Teaching the rippers of the future
The “Rookie Class” concept at Brouwersdam, Holland started back in 2016 and produces windsurfing talents every year thanks to the great surroundings and infrastructure of the “Zeil- & Surfcentrum Brouwersdam”
Rookie class has been given permission to start up with social distancing measures in place and will welcome kids up to 18 years over the summer and fall of 2020. Every weekend, kids can gather to learn anything from water start to front looping with professional instructors and in a fun environment.
We caught the founder of the Rookie Class Rick Jendrush on this successful program in Brouwersdam which already has produced a number of stars on windsurfing scene. Check out the interview below.
Photos by Surfcentrum Brouwersdam
SV: How did this project come about?
Rick: In 2016 we started with the rookie concept to get new kids into freestyle windsurfing.
We saw that there was a big gap at the Brouwersdam between the pro riders as Davy, Dieter, Yentel, Rick and so on. We wanted to organise something that was interesting for young kids. After lots of deliberations, I realised that I myself missed some coaching when I was young. We compared it with other sports and with our own base, which was for the kids to be stoked on windsurfing. Like in soccer, they go to training every Wednesday and a game on Saturday they are doing soccer. We wanted to create that with windsurfing, kids can now say that they are doing windsurfing every week!
SV: A number of the freestyle stars of today have grown up sailing at Brouwersdam. What has made the location so special especially for freestyle?
Rick: I think because of the great infrastructure/windsurfing center at this location in combination with a perfect spot like flat water or chop it was ideal to come here for windsurfing. There were always some freestylers around here, it was the style at that moment, and we had some competitions where big names as Ricardo Campello, Tonky Frans and Josh Stone came here. That for sure motivated everyone here as they saw the moves.
We as young kids saw then the first big names popping out as Steven van Broeckhoven and then Dieter, Yentel, Davy, Nick, Tim and a few others!
We all trained together with a lot of fun, went to competitions together and just had a lot of fun every weekend on the water!
SV: What can kids joining the rookie class expect? What will they be learning?
Rick: In the season from mid march until mid October the kids go on the water almost every Saturday with a professional instructor from our center. They learn everything from water start to forward loop and beyond. We try to keep them motivated as a group and like this, they go on the water as much as possible and have fun! With the fun element, they will learn the most.
So they can expect a lot of fun and windsurfing on a consistent base, sometimes we have special guest windsurfers. We do a Rookie cup and sport lessons too!
SV: Got any new up-and-coming talents on their way from Brouwersdam?
Rick: Definitely, when we talk about the rookie program, we have Tigo Kort, Bodhi Kempen and Tijmen Meijer who are all ripping! The boys are flying already, and they also started in the rookie program a few years back. Now they do culos and everything. Let’s see what that will bring in the future!