As soon as you wake up, you check the weather forecast on your mobile phone. You read: wind force five, easterly. That's great, exactly what we need! During your breaks at work, you keep an eye on the weather forecast. Actually, your mind is more on the wind than your work and you aren’t the only one.
In your group app, there is a lot of discussion about where and what time you will meet. If the wind fails to drop and continues to come from this direction, you will meet at the end of the day on the beach at Medemblik, the Vooroever. When it is finally time to go home, you slam your computer shut just a little too enthusiastically and jump in the car. When you get home you check the weather for the last time and conclude that this is the perfect evening. You hastily make a few sandwiches, get your stuff together and drive to the Vooroever where it is already nice and busy. You can sense the cheerful, friendly atmosphere and the first kitesurfers are already dancing above the water. Not much later, as you squeeze into your wetsuit, you also feel the slightly cold sand between your toes. The low sun shines beautifully over the IJsselmeer at this time and gives you an unprecedented holiday feeling. As you hang from your kite, passing over the beautiful sandbar towards the flat water, you let go of all the thoughts in your head and think of nothing else but kitesurfing. You forget everything and leave it all behind. This is pure relaxation: this is kitesurfing! An inescapable addiction.
Sven Luijbe has been addicted to kitesurfing since the age of three. Although there was still a lot of experimentation with the then still relatively unknown sport, Sven could kitesurf before he learned to walk, in a manner of speaking. Kitesurfing is a way of life for Sven and for many kitesurfers. As a little boy, he was already on the beach at Bakkum with kitesurfs, sails and mattresses, teaching himself the first tricks of this sport and he was not alone. From the nineteen seventies, there was a lot of worldwide experimentation and testing on the water, but the sport still had no name.
After thirty years of experimentation, the sport took on its current form and around 2000 the name 'kitesurfing sport' emerged worldwide.
At the age of nine, Sven purchased his first kitesurf and now that this sport has really become known in the Netherlands, kitesurfing is not only a passion for him, but also his work. At the age of eleven, he gave his first kitesurfing lessons and the more money Sven made, the more extensive his kite equipment became. Sven now has his own kitesurf school in West Friesland, near the beautiful IJsselmeer, where he and his team teach every day with immense love and passion. Because everyone is doing the same thing, this gives a sense of togetherness. Sven enjoys the extremely friendly atmosphere every day and describes it as one big party.
Obviously, Sven and his team have to make their living from the lessons, but when they are over, the instructors and students often continue kitesurfing. Simply because no one can get enough of it. And if it is too cold for the IJsselmeer in the winter months, you can go snowkiting instead. All you need for this is snow and wind!
Most people take three lessons to master the basics, but this doesn't mean they can kitesurf well. Since it can get quite rough on the IJsselmeer and there are zero rules on the water for kitesurfers, some of them occasionally get into difficulty. Squalls sometimes occur within ten minutes and usually come from behind. This means that you can unexpectedly end up in bad weather or even in a whirlwind, so that you go straight into the air. When you go kitesurfing you let go of all the stress and if you are in danger, you just let go of the bar and you are safe.
When the weather is good and you walk along the IJsselmeer on a good kitesurfing day in West Friesland, you will see numerous kitesurfers in the air. As you stand still and watch the kitesurfers glide over the water, you may think that this spectacular looking water sport is only for the young and athletic among us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to popular belief, kitesurfing is suitable for everyone: young or old, fat or thin, tall or short: everyone can learn to kitesurf!