In 2004 horse riding was her favourite thing, but back then a traumatic accident changed everything and her life turned in a totally different direction and windsurfing came into her life. In the video W.H.Y by Manuel Grafenauer we see a very thoughtful Amanda, talking about her life-changing horse riding crash and her thoughts. We wanted to dig a bit deeper and find out more about this blond, dedicated Dutch girl.
Continentseven: In the video you say, you quit horse riding and started windsurfing instead. What makes windsurfing so special to even quit another sport you have loved?
Amanda Beenen: Hmm.. good question. I guess it came at the right time for me. I mean when I sold my horse it was with pain in my heart, but other things were coming into my life, one of the biggest things being windsurfing. It gave me a whole different set of dreams to chase. Riding horses I was not that competitive, I just loved to do it and that was that, but with the windsurfing a whole lifestyle came with it. I got to know new people, new places just a whole new world opened up. My dreams changed, I started thinking about how it would be to travel and surf amazing spots, I started dreaming of new moves and getting new skills and also I started thinking about competing and how it would be to be on the world tour.
It’s hard to explain because horse people will argue with me and say that they also put everything aside for their horses and their sport. But it’s a different thing. Windsurfing showed me a different side of life, call it cheesy, call it corny, but it’s just how it is!
Continentseven: This video shows a very thoughtful Amanda, which is new for us. Are you less excited now or is this just a side, we did not know?
Amanda: Haha, well of course I am not less excited! I think and I hope this part of me will always stay. But I have to say, that I’ve been a bit nervous to release this little movie. It was actually Manu his idea to do this clip. In Africa, we talked a lot about it and decided to just do it! I can imagine that people who don’t know me, just see the excited, always “on”, crazy side of me. So maybe it’s a refreshing thing to see this clip but maybe people will take it the wrong way.
Like I said in the movie, it’s not a sad story, It should be a nice and maybe even an inspiring story and the message should be that also the bad things, can also bring amazing things. As for me, well I guess I am still loud and excited and “on”, but it is nice to get a chance to show that there is more to me than just that. (Or maybe I am just getting old…)
Continentseven: We will remember your spin loop crash from Pozo 2011 forever and some other of your crashes from Tenerife. Do you still crash that hard and do you still follow the “Go for it” mentality? Link to the crash: Spin Loop Crash
Amanda: Hahaha! I will most definitely never forget that! I think I still crash that hard, but I try to think a bit more about not getting injured. So I try to judge a bit better if it’s a good idea to do this move or to take that wave. But let’s say I have a very bad judgement hahaha! So long story short, I try to be a bit more careful, but most of the time that doesn’t really work out! It leads to epic crashes or to epic glory, to find out, you have to go for it!
Continentseven: Last year, you only did the PWA event in Tenerife. Will you do all events on the PWA tour this year and what is your goal for the events?
Amanda: Yes this year I will go for all four events and competing will be my number one priority. My goal is to be the best I possible can be this year!
Continentseven: Is it important for you to compete?
Amanda: Yes it is! But my view towards competing has changed a bit from 2011 un till now. I can honestly say I have the feeling I learned a lot. Not only in windsurf skills but also when it comes to the more mental part of competing and of windsurfing. I learned I should not compare myself to others, I can not change what others can do. What I can change is my own ability. (some wise person once told me this) I also think I have learned that I have still a lot to learn.
But in the end the very most important thing is, that I am having the time of my life it should always be fun. The moment I stop having fun is the moment I stop learning.
Continentseven: What move do you train at the moment?
Amanda: Still improving my jumps, Pushloops especially on the moment! Also trying some new things in waveriding, learning more about sliding backwards and stuff like that, which I actually really enjoy!
Continentseven: Do like jumping or wave riding more?
Amanda: I just really love waveriding I get more and more appreciation for it. An awesome cutback can make me feel really good! But also just taking a huge wave gets my adrenaline going.
Continentseven: Can you do a freestyle move?
Amanda: No! I can not! I suck at freestyle this will never be my trade, I think I am too impatient for it! I do really dig some moves, like I would love to be able to do a switch Kono (Not sure if thats the one I mean hahaha) and I was checking out the tricktionairy a few days ago and I decided that I would love to try a Waymaroo! I am up for some fun try outs but freestyle will probably never be part of my windsurfing career.
Continentseven: If you think of your perfect heat during a competition. How would it look like?
Amanda: Going out, wave to the judges, come in Jibe one handed with a hand trough the water, go out with a chop hop tail grab, tack throughout the whole heat without falling.. hahaha just kidding. My ultimate heat would be consist of 3 waves 2 jumps. Going out, do a nice forward straight off the bell. Coming in (of course, get the timing perfectly right and catch the best wave of the set), do a few (preferably 3) nice turns, go out to land a Pushloop in my heat, coming back in and stuff in a nice aerial after two good cutbacks. Going out again and wait a bit to time for another amazing set (because on this tempo I would have at least 6 minutes left in my 10 minute heat) Than come in an go for some good spray at my final wave. And I was not kidding about the tacks earlier!
Continentseven: Some windsurfers have the goal to get world champion, some want to travel, some want to sell boards, some want to live the lifestyle, some like to travel….What is your goal in windsurfing?
Amanda: I am going to give you the most cliche answere there is to this question, I just want to do what I love and if that leads me to being a worldchamp one day that would be great and if not, than at least I got to say I had an amazing time! Ok, ok, since we are being so honest today,… getting a world title sounds also very appealing to me.
Continentseven: Thanks for the nice interview!