industry, speedsurfing (records/competition) is something done by privateers for a very long time now. Like I did last 8 months, this is normal. I wish I could  full speedsurf for 5 years and demonstrate the effect on performance. Working towards a crazy record, yeah it is possible for sure. Waiting low-budget on a high potential speedspot :)

I see my future a bit different compared to my thoughts in April, still speedsurfing will be a part of me. But at some point I can't afford this much time on water anymore. First thing done is finishing my speedsurfing papers, which is for a big part online spread over this blog, this will be the basis to build from. After this it will be time to start with a bit more (financial) rewarding job.

The speedsurfing game, hate it or love it :
Winning is important to me, fun too, I enjoyed being faster some sessions than the big (big= heavy&tall) sponsored guys with big pimprides (VW T5 with big rims), fully loaded with windsurfing equipment. I loved breaking every previous personal record with Starboard/Severne/Sonntag equipment.  I hated  losing performance on short tracks, or gusty lightwinds. I enjoyed smashing chop/waves with my iSonic 111, 107 or 86. I hated some speedsurfers can (and do) buy  everything to keep ahead of the rest. I hated some guys are only able to measure and copy others designs, and thinking this will not hit them back hard in the end. I liked the impressive kitesurf records, it inspired me what to do, when it is my time. I actually ENJOYED most of all windsurfing together with WAD1TEAM, this is fun!!!!!!!! 

I am happy with all comments/tips/emails/responses/etc I have got on Speedsurfingblog.com these are very important. The blog is my source for inspiration, the speedsurfing connection to the normal world and it does demonstrate for me speedsurfing is a big part of windsurfing these days.

I can recommend every serious speedsurfer this, go windsurfing for 1 year if possible! Don't always focus on numbers on GPS, search new conditions/spots, new experiences, new friends, new challenges. Invest in your own skills, friendships, sponsors. Find out who are real friends with windsurfing, and people only trying to take benefit of you. Kater/Starboard/Severne/Sonntag will be the brands for me, if this will not work I better stop speedsurfing (yes I am for real).

Cheers,
Erik

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

6 comments:

  1. Marcel FennemaNovember 15, 2010

    Mooi verhaal Erik!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Erik,
    Thanks for sharing this evaluation of your (unique) period of being a fulltime windsurfer. Good to read that in the end, having fun and share experiences with friends is very worthwhile. I was however a bit surprised about your strong words "hating others who can and buy all the stuff to win or set records" This seems a bit contrary with the fun part. Why hate others for spending so much. It would not be good from my side to envy you too much for being able to spend a long period as a fulltime windsurfer would it?. Could you elaborate/explain a bit more on this?
    Cheers, Luc

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Marcel!!

    Luc, thanks for asking, because it is a bit hard statement!! Hate is possibly not the best word, but does give a nice direction. Speedsurfing is such an exclusive sport. Unlike Freestyle, speedsurfing will never be for everyone. For speedsurfing it is very possible to need 1 piece of gear for 1 time a year or maybe once in 3 years (like my is iSonic W49 for USM strand horst). I just don't like that, and I cannot complain about my equipment! Still this is for me the dark part about speedsurfing, some guys set the bar really high in terms of personal fin/sail/board/mastquiver but also sessions in great (but expensive) spots. Sorry but thickness of the wallet and willing to pay is definitly important for consistent speedsurfing performance.

    I used to think, now I have everything, or it is possible to cover any condition and discover again some conditions which turn out to be special and need something special like a different mast for extra power or an extra board/custom. There is no end, really there isn't. Now I picked some conditions were I like to perform best, and some good compromizes.

    I do understand my time windsurfing could make you envy me. I have worked hard during my study for every euro I lose each day. And there has never be a day I made an euro with windsurfing, neverrrr. The whole speedsurfingblog made me 100,- euro from advertisement over the almost 3 years, compared to the time lost it is crazy. Also still living at my parents to keep costs low. That is my life for speed, one big sacrifice for time on water. I don't feel sorry for my decisions, the speedsurfing game has both positive and negative sides for me.

    Cheers,
    Erik

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Erik,
    Thanks for explaining. I agree with you; speedsurfing can be very expensive depending on how far one wants to take it. Although I think envy is not a good emotion, I must admit that I do envy you a little bit when it comes to hours/sessions on the water. Wouldn't we all want that!! Making the sacrifices for it is something else and I appreciate and respect your dedication in that.
    So being conscious about my own choices, there is no envy from my side at all.
    Being able to create a nice balance between work, wife, kids, family, social responsibilities and speedsurfing, when it comes to time and money is my challenge but it can also be very rewarding. Just like a good combination of winning, fun on the water and friendship during windsurfing sessions.
    Good luck in making your choices and have fun!
    Cheers, Luc

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank Luc for the reply

    Just want to add I have big respect for some guys like you with a family, job etc. This is what I learned, soo hard to do it all. There are many including most wad1team members delivering great performance.

    I remember at least a few times you kicked my ass at strand horst, so you are doing a good job ;)

    Making choices is the hardest thing you know! At least windsurfing is fun, but also I have to start working. And join the weekend surfer crew :)

    Cheers,
    Erik

    ReplyDelete
  6. Erik, just remember that all those topguys are getting older and older...

    Our time will come. ;-)

    Also interesting is to see the age-factor on the gps-speedsurfing.com. It seems to me that the 20-30 years old generation is more into freestyle/wave, maybe because of the financial reasons?

    ReplyDelete