Maxime van Gent is a 19-year-old windsurfer from Bonaire who is pushing the top female freestylers on the PWA. Maxime has only been windsurfing for six years but is already one of the best in the world. We are sure growing up in Bonaire helped Maxime progress, but she has a great attitude and has worked hard on the water too.
Here, Maxime has some very valuable advice for any young experienced or would be windsurfers...
When did you learn to windsurf?
I tried windsurfing for the first time 6 years ago, mainly because a lot of my friends were windsurfing and I didn't want to sit on the beach and do nothing! So, I tried it out myself and I got hooked on the sport straight away.
Why I Windsurf
1. My first reason is definitely the freedom windsurfing gives me; being able to just surf on the ocean and not to worry about anything else - it's just you and the wind.
2. Windsurfing has also given me a lot of new and amazing friends all over the world! And somehow we always see eachother again :)
3. I also love being a girl and doing a male-dominated sport! We definitely show that sports are for women and men and I am happy that I can promote it like that.
4. Windsurfing has also taken me to some amazing places! I am able to see a lot to this beautiful world, experience a lot and windsurf in incredible destinations. If I didn't have windsurfing I would have never seen Maui and all these amazing places!
5. Well, I have to say freestyle windsurfing isn't an easy discipline but I guess that's why I like it so much. I like to push myself and try it out... even if I fall a 100 times! If you don't fall you won't learn :)
The hardest things about windsurfing and how to overcome them:
Mmmm well I learned to plane really fast, I guess in one wee and I was already in the harness and footstraps by then. But, when I was able to go fast enough I started to jump and do these weird vulcan attempts (probably the worst crashes I ever had hahahaha). I wan't able to turn around or anything like that but because everybody on Bonaire does freestyle I wanted to do it too! That moment when I landed my first vulcan I was hooked o freestyle and wanted to do it more and more!
When I was younger I didn't want to ask people what I was doing wrong ... because I wouldn't listen anyway; I always knew everything better! But, I guess that didn't really work out! When i finally started to listen to others about what I was doing wrong I started to land my vulcans :) So a good tip for you guys is:
Windsurfing might look hard, and for sure is, but once you can plane (go fast) you will probably be hooked...it just takes a little time. And once you have learnt it you won't forget it; it's kinda like riding a bike and the good thing is also you can windsurf almost anywhere in the world!
I also love to help so if you have any questions about a move of about anything just send me a message and I will try to help you out <3