FULL SEVERNE RIDER & STUDENT.
Having just joined Severne as a full team rider using both Severne rigs and boards, Maaike Huvermann has got all of the tools needed for her to claim more podium positions on the freestyle and wave scene around the world.
Only, Maaike also attends university in Holland and squeezes in her sessions in between her studies and her free time.
Maaike fills us in on all of the latest:
Student life is treating me really well. It’s my second year now and I’m still really enjoying it. Lots of fun. I’m doing two degrees at the VU in Amsterdam. I’m doing psychology and business administration. I want to get into marketing and customer behavior sort of thing, so it’s the perfect combination.
After this year, I’ll have 2 more years left. Although because of the double bachelor, I might have to add another year just to give myself a break from time to time. I definitely want to do a semester abroad as well. Working really hard to keep my grades high so that I can get into the WA uni for half a year :).
To go or not to go
There’s one very critical first decision and that’s: whether to go or not to go. I have a lot of things at uni that I don’t have to attend, so generally, I go to about 50% of my lectures and lessons. So if it’s windy, I won’t go. Or if it’s just one of those days where the bed is really nice, uni can forget it. My schedule is very irregular, so there is never one typical day. But one reoccurring thing is that I go to the library at night so that I have most days free to go sailing, the gym or for other stuff.
Winter windsurfing and trips
Holland is great! We get lots of storms all the way through autumn. This year we’ve been very lucky because it’s still going. I had 5 days on the water last week and next week is looking very promising! Wherever I am, I’m always surrounded by water, so I’ve got so many spots to choose from. And what really helps me, is all the young and motivated freestylers that we have on the Brouwersdam. They really motivate me to go when it’s cold or things aren’t working. The temperature is the only issue, but you get used to it.
Traveling really depends on my study load, because I don’t get any break other than Christmas and summer (sad times). I get my schedule almost a year ahead of time, which makes it easy to spot some trip opportunities. My uni has provided me with an athlete status, so I can skip any mandatory lessons if I have a reason. I’m really thankful for that, else things competitions like Sylt or training trips wouldn’t be possible. Currently, I’m planning a week to Tarifa in March and two weeks Aruba in April. So excited for some warmer water session!
This year I want to compete in both freestyle and wave again. I really like doing wave as a second discipline, it gives me a bit of a fresh perspective and keeps me motivated. And obviously my main goal is to have as much fun as possible.
Balancing studies and windsurfing
I get asked, is this hard? No, it’s not hard for me at all. When I know I have to be productive on a day that it’s windy I usually start with a session. Else I’m just going to get impatient, so might as well. After an hour or two, I take a long lunch/study break. Then towards the afternoon, I’ll get another couple of hours in. I think if anything, those days I do my most productive studying. The faster I finish, the more I sail. It’s a nice routine, I would recommend it to any windsurfer who wants to get work done but also wants to sail.
I’m really happy with my decision. I really value my opportunity to educate myself and keep challenging myself. I don’t see myself becoming a hardcore academic, but I love my maths :P. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to windsurf as much anymore and that is not the case at all. I think it has done the exact opposite. In my gap year, I felt like I kind of lost my focus because I was sailing so much it all just blended together. Now I value every session on the water and enjoy it to the fullest.
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