Social status: Living together with his lovely girlfriend, Linde; proud parents of daughter Noosa
Surfer since: Since I was 12 years old
Favorite spot: Mundaka, Spain
How often do you surf: I’m in the water at least seven months a year for my companies Surfles.nl and Lifeguarding.nl. For the remaining months we try to travel somewhere in the world with good waves.
Favorite board: Everything that glides will do, short, long, broad, small, with or without fins.
Biggest wave: Well, I’m not a bigwave surfer like Peter Conroy. I had a winter in Hawai’I in 2003, which got me more confident in bigger surfe. My biggest wave attempt was Mundaka, November 2013. Attempt… as I went over the falls on a borrowed 6.8 pintail trying to duckdive a wide set.
Waves to do: So many! Being a goofyfoot there’s quite a few lefts (and rights) that I haven’t surfed yet. But if I have to choose than definitely skeleton Bay in Namibia and Lobitos Peru.
Work in daily life: Surf, Safety and Sustainability are the three keypoints. I’m running my surfschool and lifeguard training company. The school is designed and operated to be as sustainable as possible, so powered by a solar system only, for instance, and our green roofs are covered with edible spices like oregano. We also organize beach clean ups.
Motto: Have fun and enjoy life as much as possible while causing minimal damage to others and our natural environment.
Hans has been surfing for almost two thirds of his life. At home in the water, he is a former Dutch National Surf Champion and last year’s winner of the Holland Surf Association´s Longboard Noseriding competition.
With a background in education as a qualified Physical Education (PE)/Sports Teacher, he’s well versed in both didactics and sport, so becoming a dedicated Surf Instructor was a natural progression. In 2006, he founded his own surf school ‘Surfles.nl’. He has also been working with the Holland Surf Association since 2001 and, as a member of the board, strives to establish top quality training for surf instructors, including essential lifesaving skills.
Hans himself is an International Life Saving (ILS) certified lifeguard and lifeguard instructor. He started his own company ‘Lifeguarding.nl’ in 2010 to share this knowledge with others. Spending time in the water with Hans, whether surfing, or as a surf instructor, lifeguard, or certified lifeguard instructor, it’s evident that his cumulative experience is second to none. The ASLS is therefore delighted to present Hans van de Broek as one of the ASLS course instructors!
Hans was awarded the 2013 Green Surfer Award by Surfrider Foundation Europe and Reef in recognition of his efforts to create environmental awareness amongst surfers and his work in keeping beaches and the ocean clean. Ever the pragmatist, Hans does this, for instance, by asking his school students to pick up litter from the beach after each surf lesson. Following the idea of “pick up three and the difference you will see”. I think we all agree. It’s simple, yet a powerful and surprisingly effective message.
Thanks Hans for your time in conversation.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more interviews from the “Introducing the EASD” series!