Dutch surfer and world traveller Martine Geijsels is spreading her infectious smile, connecting with communities of all sorts and making waves (riding them too). A few years ago, she switched from shortboarding to perfomance longboarding, a special step, which enriched her surfing life.
Martine, you have switched to performance longboarding. How did that change come about?
A few years ago I needed a new challenge in my surfing anyway. I developed an interest in surfing all sizes of boards. Especially in Holland, where the waves are pretty crappy most of the time. For three years I’ve been traveling with a proper longboard of 9.0 or more. I take it out in all kinds of waves, also when it is big. High performance longboarding in sizey waves, is a passion for me these days. It is my main focus, but I still surf other boards, just to stay fresh.
What do you love about it?
It is such a challenge to surf a longboard in bigger conditions. It is sketchy sometimes, but I love the thrill of going so fast and to try to perform like I have a shortboard under my feet.
Where do you call home?
There is three places in the world I call home. The first one is my house in Scheveningen in Holland, although the cold and the lacking of good waves. That’s where I grew up and my long life friends and family live. Second is a cabana on a beach, somewhere on the mainland in Mexico. Third is a little place with a local family, in the jungle of El Salvador.
What are your three fave destinations and why?
El Salvador, Mexico and Indonesia are my top three long-stay destinations. Indonesia for the waves and for the food, El Salvador & Mexico also for the Latino lifestyle. Every year I visit a few new destinations to keep on exploring the world, but until so far my top three destinations haven’t been replaced by them.
Who do you travel with?
On long travels or winter getaways, I am mostly with my boyfriend Tommie. I met him around fifteen years ago and I know it is very special that we still want the same in life. We try to find a balance in spending time in Holland and going to the tropics together and that differs every year. We have a house in Scheveningen, the beach part of The Hague. Sometimes we will leave it for only five months, if we feel like staying in Europe a bit longer. Our current trip is one and a half year, coming back this June. Sometimes I will fly away a few weeks or months before him, because I am a bit more restless to go surf. Or to go shoot with brands or coach on special surf trips or surf camps around Europe and the world.
I am more afraid of the cold anyway, rolling into autumn. I am a typical snowbird: spending summers in Europe and flying away to tropical places when it’s getting cold. Maybe I should say I am more of a ‘rainbird’, running away already when it starts raining in autumn. He is a bit more connected with Holland than me as well. But that’s all good. We trust each other and give each other the freedom to make our own decisions, besides being a team together. I think that’s the key to our very strong relationship.
What’s the surf like in Europe?
In Holland, wave wise you have to on standby all the time. It is so fickle that the conditions change every minute. As a Dutch surfer, being at home, your agenda has to be free. You can’t plan to much in advance if you want to score. With the right board under your feet and heaps of biking to and from the shore, you can have plenty of fun surfs. My favourite time in Europe is September in France, when the crowds and onshore summer winds are gone. The late summer swells can break so perfectly over the French beach breaks.
What interests you?
My interests are: people, coffee o’clocks, the occasionally beer-and-dance-o’clock, food, meditation, breathing techniques, a certain style of fashion, literature and music and above all being outdoors and in nature. I am not a city person.
What’s your favourite quote?
Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World… This quote has always been the one and will always be the one for me and hopefully for other people too. Live life to the fullest the way you want too, but also with respect for everybody else.
- Nickname: Martine ‘Bombita’ Geijsels (because of my love for sizey waves and my patience to wait for the set waves in the water)
- Besides meditation, I highly believe in breathing techniques.
- I have become a spirit junk, but I am still a joking punk. Humor is as important to me too.
- The first thing I do in the morning is having my ‘cobbee’, my first cup of coffee is always in bed.
- I don’t wear make-up while traveling, but I always have nail polish on my toe nails. If the surf has been good, you can notice this by the flaked nail polish on my toes.
- Focus is the mental instrument to progress in surfing. I am not a talker in the water.
- I can’t live off surfing, but I can live through surfing.
- If there is no surf, I will get my ‘blue mind’ by going for a swim or a bodysurf.
- My favourite animal in the ocean is the seahorse. On land I am a cat person.
- Since I was a kid, I was always playing with words. Besides being a surfer, I am a word artist. I am currently working on a pretty big, personal project. It will take some time and effort, but I hope I will please and inspire you with my writing in the future. Stay tuned!
Martine Geijsels’ sponsors are: C-Skins Wetsuits, Harley Ingleby Longboards, Reef Europe, Creatures of Leisure, Seventy One Percent, SilverPro, byMoniqueRotteveel, Waterkoog and Komono.
Follow Martine on instagram @martinegeijsels