Amado Vrieswijk, the kid from Bonaire who just grew up. Mark our words, this is a name that could be knocking on the doors of greats like Antoine Albeau, Björn Dunkerbeck, Jason Polakow and dare we say it, even the king himself, Robby Naish. Could there be a statement more bold? We don't think so and we certainly will not consider retracting it any time soon.
I want to win the title one day for sure, but with both feet on the ground...
Still yet to break out of his teens Vrieswijk already has 12 World Titles to his name, that's right, 12! So what does it take? Well we grabbed hold of the level headed Vrieswijk and made him answer a classic interview, enjoy the read over the next few pages and be sure to hit the LIKE button on his facebook page - click here.
Of course I'm very proud of what I could achieve in the past, but it all came with having fun. So young, I wasn't thinking about winning, but doing the thing I loved and still love the most. I guess it came naturally.
You achieved your first world title in freestyle under the age of 10, can you remember that moment well?
I remember a little by looking at pictures. I was 8 years old and saw 2 years before that the PWA King of the Caribbean event here on Bonaire. The event with all the pro's was the beginning of where I am now. What I do remember clearly was waking up the day after with the trophy in my bed.
Then it wasn't long before you got your first Slalom world title, under the age of 13, were you already used to winning by then or was this a different achievement?
An overall title for all 3 disciplines is a good idea. When someone can do all 3 disciplines at a top-level it should earn them at least a trophy and a title.
I already competed in a few slalom competitions such as the Aruba Hi-winds and managed to win a few times already, but the IFCA Slalom Worlds JYM in Alacati, Turkey, was my first international event. I felt great because I could win the under 13 title and came 3rd under 15 years. Two times on stage in one event when you're 11 years old was pretty exciting!
In all your years of competing can you tell us the single most hardest moment you had to overcome to win?
I think the hardest moment up till now was this summer here during the PWA event after winning the heat against Kiri. I was so surprised, completely happy and stunned that I could not focus any more in the final against Gollito. This was a new experience, that I have to work hard on. Winning or losing, to clear your head and get physically and mentally concentrated again for the next thing on your path.
Was competing something that came naturally to you, did you always think that this is what you want to do, or you just showed up at events because your parents took you?
Haha, the other way around! I dragged my parents to the beach, was begging them to let me go to the events to compete. You do not want to know how many hours my parents (especially my Mum and sister Chanel) have spent on the beach until dark here in Sorobon, Bonaire. I was addicted from the first day I tried to windsurf (December 2002)
What one achievement are you most proud of and why?
I'm proud that I could take the 3rd place in the PWA event here on Bonaire, my hometown, but I really felt proud, and it gave me a boost to continue to get better, when I was announced Sportsman of the Year in 2009 here on Bonaire. This was something for big guys, not for me, only 13 years old.
Obviously you are an experienced competitor now and you showed the world how you can perform on the pro mens stage during PWA Bonaire, do you feel ready to win the overall world title in freestyle?
"Feeling ready" is easier said than done. I want to win the title one day for sure, but with both feet on the ground.... It will be hard against the more experienced guys I still look up to on tour, but I will do my very best.
How about slalom, you are preparing to go to PWA Turkey, it seems like a discipline that is harder to make top consistent results, do you find that to be the case, if so are you planning on sticking with it for the foreseeable future and do you think you can win the overall slalom title?
I know in Slalom it is a much longer road to the top than with Freestyle, but participating already right now gives me the chance and the experience to continue doing the slalom discipline when one day my "Freestyle-time" is over. There is Slalom after Freestyle, but no Freestyle after Slalom (when you're at a certain age).
Do you find slalom and freestyle go hand in hand, for example you can do slalom when the wind is lighter and vice versa, or is the kit so good now you can do both whenever?
I think that both disciplines are very different, and yes when the wind is light I still can train slalom instead of freestyle. I think as a freestyler one has the advantage to jibe much easier in slalom.
How about waves, have you considered PWA Waves? Do you think there should be an overall title for someone who gets the highest results across all three disciplines?
Maybe in the near future I will have the time, and very importantly, the resources to go and have a look into waves. I'm very interested and I love to jump and do radical things. But I see already this year with picking up slalom besides full freestyle it clashes with my school. 1.5 years to go and than I have hopefully have the chance to maybe do all 3 disciplines. An overall title for all 3 disciplines is a good idea. When someone can do all 3 disciplines at a top-level it should earn them at least a trophy and a title.
Winning isn’t for everyone, it takes a lot of time and dedication, how much windsurfing do you do to train the PWA?
When the wind is good and it has been here on Bonaire since January) I have spent a minimum of 3-4 hours a day on the water to train. Some days even more depending on the wind conditions and who else is training. For slalom I picked up training since March this year. My sails arrived late and I already left for Europe in the middle of April to attend the EFPT and the IFCA Slalom on the Azores. So I did not do very much slalom training at all. It’s very important, especially after an intense event to take a few days off of windsurfing to relax.
What are your plans and dreams from here, for the next 5 years?
My plans are to continue training both slalom and freestyle, to become overall in PWA top 3 freestyle in the near future and number one before the coming 5 years are over ;).
My dreams are to travel around the world with my sails and boards, to be a part of a team for new windsurf gear (R&D) and find a career in the most exciting sport there is: windsurfing.
Lastly, can you tell us three top tips you have to motivate yourself to be at the top and train all the time?
1. They say windsurfing is not just a sport, but it’s a lifestyle ;-)
2. Do not push yourself too hard. If you want it, you will go for it and goals can be achieved.
3. Just have fun and enjoy water, wind and friendships on the beach!