Unfortunately Youp Schmit has to withdraw from all events for the rest of the season due to a damaged knee. At the PWA Freestyle World Cup on Fuerteventura the Bonairian freestyle windsurfer was limping to his heats, but still managed to win some heats in the double elimination. We have contacted Youp, who is at the moment in Holland to ask him about his status quo.

© Pic: PWA/ John Carter, Youp Schmit

© Pic: PWA/ John Carter, Youp Schmit

Continentseven: When did your knee problems begin?
Youp Schmit: My knee problems started to appear already in February at the beginning of the season. I was quite lucky that the first PWA event in Venezuela (El Yaque) was cancelled. Because of this event being cancelled and the next event being all the way in April I was able to take the necessary rest. But it was not just my knee that was in pain! It all started with my abductor muscle in the right leg. I had caused a small tear in the abductor muscle in the beginning of February because of overtraining it. At the same time I was already having strange clicking in the knee and just a little bit of pain in patella (kneecap). But all the rest and training with the physiotherapy in those months we’re specialised on my abductor.
Once I got back on my board again in the middle of April, I went to the annual photo-shoot in Maui. After just a couple of session on the water, I started to feel light pain in the knee again. I didn’t pay too much attention to it as there was a competition starting in Austria at the end of the month. Luckily the wind conditions weren’t too extreme there as well so I was able to take rest for the knee. After I got back home from Austria I was again able to take 100% rest for the injured knee as the next competition would be in the end of June.
During this period I was able to keep on going with my trainings but just in the gym. This was killing me as there was so much wind on my island all these months! Plus I live right next to the surf hostel meaning I was watching the guys come back from awesome sessions everyday .. And the PWA world cup on my home island ‘Bonaire’ was coming up soon!
One week before the contest was coming up I just had to start sailing again, but my knee was still quite painful on landing and twisting the jumps. But giving up on this contest was the last thing on my mind!
As the PWA World Cup started on Bonaire my knee was doing quite well, it was a little painful but not too extreme. But on day 3 that changed big time, my knee started to swell up and it was getting more painful at every jump I made. Never the less I was still able to put on a very good performance, and I had an awesome contest.
After the World Cup on Bonaire, I went straight on to Lanzarote as my tickets had already been booked for the Canary Islands. I decided not to compete on Lanzarote on the EFPT to take rest on my knee to prepare for the PWA which was coming up after a couple of weeks. I knew those weeks of rest we’re not enough to recover on my knee, but I just couldn’t drop out of the World Cup just yet! So I ended up doing the contest on Fuerteventura with an injured knee, which had just pushed the limits of my knee too far.

Continentseven: Yes, in Fuerteventura you were limping to your heats, but still managed to win some heats in the double elimination. How was this possible? Did you take some pain killers?
Youp Schmit: Indeed I was able to fight back a couple of heats in the double elimination, but honestly the secret was NOT to take painkillers. On day 1 of the contest I had taken maybe a little too much pain killers which messed up my vision and mind. I remember my vision became quite blurry and very strange, when I went into my heat that day I didn’t really know what I was doing anymore and which moves I was trowing down. I lost in the single elimination and saw myself all the way in the back of the rankings. This made me very hungry not to give up on this contest and to do much better in the double that was coming up. Further I didn’t care about my knee what so ever.
For the double elimination I had sailed the heats with lots of pain and also with lots of will to make up my ranking that I had messed up on day 1. I was able to fight through a couple of heats but in the end my knee wouldn’t hold on anymore. Nevertheless I am still very happy about how I was able to handle the pain and fight my way up the ladder a little.

Youp Schmit on Fuerteventura - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Youp Schmit on Fuerteventura – Pic: PWA/John Carter


Continentseven: What’s happened since Fuerteventura?
Youp Schmit: After the contest in Fuerte I left to Holland as soon as possible to get started on my knee. First thing I did is I went to the doctor to get started, this doctor was able to push for an appointment for an MRI in the hospital. From there I was able to visit a professor in the AMC in Amsterdam to check out the scan. Further I have visited a sport-doctor and orthopedist to have more opinion on the knee. In the end they had found 3 injuries in the knee.

Continentseven: What injuries do you exactly have?
Youp Schmit: They had found 3 injuries on the same right knee.
1. My patella ligament is very annoyed and inflammation was quite extreme
2. They had found a small tear in the meniscus
3. There is a small fracture in the upper leg bone which broke off a tiny piece of bone

Continentseven: Do you need a surgery? Youp Schmit: Over the last weeks I have been getting shock-wave therapy on the damaged patella ligament. Last Tuesday was a very important check up for me, it was the day that they would decide to operate or not. Luckily in the end they made the decision not to do a surgery on the knee. Now the following steps are therapy and lots of care. I’m very happy to get all this help here in Holland, and hope to be 100% fit by the end of November.

Continentseven: How long will you be off the water?
Youp Schmit: Too long! My complete revalidation time will take a couple of months.

Continentseven: Can you already do some training off the water or how do you keep yourself fit?
Youp Schmit: At the moment I am forced to take 100% rest on my knee, meaning I can’t use my legs too much. But I am still allowed to be in the gym to stay in shape. I will also be starting with physiotherapy as soon as possible when the knee allows it, so I hope they can setup for me a special program to get my knee back in action and fit for next season.

Continentseven: Will you be fit for the PWA Freestyle event in Sylt end of September?
Youp Schmit: Sadly I won’t be able to make it, and will have to make a withdraw from the PWA tour for this season. I will work hard on my knee the upcoming months, and will be full power back in 2015!

Continentseven: Good luck!!