Klaas Voget caught up with Wesley to get firsthand impressions from the freshly crowned winner
Klaas: How was the moment when you came back to the shore, and you realized that you won?
Wesley: In the beginning I did not realize it! I was like, “really, it is finished already?” I was so stoked, so happy!
Klaas: Did you get the feeling during the final, that you won it?
Wesley: I still wanted to catch more waves, still wanted to surf more… I have no words to explain. I knew I won the heat because I could hear the guys talking on the beach. So, I knew when I came out of the water… that was crazy. I still don’t believe it!
Klaas: At which point of the event did you get the feeling that you could win it?
Wesley: On the second day, when I saw the wind is getting stronger and the waves bigger, I said, OK, now is the day I can win this competition. The direction of the wind and the waves were almost like at my home spot. I was feeling the same than on a normal day at home. Now if I put everything together and do no mistakes I can win.
Klaas: How did you handle the pressure for the final to keep calm?
Wesley: The hardest heat was the semifinal because I really had to give a lot. Then you wrote me the message that I wouldn’t need 10's to win. So, I was trying to play save at the beginning and take no risk to be smashed on the rocks. I got two good waves at the beginning, then I was doing a trick and crashed. That got me a bit nervous. But I waited for a good gust, went back out and then landed the trick and got a good score. The final was very intense!
Klaas: When you got that good wave I basically knew, now you have it! What set up did you use and how important was the gear for this event?
Wesley: The gear is helping me a lot! I have been riding the same equipment for a long time, I did not want to change anything on it: the 5m Unit DLAB, I can get out on light winds, with a 65-liter Sky Style TE and the 82 cm mast, the 216 back wing, 60 fuselage and the 750 Aero Carve front wind. That is the gear I ride every day!
Klaas: How did you like the new wave format?
Wesley: It is good! It was the first time I have ever competed in waves. I love the format, but we are already talking, what we could further improve. the only thing I would like to change are scoring details to get more radical moves in like radical turns, tricks without using the wave, backflips without using the wing.
Klaas: What’s next? Will you focus on waves or will you do all the other disciplines?
Wesley: I want to do all disciplines as I have been practicing all of them. I think I can get good scores as well. I want to win the wave tour, but I also want to go for Freestyle really hard. All the tricks the guys are pushing, I am pushing them too, so I think I am on the same level.
Klaas: Sounds great! Congrats again, we are all super stoked for you! Enjoy the moment!