After two months in Western Australia and two months in Bonaire, Dieter van der Eyken is back in Europe and already getting ready for his next trip to South of France. In between arriving from the Caribbean and repacking Dieter had some time to answer our questions about his winter. After winning the freestyle world title in 2015 the Belgian wants to climb the rankings in the wave discipline but is still motivated to push in freestyle.
Dieter van der Eyken rides powerful waves in WA in 2017
Interview with Dieter van der Eyken
Continentseven: You are back in Europe, after a winter in Western Australia and Bonaire. How was WA?
Dieter van der Eyken: I think it was my most fun and best trip to Western Australia till now. The conditions were almost as good as it gets with plenty of swell and wind. Besides that there was a great group of windsurfers this year that really pushed each other, but also gave tips and made the time on the water even more fun!
Continentseven: What was your highlight of the trip?
Dieter van der Eyken: For me the best highlight was the first trip to Gnaraloo, although it wasn’t as big as on Christmas day it was amazing to have logo high Gnaraloo almost to yourself for a couple of hours! I didn’t go last year and was really keen to make it this season and already after riding the first wave the trip was all worth it. Besides that I really started to enjoy sailing at Margaret River. I managed to really score some good late sessions with proper mast high waves. It’s not an easy place to sail and I used to hate it but now I finally understand why Scotty (e.n: Scott McKercher, former Wave World Champion) loves it so much!
Continentseven: With this trip and your past trips you spent already a lot of time in Western Australia. Does it already feel a bit like home or do you want to move there one day?
Dieter van der Eyken: It does feel a bit like home in some way. It’s probably the place I stay the longest in a year. Also by going every year I really know quite some people who live there by now which you don’t get to know on your first trip there. For now I’m not planning to move to Australia after my career but I am sure I will visit it many more times and then will see what times bring.
Dieter van der Eyken nails an Aerial in WA in 2017
Continentseven: You probably did not only enjoy the wind, waves and sun, you did some sail development for Severne again?
Dieter van der Eyken: With Severne having their loft and head office in Perth it’s easy to try out new gear. This year was actually quite easy concering the R&D work. Last year we worked a lot on the freestyle sail and with the whole team being really happy about the sails, we only made small adjustments for next year. Besides Severne, Starboard also does a lot of testing in W.A. and I managed to test some new wave boards for next year which was very interesting as well. Part of the reason I go to W.A. is to learn about all the gear, wether it’s with Ben Severne about the sails, Mark Stone about the boards or Jaeger about fin setup’s and techniques on the wave. Besides the great conditions you have for sailing, you probably have some of the best knowledge about windsurf gear you can have in the world to learn new things every day.
Continentseven: And you improved your Double Fowards?
Dieter van der Eyken: I’m getting better in the doubles, but still have some work to do on them but defiantly feel more confident in them to hopefully land a few in the contest. Doing them in 50 knots plus will still be another story but we still have some time before Pozo starts!