Sunday, July 21, 2024
From The MagPro RidersCOHAN VAN DIJK 


DATE OF BIRTH: 04/26/2002 

KM: What motivates you on the water? 
Cohan van Dijk: My motivation comes out of all the corners of kiting. The biggest motivation is my love for the sport. I love to challenge my adrenaline levels with the most extreme tricks. Pushing myself to test my limits with new moves and tricks is the ultimate stoke. It never gets old walking over the dunes with my kite gear and feeling the excitement rushing through my body. The moment I feel the wind, I immediately get butterflies in my stomach. Other kiters motivate me as well, because we all want to redefine our limits and share the same passion for this world. That is what keeps me going. 

KM: What is your off-the-water training like? 

CD: Looking after your body is the most important thing. I go to the gym six times a week with a big variation of exercises; full body based. I run five kilometres before I start my gym session to keep up my physical condition and to get my blood flowing. Then I do legs, back, or chest. Similar to the running, I end off with my daily ab routine. I combine balance in all of my exercises for improved stability on the water. Besides that, food plays a big roll; you’re going to need a lot of protein and muscle filling food. Just always be conscious about what you put into your mouth, body and soul.

Cohan van Dijk Cape Town action. Andy Troy photo

KM: Any recommendationsfor learning new tricks?

CD: What helps me the most is to sit down, close my eyes, and visualize every single detail of the trick you want to execute. Go through every movement very slowly. Kite with control and positioning yourself is the most important key with building this skill. This wil make the biggest diference between you being able to perform your trick and losing control over your kite. 

KM: What would you say to anyonewanting to learn to kite? 

CD: Don’t start, it’s addictive. The truth is, I will tell them it is the most amazing sport. It is a sport that manifests so much joy and happiness in my every day life. Kite surfers in general are the most amazing people. You will build amazing and special friendships all around the world. Traveling for kiteboarding brings you to the most beautiful places on earth. Your kite gear will become your favourite travel buddy.

KM: What inspires you? 

CD: My inspiration is the people behind me, all the people that believe in me and those who support me. I love to be able to share the stoke of kiting with those around me on the beach. Hearing them cheering me on inspires me the most and I love that I’m able to inspire them as well. My dad has always been my biggest inspiration; his words were, “If you believe, you will achieve.” 

KM: What do you like aboutbig air competition?

CD: I have a love/hate relationship with competitions. Competitions are what you work the hardest for. It all comes down to that one day of extreme focus and concentration. Of course it is the best feeling to have so many people on the beach watching and supporting your journey up the ladder. That is when I start to enjoy entertaining the crowd and hearing them cheer for the tricks I pull off. It is the most heartfelt and encouraging feeling. That is what I ultimately work for. Watching competitions is also important because in that moment, all the kiters are performing at their highest level. You will then see that you need to step up your game and know which direction the other riders going.

KM: How did you get to where you are today?

CD: It is a combination of different life lessons, practice and a lot of help from Naish and my dad. Without them I would not have matured to my current age and progressed as an athlete. Kiteboarding depends on the wind, so the moment you have wind you need to put everything aside and mission to the beach. You never know when the wind is leaving or coming back. Back in the days my dad would pick my up in the middle of my school classes and then take me straight to the beach. Reminding me that kiting goes before everything! From a young age, I wanted to kite with Naish. I feel the most comfortable kiting with the gear I love. For me, that is the most important element for my progression as an athlete. 

Cape Town action. Andy Troy photo

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