Straight From The Pros: Bianca Buitendag
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) en route to her Swatch Girls Pro France Junior Victory !
Credit:© Aquashot / aspeurope.com
CAPBRETON, France (Wednesday, July 4, 2012) – By now you have probably seen her name a couple times in our news and we decided it was time for everyone to get to know Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) a little better. Bianca has won the first two Women Pro Junior events on the 2012 schedule and sits in pole position on our rankings. Despite not being able to be crowned a European Champion, she totally deserves all our attention for she has demonstrated exceptional skills so far and will stay in Europe a little longer.
Bianca has allowed us to use an exclusive interview where she gives us a few insights into her life as a travelling young pro surfer ! And because ‘Action speaks louder than Words’ we’ve also managed to get our hands on a little clip Roxy just did for Bianca!
Hey Bianca !
Where are you from and what is it like there?
Victoria Bay, it is a small beach down in a valley 2.5 hours drive south of Jeffreys Bay, on the east coast of South Africa. Very consistant and playful right-hand point, with a small beach break. Great people, great community and great waves.
I see on your website that you had provincial colours in various other sports like hockey, swimming, biathlon, gymnastics and surf life saving, what made you decide to choose surfing as your main sport?
I really enjoy all sports in general, especially team sports, but I think there is a brighter future in surfing.
I also got bored of the other sports easily, but you can never get bored of surfing. The conditions are always different, every wave is different, it’s more of a lifestyle than a sport and it has opened a lot of doors for me. I get to travel the world, meet a lot of people and experience more things than what I would in any of the other sports.
You have two brothers, one older and one younger, tell me something about them?
Yeah hahaha they’re awesome. The “little” one’s name is Daniel. He is standing 6’3 tall and is still growing strong! He is still at school and does a lot of rugby, kite-surfing etc. He actually surfs better than me, but just doesn’t like the competitive scene. The older one is Sven hahaha he has the best sense of humour and is super lazy. He has a thing for maths and is doing his third year Actuarial Science at Uni. I miss them a lot. Hopefully one day they can come with me to some of the events.
When did you start competing in contests internationally and where did you surf?
Mmmm probably when I was around 14 – I started doing the ISA World Juniors. The first one was in France and I actually went to France three times that year also competing in the Roxy Pro Junior in Biaritz. I have been flying all over the world since I was about 14 I would say. Hawaii, America, Mozambique, France, Portugal, Spain, it goes on.
You won the Billabong World Pro Junior Champs in Narabeen (January 2011) and won the silver medal at the ISA U/18 World Championship in Peru later that year. After that you didn’t manage to do the rest of the WQS events and Pro Junior Series for the rest of the year, why not?
I was still at school hahaha! It was my last year so I really had to try and be there when I could. I was doing 3 extra classes after school on some days. I wanted to perform academically too, which I managed to do. It took some sacrifice but I am really glad I finished school well.
I hear that you had extremely good results in your final school exam, A average in 6 of your subjects and a total average of 87% for all in your final school exam. How many days did you manage to go to school during this year and how did you manage to get that result?
Mmm I was probably away half of the time. But when I was at school I put the effort in. I was going to tutors for Maths, Science and Accounting every week. A 3 hour extra class got me through about 4 weeks of school. The teachers at school were also super helpful and did a lot of effort with me. One of my best friends was top in the grade so I copied some notes from her ! I was the nerd that always packed in the school books on a surf trips and did as much as I could on the plane. It actually feels quite strange not doing it anymore.
Did you have to decide between going to university and surfing and was it a hard choice?
Yeah I had to decide, but it wasn’t that tough. My parents chose academics and always said that they regretted going to university straight after school and my mom still wants to travel the world haha, so they had a big influence in the decision. I think taking the surfing option might have been more risky, but I have good support from Roxy and I never wanted the average life.
However I will definitely still study part time while on the WQS and maybe later a fulltime degree in finance or in business. God opened a door in the surfing scene so I decided for now to grab the opportunity and go for it. And when I look back now, Im really glad I did.
What are your plans for 2012 ? Which contests are you going to do and where are you going to live?
My plan is to live in France for the next few years and travel to all the contests from there. It’s going to be tough, but hopefully a couple of visits from friends and family will get me through it. I am also traveling with the French Roxy team at the moment, so I am getting to know a lot of surfers from France and I am sure as soon as I master the language it will be a very nice place to stay. I also plan to attend a language school so that I can learn to speak French as soon a possible.
I will be doing all the 6-Star events around the world and then all the pro juniors in Europe. Maybe even one or two Pro Juniors in America.
I need to get contest experience for up to now I tried to fit contests in between my schooling and exams. This is the first year that I can just train and surf.
Tell us something about you that not many people know…
God has opened my eyes. I used to live for myself, but now, through Christ, I am (trying) to live to glorify and know God.
What training do you do besides surfing?
I have a training program that I do every once in a while. being on tour full time now, you have to be fit and try to prevent injuries.
Living in France I will be training at the Moskova gym at the Quiksilver premises, if I survive it…..
Best thing about being sponsored by Roxy?
The great team and support, always making me feel welcome in France. It is inspirational to meet people that love their jobs so much and do it with such enthusiasm. The clothes and accessories are also beautiful …… and you get to travel the world and do what you love !
Thank’s for your time and good luck this summer!