18-years-old, Dutch shredder Evan Klijn is extraordinarily motivated and getting a spot in Red Bull’s King of the Air has always been a dream of his!  Check out his entry video and how it all began for Evan, right here! (Subtitles available)

Why kitesurfing?

My father was a good windsurfer and often encouraged me to be on the water with him. Shortly after, I discovered kitesurfing, and that became my true passion. I watched every kitesurfing video on YouTube, I could find, researching all the best kitesurfers and learning as much as I could about the sport. But given I was only 10 years old, my father was concerned it was too dangerous and I was too young. I persevered, buying a 2m² power kite and learning to fly that, concentrating on my windsurfing and finally taking my bodyboard out of the garage, attaching it to my kite and attempting to ‘sail’ that through the canals, while all the while begging my family for kitesurfing lessons. Eventually, they gave in and I started kitesurfing lessons. But I didn’t have any kitesurfing gear, so I had to save enough money – not easy when you’re 13 – to buy my first kite and a 7m board kitesurf kit. Whether the wind was strong or low, I would do anything to get on the water, learn new jumps and try out new tricks, and it’s been my dream to become a pro-kiter ever since.

Becoming a professional kiteboarders

How do you become a pro-kiter? I had no idea. I was only 13 years old. But I figured I just had to become very, very good at kitesurfing! So, I practised freestyle nearly every day since, becoming one of the top five kitesurfers in the Netherlands and one of the top 10 in Europe by the time I was 15 years old. The pressure was enormous, however, and was compounded by all the other pressures of being 15, including staying on top of my education and dealing with some serious family health issues. So, I took a step back at 16 and reduced my training. But that also didn’t feel right and so, after a year, and with my family’s full support, I upped my training again with the goal of becoming the best I could be at kitesurfing.

Focusing on King of the Air

Now, I was aware how my unhooked kitesurfing tricks had impacted my knees, so I changed my training regime and switched my focus from freestyle to Big Air, with the ultimate goal of participating in the Red Bull King of the Air competition. My photographer and video producer, Joost Essenburg, has always made videos of me and supported me in reaching the top. So, after more than two years of intensive Big Air training, we are currently recording my highest and most extreme jumps for my special entry video; check it out! – Evan Klijn

Wed 4th Dec, 2019 @ 3:00 am

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