INTERVIEW WITH TOM BRENDT – BY LYNN PESTKA
Tom, we are stoked that you will be running Fanatic Pro Camps at some of our FBC centers for the 11th year running.
Tell us what your camps are all about?
Our Fanatic Pro Camps should transmit all the fun of this sport - a week packed with knowledge, exercises and windsurfing training in great company, with good
times together on and off of the water and lots of fun! During our camps everybody will improve their windsurfing level in a relaxed but progressive and very enjoyable week at some of the best
windsurf spots worldwide.
Which FBC spots will you be holding camps at this year?
We have chosen the same FBC´s as in the past ten years as it has been working out really well at those spots, with their great service and equipment. So in
2019 we will be again at the FBC´s Moulay, Lanzarote and Kos, only that this time due to popular demand we will be two weeks at each center instead of one !
Are the camps different at each spot?
We always try to choose the right spot for different levels. FBC Moulay, for example, is a wave sailing spot for a bit more experienced windsurfers who want to
get into wave sailing or jumping. FBC Kos is more for the general windsurfer who is working on his carve jibes, waterstarts, or wants to have their first experience in freestyle, whilst at FBC
Lanzarote we will split the two weeks, one for the same level as already mentioned for FBC Kos, and the second for wave beginners and those who´d like to jump and rotate a bit in the air.
Who should join your camps?
Actually, all windsurfers who really want to improve their level and are motivated and willing to train to reach their goals. The level depends on the type of
camp, for example at FBC Moulay it won´t be possible to teach waterstarts or basic moves, whilst at all other spots all intermediates will be welcome.
What can a person expect to get from your camps after a week of training?
Well, our goal is to train everybody individually and as professionally and as best as we can to ensure they improve and simply have more fun on the water.
This happens quite naturally, by wasting less energy during the water based sessions, so leading to much faster progress.
There are so many camps out there these days … what sets yours out from the rest?
Our Fanatic Pro Camps provide a kind of around the clock service, with lots of windsurfing time on the water, and also anything and everything about
windsurfing, but also some time to relax and enjoy the spots and to clear the mind. We always try to combine fun and training, which for us is the most successful to train and motivate.
What do you enjoy most about the camps you hold?
Actually I really enjoy to see the motivation of all our guests and to watch how they really progress. I also enjoy thinking about so many different exercises
as people learn in different ways, and of course all the nice people we meet and the great times we spend together at some of the best Windsurf Spots in the world
Why are they called “Pro Camps”?
That is a question I get asked quite often! Some people think that these are training camps for the Pros... but that’s certainly not the case.
Fanatic Pro Camps are for anybody who wants to see progress in their windsurfing. We will help in a very professional way to get all of our students there… so it’s about the Pro Coaching...
not about coaching the Pros!
Why do you think people should take a Fanatic Pro Camp?
We’ve got some of the best spots for learning and to improving, amazing windsurf centers with top of the range Fanatic Equipment, and our team is always more
than 100 % motivated to coach all participants the best way possible.
What do you like about working with the FBC centers?
I really like the professionalism of all the FBC centers. At all the centers windsurf addicted people do their best to make all their guests happy, and that´s
what we also do with our camps, which is why I see it as a perfect combo. All the FBC centers provide exactly what I need to be able to make a perfect week for our guests.
What languages do you teach in?
We teach in German, English, Spanish and Italian..... and soon in French as well.... I guess that should cover most people!
Is it correct that you plan to integrate SUP to the content of each camp ? why ??
Oh yes, the SUP boards are one of the best developments we have seen lately! I really like to integrate SUP, not only in our wave camps, where they really help
to get onto and into the waves easily, get a feeling of the right positioning in the waves, and get to know the feeling of the waves, but even on flat water it is a great exercise. When you take
a look at rehab clinics you´ll see them using the balance boards for all kinds of rehab after knee or ankle injuries. Well, the SUP board is just the same really, just with a much bigger fun
factor, plus you train your muscles to protect yourself from injuries, and you even train your entire upper body. Maybe that sounds a bit like one of those TV ads for some strange training
machines, “lose your weight without doing anything”, but the SUP boards are really great and it is obvious that windsurfers usually have no big problem to make their first steps on the SUP
boards, plus they are just perfect for light wind exercises.
What new camps do you have in your bag for next year?
FBC St. Martin for sure is one of the next destinations where we will hold our camps as it is a perfect spot for windsurfing, surfing and SUP, but we are
working also on some more winter destinations.
What is your “day job” ?
Well, besides the organization and coaching of the Fanatic Pro Camps, I work as coach for some of the top riders of the PWA World Cup, and I am always trying
to find new talent who might have the chance to be one of the top competitors on the World Tour one day. Once I find someone I dedicate my time to coaching them, shooting images and videos for
analysis, or for their possible future sponsors
How long have you been a trainer, and who do you train?
My training career began in 2002, starting with Cheo Diaz and Gollito Estredo, plus I did some clinics together with Josh Stone and Slalom World-cupper Chris
Pressler in order to find new talent. That’s the way we found French freestyler and waverider Anthony Ruenes, or Spanish European Champion Antxon Otaegui. Now I travel with Gollito Estredo and my
wife Yoli de Brendt to the World Cups, try to help and coach wherever I can. Plus we have got Deivis Paternina, a new El Yaque Hot Shot now competing at the PWA Tour as well.
How does it feel to be the personal trainer of Gollito, a multiple world champion ?
Actually it feels pretty normal, he is a very normal guy for me, and I am always focused in helping him wherever I can and whenever needed. Perhaps during
competitions and before the season I am even more nervous than he is himself, but of course I am always super happy when he gets back on that highest step of the podium knowing that I could help
him again a bit to get there..... he´s part of our family by now!
Do you train the participants of the camps in a similar way as you do Gollito …
I train the participants the way I used to train with Gollito. The coaching of Gollito has changed with time, and I just can´t show him anything on the water!!
I mean he´s just sailing in his own universe, but I can still help him to get some new tricks, and above all during the competitions with tactics and just keeping the media away from him between
the heats so he can stay focussed.
How does it feel to train and run Fanatic Pro Camps with your wife Yoli de Brendt, who is also the second best female freestyler in the world?
To work with my wife is just amazing! She learned all those new freestyle moves in such a short time and with such great motivation, which she can still
transmit to our participants. As I have trained her since she started with windsurfing, we always teach in a very similar way, which is also necessary to not confuse our students.
Do you feel any pressure on the water when you sail with her and see her land some super radical moves?
I really like to see Yoli on the water landing her moves, especially when very well executed or new, but there is no pressure. Our personal windsurfing style
is pretty different, as I like to wave sail air moves much more, while she prefers to learn the latest freestyle moves.
Tom … thanks a lot for your time, and many thanks to you and Yoli for making our Fanatic Pro Camps a continually growing success!