Let’s rewind to the start of 2017 – how are you looking back on the season?
I’m looking back to another great year. I was able to compete again in the United States, in the Gorge and Rio Vista, and won in both competitions. After that I had a bit of time left and I got to travel all around Oregon, in search for wind and waves, which was a unique experience. I finished 4th overall in the PWA Freestyle again this year, and 3rd place in the EFPT Freestyle – happy with both results.
Besides Freestyle I did focus more on waves this year, and I feel that I improved my waveriding a lot. As a Freestyler I originally preferred jumping, but after wavesailing in Baja (Mexico) I fell in love with riding the waves.
Highs and Lows?
My high was windsurfing with Whales under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I still get goosebumps thinking back of it. There were so many Whales swimming around us for such a long time. Another high was my first Yoga & Windsurf clinic in Bonaire. It was such a great week, with so many people improving and having fun.
A low was my competition in Sylt. We had starboard tack conditions (my favourite tack) and I sailed a very good heat, but the judges missed one of my jumps and I got knocked out in the first round of the double. Part of the game in a judge sport, but at that moment it felt pretty sh*t.
Did you do anything different in terms of training and did it make a difference?
I spend more time in the waves this year and that definitely made a big difference, to get more feeling with the waves. For freestyle I trained a lot in choppy conditions like the Gorge, and that was a good training for Fuerteventura.
What is your favourite board in your portfolio you would never toss?
My 86 liter Skate Freestyleboard is my absolute favourite, for waves I really like the Grip 76.
Who do you look up to and why for inspiration in windsurfing and outside of the sport?
I don’t have one particular person I look up to, but there are many people that inspire me. I think all my friends do inspire me – all in different ways. My dad is definitely an inspiration for me as well. He is still the keenest windsurfer I know, and still rips on the water.
What advice would you give to young groms looking to follow in your footsteps?
Enjoy it! It’s an unique experience and it taught me so much in life, besides all the windsurfing. Believe in yourself and never give up, whatever people tell you! But try to have a backup like a study, because it’s hard to life of just windsurfing nowadays.
Who do you credit as part of your success?
So many people! I could have never made it where I am today without my family, friends and sponsors. But my family has definitely helped me the most. They have always supported me in my choices (not financial), they taught me to believe in myself and that it is important to do what you love.
Where do you see your future in the sport/immediate and long term plans?
I don’t know what the future will bring, but windsurfing will always be a part of it! My focus this year is on my windsurf career, it’s still going very well and I enjoy every moment on the water. I hope in the future I can push and motivate people for a passion like windsurfing, and create more awareness on how important nature and clean oceans are for the world.
Funniest moment on tour from 2017?
There are SO many funny moments on tour! Most of the time I live with some of the other PWA girls in one house and most nights my stomach hurts from laughing so much during dinners. But I think one of the funniest moments was in Tenerife. We had a birthday party from Colin Whippy Dixon and together with the girls we dressed up in 80´s style clothes. We ended up doing some yoga style dancing moves in our pink pants, while we were all looking ridiculous.
Turns or airs?
Last year I would have said airs, but I think I go for turns now!
Home or Hawaii?
Can’t answer that question because I have never been in Hawaii yet! It’s on my list for this year!
Thrusters or Quads?
I love the Grip with a Quad set up.
High boom or low boom?
Big winds or big waves?
I like strong wind – in either mega flat water for an amazing Freestyle session or with nice clean waves.
What do you expect from your winter training and what skills do you want to improve?
I will go to Cape Town now and this will hopefully be a good winter training for 2018! I would like to improve my waveriding, get more consistent in my Pushloops and I also want to improve some power moves in Freestyle.
Finally, what are you looking forward to in 2018?
I am looking forward to another adventurous year and I am very excited to finally go to Maui!
More about Arrianne: http://www.fanatic.com/team/arrianne-aukes-2/