Rookie Class – creating new windsurfers

The “Rookie Class” concept at Brouwersdam, Holland started back in 2016 and has been producing new windsurfers and world-class riders every year since then. 

Severne has been partnering with Rookie Class for several years – and has been following the great talent development in real time over the years. 

This year, we got firsthand accounts from the – already world-class – Rookie Class graduate Bodhi Kempen, the coach Mattijs van Dijk, and a current Rookie Class participant, Maud de Bruijn about the benefits of such a program – and what it means for kids.

Photos by Surfcentrum Brouwersdam

The Rookie Class graduate – Bodhi Kempen

Bodhi is living proof of the success of Rookie Class. Starting at a really young age, and going through the Rookie Class program, Bodhi has worked his way up from “rookie” to top level freestyler.

What brought the Rookie Class at Surfcenter Brouwersdam, The Netherlands for you? 

For me, the Rookie Class was a really fun experience where I was with kids that shared the same love for windsurfing as I did so you made a lot of friends. It also was a great way to learn new tricks because when we had the Rookie Class we got good tips to help us improve.  Because we had lessons in all different disciplines we could see which one we liked the most, for me this was freestyle.

Is the Rookie Class creating the same feeling as if you are training for your a soccer or tennis match for example?

No, for me it was a really fun and helpful way to get better at windsurfing. In soccer training, for example, you do the exercises the trainer gives you and with the Rookie Class you tell the instructor what you want to improve on that lesson and he gives you tips on what you need to improve on.

What is your best memory about the Rookie Class? 

I made a lot of great memories during the Rookie Class, But I think the best one was the first time we dit tow-in during the Rookie Class. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun.

Is the Rookie Class for everyone who wants to get better at windsurfing? 

The Rookie Class is for kids until 18 years old who want to get better at windsurfing and want to get to know the different disciplines.

Why would you recommend this to other young windsurfers? 

Yes, I would really recommend it because it is an incredibly fun way to get better at windsurfing and make new friends. 

At what level are you windsurfing now? Did the Rookie Class help with this? 

I will be turning 18 this year. So the past years I was competing in the EFPT for the juniors. Last year I got third place. This year I will be competing with the pros. The Rookie Class has definitely helped with this because I learned a lot of tricks when I was doing the rookie class. We also had a small competition which was called the Rookie Cup. It was organized so we could see how a competition would go if we ever had one and already got some experience. So I think this also really helped.

Do you think it would help to have this concept in every country? 

I think the Rookie Class is a really good concept if you have a group of kids that want to get better at windsurfing. So if there is the right audience I think this would help out those kids a lot to get better.

How cool is it for you to be a Dutch National Severne team rider and be able to compete and also now give a few training hours at the Rookie Camp yourself? 

For me, it is a super cool experience to be able to do all of this. I really enjoy competing and windsurfing in general. Giving the rookies some training is also really fun because I like to see how motivated they are to learn new tricks and have fun on the water.

In charge of Rookie Class – Matthijs van Dijk

A ripper in his own rights, Mattijs is one of the driving forces of the Rookie Class. Here is his account of the inner workings of the program.

You are in charge of the Rookie Class at Surfcenter Brouwersdam, why do you like this way of giving training? 

Yes, that’s right. I like to motivate the youth to get out on the water often. When I started as an 11 years old kid windsurfing myself I would have loved to have something like that around to go windsurfing with my peers every Saturday and get lessons on how to master new moves. 

What I also like about the Rookie Class is that the kids meet each other and get together outside of the Rookie Class to go windsurfing so they end up spending more time on the water and getting better at it. 

We also have a new concept this year. We try to have a sponsored windsurfer join us in every Rookie Class to give the Rookies tips and tricks, again I would have loved this! I always looked up to the pros so this way it will be easy for the Rookies to ask them things, we hope.

Mattijs sailing in his spare time

How is the Rookie Class organised in terms of; how many times / how many can train with you / what do you do when there is not a good forecast? 

