Annabel, wakeboardingEconomics & Business Economics
With her wakeboard in one hand and a beer in the other, Annabel is waiting at the water-skiing course at the Grunopark in Harkstede. ‘I love wakeboarding, because it’s such a challenge. Every time I do a new trick, I get a huge adrenaline boost. The possibilities are endless. That, and the feeling it gives me makes it my favourite sport.’
She currently spends a lot of her time wakeboarding at The Bares wakeboarding club, where she also serves as a board member. Members of The Bares can go to Harkstede three times a week. It may be a half-hour bike ride, but the combination of water sports, sun, and getting together for drinks afterwards makes it feel like a holiday.
Mariël, rowingUniversity College
Under the watchful eye of one of her coaches, Mariël rows back and forth across the water. She’s just passed her skiff exams, which means she’s allowed to row a boat on her own. Mariël started rowing with Gyas this year. After playing volleyball for a long time, she was looking for something new. Both the association and the act of rowing itself sounded like fun, so she signed up with Gyas.
It’s not only a fun club for sports, but also for social activities, says Mariël, which she feels is a great combination. ‘Rowing is quite meditative; it’s really technical and you need to completely focus on what you’re doing. Rowing is also something you can improve quickly in, which is reflected in your rowing times.’
Olav, windsurfingHuman movement sciences
As he’s teaching, Olav is floating around on his board on the Hoornsemeer. The situation doesn’t lend itself to surfing right now, but when it does, he whizzes across the water. ‘The feeling and the energy you get from windsurfing is indescribable. I get such a kick out of being on the water. After you hydroplane the first time, you’re sold.’ Hydroplaning, or planing, is when you’re going so fast that there’s no drag from the water.
Friends introduced Olav to windsurfing when he was a teenager. They also introduced him to student windsurfing association Surface. ‘Surface combines the social aspects of a student association with the best thing in the world: windsurfing!’
Manon, KitesurfingMedical and dentistry student
Manon returned from her kitesurfing trip to Fuerteventura a few days ago. She’s a member of kitesurfing association Released, which started out as just a group of friends getting together to kitesurf, but over the past ten years has become a real association, with committees, trips, clinics, and so forth. ‘The unofficial motto at Released is: live a little, the world is serious enough as it is.’
Years ago, Manon had plans to go on a backpacking trip with a friend. She thought it might be a good idea to learn how to kitesurf before she left and so she got her first lesson at Released. ‘I was hooked from the start. Being on the water or soaring through the air makes me feel so free. It’s like playing for adults. On the one hand, being on the water can make me feel really calm. But being out in a storm is also an enormous adrenaline rush. It makes me feel so alive! And nothing compares to the feeling of happiness when you finally land a trick after crashing a hundred times. It makes me so happy I’m bouncing on the water.’