Hey Willem, how’s it going? How is your new Hover Glide setup?
Hi Sam! I’m doing great. Happy that most lockdown measurements are over in The Netherlands and I hope the situation will be better in all other countries soon! During the lockdown I had plenty of time to work on my new sit-foil design, where I have the possibility to fold up the foil so I can start riding from shallow water or the beach. I was super happy when I received the brand new Slingshot Hover Glide FKite setup. I attached the foil to my new sit-kiteboard setup and went to Scheveningen beach to try it out. The conditions were perfect! About 16 knots of wind and small waves to cruise on. I was surprised about the control and manoeuvrability which I had with the Hover Glide. It was my best foil session so far., until… after one hour of riding with my brand new foil… I had a massive crash in the water and wasn’t able to get back up again. I surfed back to the beach.
Well, I know what went wrong. I filmed the crash so I was able to check-out what happened. I assembled the fuselage to the mast using the wrong size bolts (too short). I had been working until 3am the night before to finish it. Not so smart of me haha. But lessons learned. The good news is that the new sit-foil fold-up-design worked perfectly! Soon I will release a Vlog on my YouTube channel about the sit-foil project.
Congrats on your foundation! We are so stoked to be a partner! What are your goals with the foundation? How will you achieve them?
Thanks! We are stoked to be online now for two weeks with our brand new website: www.willemhooftfoundation.com. Our goal is to make sit-kitesurfing accessible for people with a physical disability and ultimately make this a Paralympic sport.
What we are focusing on short term is making the sport well known, providing training and ensuring pro and safe sit-kite gear is available. Our partnership with Slingshot and the Wind Voyager allows me to travel the globe looking for exciting, challenging locations to sit-kitesurf and push the limits of the sport. Our footage has global reach and has made a huge difference already.
Secondly, good quality training needs to become available. To do this locally, we aim to train kitesurf instructors to also teach sit-kiting safely. To have a global reach we will be shooting video tutorials on how to learn sit-kiting wherever you are.
Last but not least, future surfers need sit-kite equipment to be available globally at an affordable price. Today, each board is custom made, costly and takes months to produce. With the help of Slingshot we can give these daring surfers the opportunity to explore their passion and freedom.
Have you had many people contact you about the foundation since launching?
We were overwhelmed with the response. One day after the launch we were invited to the largest Dutch talk show to tell my story and promote the sport. This sparked a lot of positive energy and got us in touch with other supporters. I feel this journey is only starting and I look forward to what is to come.
How can Slingshot help as a partner?
Slingshot helps the foundation and our goals hugely by promoting the sport like it does.
Our biggest obstacle to scaling the sport up is the lack sit-kite equipment being available. Slingshot is in a unique position to manufacture these boards and distribute them around the world to each passionate rider out there. It would be awesome if we could make this possible together.