Martine Geijsels Talks Performance Longboarding
Photos by Tommie Dijkhuizen
South Holland, a province of the Netherlands that calls to mind the juxtaposition of quaint pastures and bustling urban centers, is not the most obvious place to begin a professional surfing career. Martine Geijsels, a Dutch surfer who began competing in her twenties, spends her time in Holland tracking North Sea swells and biking to and from the shore. “As a Dutch surfer at home in Holland, your agenda has to be free,” she writes. “You can’t plan too much in advance if you want to score. It is so fickle that the conditions change every minute. The surf in Holland is far from the best, but with the right board under your feet, you can still have plenty of fun sessions.”
After competing on a shortboard for several years, Martine found her groove on a longboard. It all started with a winter spent in Mexico and El Salvador which overlapped the off season; the conditions there would be favorable for a heavier board. “I decided to bring my longboard for the first time by plane. Besides the small days, I took it out in sizey waves and I was sold! It’s such a challenge to surf a longboard in bigger conditions. It is sketchy sometimes, but I love the thrill of going so fast and trying to perform as if I have a shortboard under my feet.”
Despite her snowboarding background, competing did not come naturally to Martine. “For some girls, the jersey brings the best out of them. When I put a jersey on, I block. Tension takes the flow out of my body and, above this, the sharpness out of my brain. The main mistake I made when I was nervous was that I didn’t have the patience to seek the right waves to perform on. I almost always got second in contests...the few national and international titles I have were won by performing really well on bad chosen waves!”
Martine’s career has drawn her to beaches across the globe. “I remember one session at Periscopes on Sumbawa with Filipe Toledo, Miguel Pupo and a few other pros on the peak, taking the longest barrels I have ever seen. I was on the shoulder of the shoulder, still surfing some of the best waves of my life! And I remember one day at the North Shore of Oahu, when I saw the biggest waves ever breaking at Pipe, from my blanket on the shore, haha…”
“Surfing is subjective. You can have the most epic sessions in the worst waves, and have bad surfs in the most epic conditions. Your personal state of mind and energy level determines your session. So if you paddle out with a positive attitude, and above all without expectations, you are already on the way to having a fun one.”
It is sketchy sometimes, but I love the thrill of going so fast and trying to perform as if I have a shortboard under my feet.”
Aside from being a professional athlete, Martine calls herself a word artist. “I’m currently working on a pretty big project that I will publish in some point in the future,” she says. Stay tuned!
Thanks to C-Skins Wetsuits, Monique Rotteveel Activewear, SeventyOne Percent, @SilverSurf.Pro, Hang Zen Clothing, Waterkoog, Reef Europe, Creatures of Leisure, Crush Eyewear, Les Culottes, Silversurf Pro, and Harley Ingleby for supporting Martine’s dreams! Click here to follow her journey on Instagram.