Offringa shares all
The queen of freestyle and now slalom world champion Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) has had another incredible season on the water. She has dominated in the women’s freestyle, once again pushing the boundaries even further to take her fourth freestyle world title, and as if that wasn’t enough she excelled in the women’s slalom winning two of the four competitions to take her first slalom world title.
As part of our words with a world champion series we caught up with Offringa to find out how she is feeling after a great season competing, what special training techniques she uses and how she balances both disciplines.
PWA: How do you feel to have won the slalom and freestyle titles this season?
Offringa: “Because I didn't train as much as I would have like too this year, I was a bit nervous for the competitions. I didn't know what to expect. For slalom I didn't have anything to lose so I didn't have any pressure, but on the other hand I really wanted to keep the freestyle title. In the end I managed to win both and it's just an incredibly good feeling to know that you're still up there!”
PWA: How have you found balancing competing in both disciplines?
Offringa: “Well it's not too hard because it is still windsurfing. The hardest is when it's an event with both disciplines and you need to switch from slalom gear where you use big sails, big fins and have a lot of speed to a freestyle set-up where you get many spin outs and you forget that it's possible to even plane with a small sail like a 4.8m. But it doesn't take long to make that switch.”
PWA: Both competitions differ greatly, which do you prefer, how does your preparation differ for each?
Offringa: “I love free-styling a lot so I spend most of my time on the water on my freestyle board, I just have such a good time doing this discipline. However slalom in competition is way more exciting and gives you a bigger adrenaline rush. Freestyle requires a lot of time on the water to learn the new moves whereas in slalom there are only several techniques you need to do well in such as starting and jibing. You also need time on the water so you can tune your equipment to perfection.”
PWA: We understand you are now studying in Holland over the winter, how do you think this will affect your windsurfing? Will it motivate your more when you are out on the water?
Offringa: ‘Well I just started my 2nd year of studies. I definitely didn't have as much time on the water last year like I was used to, but because of that I put a 100% effort into every session! (Also because of the cold I prefer spending time ON my board and the least amount of time IN the water :P ) It's hard not being able to be on the water as much as I would like to but I'm learning to deal with that”.
PWA: What sports do you do outside of windsurfing?
Offringa: “I've done many sports when I was younger but I basically stuck to swimming, tennis and windsurfing. Other than that I really try out anything.. surfing, kiting, skating, just biking around etc”.
PWA: What is your preferred approach to learning a new move? Seeing video footage? Thinking through the move? Trail and error?
Offringa: “I watch a lot of movies so you get a general understanding off the move and then I just go out and try it. If somebody else is on the water that saw my attempts I'll just ask what they thought I should do better and then just keep on trying. Usually my brother and I sail together and we keep an eye on each other so we can give tips after we crash and burn training a new move :)”.
PWA: What moves do you hope to learn next?
Offringa: “I'm going crazy trying to learn the double popping moves. They’re so explosive. I also want to land burners and culos more consistently.”
PWA: Would you ever consider the wave tour?
Offringa: “No doubt! That's definitely on my list. I just need to spend some more time in the waves and gain some experience.
PWA: Thanks for your time Sarah, we wish you the best of luck studying this winter and we look forward to seeing you out on the water next season!