Welcome to the Team Valentin Hoenderop.
The AK collective are stoked to introduce big air kiteboarder, Valentin Hoenderop, to the team!
At just 16 years old, Valentin has been pushing the limits, and we sat down to get to know him a little better…
Let’s shoot through some quick fire questions – What does a day in your life look like at the moment?
Right now, I’m still studying, so my day starts off early at 7 AM when I get up to go to school. I get to school at 8:15 AM and I finish at around 3 PM.
After school, I usually have lunch and if the wind is on, I go kiting. Although, sometimes I must put school first and take a day off kiting to study. Then, I go home, study a little more, eat, and chill for the rest of the evening.
I also go to the gym as often as possible.
How did you first get into water sports, and kiteboarding in particular?
I first got into water sports at a very young age. I started with surfing, and at the age of 9 I saw a friend of mine doing his first tacks kiting, which motivated me to do the same.
What is something that was crucial in getting you to where you’re at now?
The most important thing has to be the perfect conditions that we have here at home in Tarifa. The strong offshore wind and good waves are the key to my progression.
What motivated you to become an athlete?
The main thing that motivated me to become an athlete is the pure adrenaline rush that you get while kiting. In my early stages of kiting, it was just a 1-meter jump that motivated me, and that kept me pushing my limits as I progress to this day.
What’s one of your favorite photos you’ve had taken of you recently and why?
This is my favorite photo, purely because it represents me, Tarifa, and Big Air in one shot.
Who are you inspired by at the moment?
The person that currently inspires me is Giel Vlugt, because of the insane progression he has brought into big air. The main thing was double loops, which were thought to be impossible, but he showed everyone that it is possible.
What is your hometown’s best-kept secret?
There is one spot out in the middle of the ocean (which I cannot say the name of) that is heaven! It consists of a coral reef that forms perfect waves and flat water.
If you could jump on a plane right now, where would you go and why?
I would go to Cape Town because of its incredible conditions. I have never been to Cape Town, but it is on top of my bucket list.
It would be epic to have you join us here! What are you most excited about moving forward?
The most exciting thing moving forward is the opportunities that have arisen from joining the AK and Airush team, such as riding spots that I have never ridden before. Another thing that I am overly excited about is being able to help the team develop new gear and push the limits…
Welcome to the team, Valentin, we’re stoked to have you on board!