You probably heard about Annelous Lammerts over the last few months, this kitesurfer girl from Netherlands who spent her first full year on the PKRA (she is sponsored by Brunotti, Slingshot, Mystic and Natural High), who smiles all the time and who definitely rocks when she is on a board?
Here is a nice interview about her, in which she tells us about her first year on the PKRA, her goals for the future and also about her new « SIS project », which aims at financing her professional career.
Hey Annelous! Can you introduce yourself briefly?
My name is Annelous Lammerts, I just turned 21 and I live in a small town « Schuddebeurs » in the South West of the Netherlands. I’m a professional kiteboarder, I won the European Championship in 2012 and this year was my first year competing on the world tour – PKRA.
You had excellent results this year (2nd in race and 4th in freestyle). How hard was it to compete against the best ones? And did you expect these results?
It was pretty hard to compete on the world tour this year for me. The first year is always the hardest, you have to prove yourself to sponsors and show them what you can achieve.
Not having the financial support needed, created pretty stressful situations sometimes but I’m really happy to have managed to go to all 10 tour stops. Luckily my good results at every event, in both slalom and freestyle, helped me to go to all the stops.
It’s not easy to compete against the very experienced top girls, with the top 3 all being former world champions and having years of experience. But all this makes this year even more valuable. Anything is possible; you just have to work for it.
I never expected to end up 4th in freestyle and 2nd of the world in slalom racing. Standing on the podium and achieving your goals is one of the best feelings in the world.
How did you live this full year on the tour? (concerning friends, competition between girls, traveling all the time, training…)
This was my first year that I was pretty much travelling all the time. With 10 tour stops all over the world and some training trips in between, I barely spent any time at home.
I met some great people that turned into really good friends. I am really happy that there is such a good atmosphere on the tour, although we are all competing against each other.
We don’t have coaches or trainers so when we are training together we are also helping each other with the progression and when necessary with the mental aspects of being a professional athlete. Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself knowing that if I don’t have a good result I cannot make it to the next tour stop, but I always found great support in the people I was travelling with and also from my family at home.
At the moment I am at home for 3 weeks before I go to my next location. It’s really good to spend time with everyone here, you really appreciate those times when you are away so much.
Do you have a special training program during comps & when you travel?
My training program really depends on where I am and for what I’m there. When I’m training at locations where there’s wind all the time, I mostly focus on my progression on the water. On locations where it’s less windy it takes a bit more planning, when it’s windy I go kiting and on days with no wind we train off the water.
During competitions I take a lot of rest, also the nerves can be pretty tiring and I always sleep a lot. Whether I’m training or competing I sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours every night. Rest is really important as well as you don’t over train.
Sometimes it’s difficult to take some time of the water when the conditions are perfect, but it can be as important as the training itself.
As a pro rider, you travel a lot! What are your 2 or 3 bests spots so far, and why? And is there a place you’s love to go for the 1st time?
This year my best spots were :
– Brazil, Uruau : always perfect kiting conditions, really good atmosphere on the water and very high level of kiting
– Egypt, Soma Bay : really good place for training, we had wind pretty much every day, I had a great time there with Kristiin and Mallin and extra specials place since I got on the freestyle world cup podium for the first time
– Marocco, Dakhla : two words = speed spot
I would like to go to Australia for kitesurfing, seems really good for kiteboarding and a nice lifestyle which always makes it easier to take your mind from kiting sometimes.
What are your plans for next year?
Next year I am going to compete in the world tour again and try to make next year even better than this one!
You recently launched a new project, called SIS. Can you tell us more about it?
SiS is a new project that we started, to raise money for the kiteboarding career of Isabelle and me.
Isabelle is a young talented kiteboarder, kiting on the same homespot as me. When I’m in the Netherlands we are always kiting together and we are both totally crazy about kiteboarding. She is super motivated and I recognize a lot from myself in her.
Together with her brother and sister, Yorrick and Katja Schipper, we started making and selling the beanies as a crowd fund project : The people can buy a beanie to support us and that way they help us to reach our goals.
We put a lot of work in producing the handmade, unique beanies. We only use the best products, all sustainable, to make sure that we are not polluting mother nature.
Take a look on our facebook, instagram and website to learn more about our project!
How much approximately costs a full year on the tour?
To compete on the whole tour and do some trainings in between, it will approximately cost 20.000-30.000 €.
Of course we also need a lot of gear, for what we also need good sponsors. The main expenses are the travelling costs.
To finish with, we have a special question : you smile all the time, and you always seem to be happy and confident no matter what. What is your secret? 🙂
The secret to being happy is to do what you love. It sounds pretty cliché, but it’s true.
When you are doing something you love so much, you are willing to do anything for it. Work you need to do will not just feel like boring or hard work, but instead it will be doing something in order to do what you love.
I get so much motivation from kiteboarding, so all the things I need to do in order to keep living like this are just part of it. I also learned to accept things that happened, you cannot change them anymore, and move on.
For me, also one of the most important things to be happy is to be surrounded by good people, crazy friends and those people that you care about. With those people you will make some really amazing, priceless memories.
Thanks a lot Annelous, it’s a really great to see girls like you who rock and who enjoy life at a 100% ! Kiters, if you want to support a cool project, buy one of these crazy beanies and help Annelous and her friend Isabelle to achieve their goal 🙂 Check their website for more information