WHY I LEFT MY CAREER IN FINANCE FOR A CAREER IN KITESURFING.
Some of you guys might have seen me in the store at Surface2Air Sports or down in Poole, teaching kitesurfing. Maybe you’ve also wondered how I am came to lead this lifestyle, well let me tell you…
Born and raised in Holland, in a small inland town called Sittard. I was always interested in boardsports and very intrigued by what I saw in movies.
However living 4hrs away from the nearest coast and 10hrs from any mountains, it was rare for me to have an opportunity to surf or snowboard.
Therefore, once I was old enough I decided to move to the Dutch coast to live the surf life! Fortunately, my University was just half an hour from the beach and I spend every spare minute surfing or kitesurfing.
After graduating with a Masters in Law and Economics I made a responsible career choice and began working for a law firm that dealt with corporate governance� and mergers. Yip…PRETTY BORING!
So after 4 long years working as a lawyer, I found myself asking the question “Do I really want to do this for the next 40 years?” The answer was clear to me: “Hell no!”
A job in the city, a fancy car, a big house these weren’t my dreams, so why was I striving for them? So I took the first of many decisions that would ultimately define my life, I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and moved to Tarifa, Spain to find my purpose.
Tarifa is the kitesurfing Mecca of Europe. If there is one place where every kitesurfer needs to go – it’s Tarifa! I was kitesurfing every day and I loved every second of it! But I was also aware, that it was just an extended holiday. With no job in sight, I knew that money would eventually run out!
I would often watch the kitesurfing instructors from all over the world teaching and began to wonder, “Could I teach kitesurfing? Would it keep me going until I find out what I wanted to do with my life?”
I decided to give it a go. So I flew back to Holland and got my IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) teaching certificate. Then went straight to the Dominican Republic for my first full kitesurfing season. I always enjoyed teaching and explaining things to my friends. Being a kitesurfing instructor came really natural to me. And I really loved it!
Nothing is more satisfying to see then a complete beginner who is riding their first metres on a kiteboard. Seeing the smiles on their faces is the greatest reward for me. Even now, years on, you can still hear me cheering loudly when a student gets up on the board for the first time.
Kitesurfing is a seasonal sport. As an instructor, you chase the best wind conditions around the world. So after the Dominican Republic, I continued travelling to other exotic locations.� For the next 10 years, I was living an endless summer. What was meant to be a temporary solution, turned out to be my perfect lifestyle. I lived in Mexico, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Spain, Thailand, Morocco and Western Australia. The beach was my office and the ocean my playground. I got to know many cool people and interesting cultures.
Living as a modern nomad was really fun. I enjoyed all the adventures. Yet, I woke up one day realizing that I miss having a home. It was time for the next big decision. I still wanted to travel but also have a base. So I ended up in Melbourne, Australia. Attracted by the amazing kitesurfing conditions and a perfect teaching spot at St Kilda beach.
During that time I stepped up my game. I got my IKO Examiner certificate and became qualified to teach future instructors.� I knew exactly how to give people an ultimate kite surf lesson experience and wanted to share it. I was determined to help other instructors become their best.
I witnessed instructors shouting at their students, creating unsafe situations and most importantly, I saw disappointed students. That’s not what I wanted for them. I love kitesurfing and I wanted them to love it too. To learn it safely and have loads of fun. Those are my standards. I love teaching and sharing my passion for this amazing watersport.
So how did I end up in the UK Teaching Kitesurfing?
Being originally from Holland, I wanted to move closer to my family and friends. After a few years in Oz, I decided to packed my bags again and moved over.
I have heard many times about Poole Harbour – an amazing teaching spot in the UK! Windy summers and shallow water, where you can stand next to your student, is every instructor’s dream!
Angelo kindly offered me a job in the S2AS store. I started managing the kitesurfing and wakeboarding department of our store and running the kitesurf school. As an experienced instructor that has has flown almost every kite that ever existed, I was well equipped to advise new kitesurfers what equipment would fit them best. And who doesn’t love to talk about something they are passionate about? It was a perfect fit.
S2AS is a “Rider owned. Rider run.” store . And I’m using all my expertise to:
- help customers get their new, well-matched gear
- teach kitesurfing
- organise kite surf trips abroad (which was a no brainer due to all of my travel experience Contact us for more info.)
� Now it’s almost 3 years since I started at S2AS and it became my new family. We all work together and ride together, whether it’s wakeboarding at the local wake park, kitesurfing in Poole Harbour or snowboarding. Together we live for these sports and the lifestyle that comes with them.
That’s my story:� from being a lawyer, then looking for something better in life and ending up in Poole, at S2AS. I hope you have taken something from my story, and that you have or will find a job, where you feel happy, just as I do.
If you find a job you love, Your never work a day in your life. that’s very true in my experience.
Happy kiting and see you on the water,
Glenn – Part of the S2AS Team
Leave a comment