An interview with the two times PWA Freestyle Youth World Champion, Youp Schmit

At the age of seventeen years old, Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde) already has two youth world crowns to his name having only been competing full-time on the PWA World Tour for two years. At the final event of the season Schmit was able to achieve his best ever finish as he took fifth place overall in Sylt. On his way to his best result to date Schmit took down some of the biggest names in Freestyle Windsurfing, as he showed exactly what he is capable of on the water. Having finished the year in the ninth place the Dutchman now hopes to consolidate his place in the top ten, before setting his sights on the world title in future years. As one of the most explosive, young talents on tour we caught up with Youp Schmit for a quick chat. Read the full interview below.

PWA: We know in October you had an operation on your foot, how is your recovery going and when do you expect to be back on the water?

YS: “My recovery is going quite well, it has been 3 weeks since I had the operation. Last week they removed my stitches but it is still quite swollen. Sadly I still cannot really do exercises with my physiotherapist yet. But hopefully in the coming days I can, and then I can slowly start building up to going into the water again which is supposed to be in about 2-3 weeks time.” 

PWA: What are your thoughts on how the 2012 season has gone and how would you rate your result? 

YS: “I'm stoooked about how my whole year went! This had been my first year on the full PWA tour, and not going to school anymore. So I was able to spend all my time on windsurfing, at the beginning of my year I went to South Africa for two months to train in stronger and rougher conditions, this had made me a lot more consistent in some of my moves.”

“My goal was really to be in the top 10 and to make it into the top 7 at, at least one event of the year. And it all worked out. It was quite difficult though as there was only three freestyle events over the whole year, but we were lucky enough to have wind and results at every contest. At first I was scared I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal after the first two events, as I had reached ninth place at both events, but then in Sylt I was finally able to show what I’ve really got. :)”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing? 

YS: “I've been windsurfing for 8 years now.”

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing? 

YS: “All the local guys from Bonaire.. Of course specially Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra), but also many more... And of course the gear that I'm sailing!”

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing? 

YS: “School I guess...”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why? 

YS: “At the moment this is still my home bay on Bonaire, Sorobon beach. I'm young and I’ve had the luck that I got in touch with windsurfing and to have the sponsors that make it possible to travel all around the world, so I've traveled quite a lot already, but I still haven’t found a place that I like to windsurf more than Bonaire.”

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?

YS: “My Favorite move right now I think would be the air(double)flaka. also called air flaka shaka or Pasko or I don't know.. I think you know what trick I mean.”

“I like this trick a lot because I like how the move feels so fast in rotations and the control you can have in it is sick! Especially if you have a little ramp…I can't WAIT to get back on the water again!”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning? 

YS: “At the moment the moves that I'm working on is actually pretty much all the moves but popping it double or combining the moves with each other. There is so much you can do with this board and sail.”

PWA: How do you learn your moves and improve your sailing? Videos? Watching others?

YS: “To Learn new moves I mostly just watch others. For example, when I see someone else doing something new online, I wanna try it too! And that is the same thing if your on the water with that person.”

“Or think to yourself about what else can be possible and play around with the board/sail and see what can happen.”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA Tour? 

YS: “At the moment this is Fuerteventura.”

PWA: How does competition sailing make you feel? And how do you prepare for your heats? 

YS: “Over the years i'm feeling more and more confident competing, I do still get nervous before my heats, but once you've done your first move it all flows. Before I go into my heat I prepare all the sails suited to the conditions that are going on, and have two complete rigs ready to go.. Set my timer-watch, think about how i'm going to make my routine, and action!”

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing? 

YS: “Usually back at home i'm fixing boards at the local windsurf school ''Jibe City''. But in my free time when i'm not windsurfing I also love to surf, or sometimes go fishing and just hang out with friends.”

PWA: What are your goals for 2013 and the future? 

YS: “My goals for next season is to stay within the top 10 on the PWA World Tour, but of course I wanna try and go even higher! My goal over the years is to eventually compete for the title!”

PWA: Thanks for your time Youp. Goodluck with the recovery and we look forward to seeing you back on the water really soon.