We plan 21 Saturdays from 15.00 to 17.30 in the season, but we give a total of 15 lessons. This means that we have 6 Saturdays which we can cancel if there is really no wind. But on the less windy days, we also have fun things to do, like getting to know the gear, of course, low wind tricks and we also do start training to get them familiar with the start sequins. There is a maximum of 20 kids who can join the Rookie Class, so we can give them enough attention.

Is the Rookie Class for everyone who wants to get better at windsurfing? 

Yes, this is correct. We do want you to be a beginner, but you should be able to windsurf with the harness reasonably well. We are happy to teach you the rest. The guys who want to become better at freestyle are also welcome of course, we also have most freestyle moves in our pocket haha.

As the trainer, why would you recommend this to young windsurfers? 

To be able to get out on the water with peers and get tips and tricks from trained windsurfing instructors. We also have a lot of great equipment on offer, from foils to freestyle gear, we have something for everyone (and of course a lot of light Severne equipment, which I think also works great for the Rookies). So I think if you are young and learn fast this is of course super to be able to sail other material.

What is your best memory about the Rookie Class?

I have been teaching the Rookie Class for 6 years now and actually, every lesson is special. It is so much fun to see so many kids stoked to get out on the water.

Do you think it would help to have this concept in every country? 

Yes, I think it helps to get more young people into windsurfing and share the stoke of our beautiful sport.

A rookie in the making – Maud de Bruijn

Maud is one of the young rookies taking advantage of the Rookie Class program. This is her feedback after a season of taking part.

What is the main reason you started the Rookie Class this year?  

I started last year with the rookie class and found it super fun and I learned a lot of new things. At the rookie cup, I won a year of free rookie lessons but if I hadn’t won it I would have continued because I really like it.

Who is your big windsurfing example?

Sarah-Quita Offringa, Maaike Huvermann and Lennart Neubauer.

You have only been in the sport for a short time, but can you already say what you have liked most so far?

Learning new freestyle tricks and participating in the Rookie Cup.

Why would you recommend someone to join the Rookie Class? 

It’s great fun to get out on the water with other young surfers every Saturday and learn new things and help each other out.

What is your favorite discipline and what do you really want to become good at? 

My favorite discipline is Freestyle and I really want to become good at jumping tricks like Air Jibe and the Flaka and many more!

Who would you like to have windsurfing training from?

I would like to get training from a lot of pros, but if I have to choose I would like to get training from Sarah-Quita Offringa or Lennart Neubauer.

What do you hope to have learned in the fall?

I hope I learned a lot of new freestyle tricks like the Air Jibe,Sspock and Flaka. And I hope I learned how to foil.


Severne riders Lina Erpenstein and Felix Volkhardt have teamed up to host “Severne Rookie Revolution” camp this October 15-22 in Prasonisi, Greece.

Lina and Felix have this to say about this year’s event;

Thank you for your interest in the Severne Rookie Revolution Camp. What can you expect? Be ready for a full week filled with windsurfing, coaching, friends, beach, activities, fun, and adventures! We want to take you out on the water, try new moves, learn from each other, and most importantly find friends who share the same passion as you do! Come join us on our Severne Rookie Revolution camp in Greece, Rhodos, Prasonisi this October 15th to 22nd.

Prasonisi is a unique spot in Europe, combining the perfect flatwater with a jumping spot, in one place! The beautiful Prasonisi Light House Hotel is located right at the beach, within walking distance of the windsurfing spot.

The hotel will provide us with a lovely place to stay and full catering, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will be sharing a room with another Rookie and the whole group will be there too! Doesn‘t matter if you want to learn how to jibe or if you want to learn a new freestyle/wave move – come and windsurf with us! You should be able to water start and be comfortable sailing with a harness and in the footstraps.

The Prasonisi Surf Center will have the latest 2022 Severne Windsurfing Equipment ready to test and try for you. If you want to bring your own equipment you will have the option to store it in a locker, also right at the Prasonisi Center

Click here for more info >>