Een nieuwe teamrider voor Slingshot, Willem Hooft, iemand die zich niet zomaar tegen laat houden om deze mooie sport te beoefenen
“…I couldn’t live without it.” How many times have you said that about kitesurfing? If you are anything like us, you have said it more times than you can count. The combination of nature, you, and pure radical performance becomes more than a hobby or a passion it becomes a part of you. Clichés aside, being on the water and kitesurfing is an inexplicable feeling. Now imagine something like that torn away from you so mercilessly that the possibility of regaining it makes pigs flying seem like a real chance.
For Willem Hooft, this scenario isn’t imaginary he lived it. In a story full of ups and downs, miseries and triumphs, Fast forward to the present day and Willem is now one of the sickest adaptive kitesurfers on the planet. His drive, his determination and his bad ass approach to overcoming one of the most adverse situations that life can throw at you, caught our attention. Sometimes life can bring you up, sometimes life can bring you down, and every so often you become an inspiration that’s larger than life. It’s with great pleasure and humility that we welcome Willem Hooft to the Slingshot team.
SS: Willem Welcome to the team!
WH: Thanks! Super stoked to be part of the Slingshot Team. I’ve been looking forward to this moment :D!
SS: We’re really stoked to have you on board with us. I guess I’ll start off with an easy question. How long have you been kiteboarding?
WH: The moment I really started kiteboarding was about one and a half years ago after I had ended up in a wheelchair. Before the motorbike accident, I was a fanatic windsurfer. I had done kitesurfing just a few times on holiday, five times to be exact. I just got the basics.
SS: When we first spoke, you told me that you briefly learned to kite before your accident and then pursued kiting properly after your accident. What drew you to kiting?
WH: For me, surfing is more than just a sport. It’s the best feeling that exists. To fly over the water, to feel the power of the waves and wind. It makes me feel humble and connected to nature and her beauty. For me, there is no closer feeling of freedom.
After my motorbike accident, when I heard that I had a spinal cord injury and that I would not be able to walk again, my world collapsed. I thought of my friends, my girlfriend, my career… but mostly about my passion for surfing and all the surf dreams I would never be able to fulfill. After all, I can’t even walk anymore, let alone stand on a surfboard.
In the rehabilitation center, I trained hard to regain as much of my independence as possible. I made great strides and became more and more handy with my ‘new’ body.
It made me believe that it should be possible for me to surf again, even though my doctor and therapists told me differently. My biggest dream was to surf the waves of Cape Town’s coast. I decided that no matter what thresholds I had to cross or how long it would take, I would make my dream come true.
Meer via de link