Sailor in Focus

If she wasn’t windsurfing she would be living on a ranch and before competition she sleeps for 7 hours 38 minutes exactly. This week we catch up with female wave rider Amanda Beenen

Dutch wave sailor Amanda Beenen (F2 / KA sails / Dakine) made her debut on the PWA world tour at the 2011 Pozo world cup.  Since then she has immersed herself in everything windsurfing and has dedicated more time than ever to training on the water. Beenen has spent all winter training hard in preparation for the 2012 season. We caught up with Beenen to find out a little more.

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?
Beenen: “2011 was a year in which I learned a lot! I made my debut on the PWA, which was very exciting for me. My results weren't good at all, but on the other hand, I didn't expect too much either. The experiences in 2011 gave me loads of motivation to train harder and more seriously for 2012!”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
Beenen: “I've been windsurfing since I was 17 years old. I started quite late I guess.”

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
Beenen: “I think my friends had big influence on me, especially in the beginning when I just started out. Besides my friends I also admire girls like, Anne-Marie Reichman who follow their dream and make it happen!”

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
Beenen: “If I wasn't windsurfing I would probably still be horse riding and living in the south of Holland far away from the ocean. I'd probably eventually have married a guy with a ranch and instead of travelling the world all year round, I'd probably take two vacations a year, one ski trip and one tanning trip.”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
Beenen: “I just came back from Cape Town and I must say that I really enjoyed sailing there! I really liked Cape point (in a strange/scary/sharky kind of way) and also Elands bay was impressive and really nice to sail! So many cool spots in the world, I couldn't pick just one spot.”

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
Beenen: “I really love wave riding in general. I get really stoked when I make a really good cutback.”

PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why?
Beenen: “That's probably the one I'm struggling with now. Stalled forward. I tend to bail out every time, can't get my head straight yet. But hopefully a summer in Tenerife can change it :).”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
Beenen: “I just started with Goiters. It's a really cool move. I only got to try it a few times, but already had some good ones to start off with. And of course the stalled forwards. Unfortunatly I didn't have a lot of jumping days in Cape Town! But in Tenerife I'll make it happen :).”

PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others?
Beenen: “I mainly watch others and ask them how to do a move. Than I try to do it in my head, which is a big part of doing it right on the water. Of course I also watch videos to see how the move goes in slo-mo.”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA wave tour and why?
Beenen: “I think that one is Tenerife. It's a nice combination of jumping and there are also nice waves to ride. Urchins are a little but less fun but I'll get over it. I think since I'm going to spend a summer there that I could do quite well there as well. If I get to control my nerves.”

PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?
Beenen: “Last year it made me so nervous that before every heat I felt like throwing up. But that was last year, I think this year will be way different. To be honest it can only get better right? I'm sure that I will be way more relaxed because now I know how it works and I've learned a lot this past year.”

When It comes to preparing, well...  the night before the comp starts I have to eat pasta with only sugar; I sleep 7 hours and 38 minutes exact and eat 2/3 of a banana with cinnamon right before I hit the water!”

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?
Beenen: “I really love surfing. I try to do that as much as possible. Besides that I spend a lot of time training in the gym, with my physiotherapist to get stronger. I also work here and there to make some money in between travels.

PWA: What are your goals for 2012?
Beenen: “In general I could say, sail more, travel more and work less. When it comes to competing, I want to do better than last year. But most of all, enjoy the ride, every day!

PWA: Thanks for your time Amanda; we look forward to seeing you out on the water this season.

For more on Beenen head over to