NEW European Record 34.6m by Jamie Overbeek with the latest EDGE V11
A series of storms hit the Dutch coast this past February 2022. First Dudley followed by Eunice and ending with Franklin. Eunice was forecasted as one of the three biggest storms since 1970 with possible winds building up to 70+ knots.
This past 18th of February 2022, 16 years old Ozone team rider, Jamie Overbeek from the Netherlands achieved the new European record with a 34.6 m height jump.
Jamie, all times wind lover, had his first contact with kites when he was 6 years old. He started flying with a small two-line power kite and got hooked on the sport. He then got his first depower kites and when he was 9 years old he learned land kiting in Denmark and later that year started his kitesurfing lessons back home in the Netherlands.
We asked some questions to the champion and here is what he said:
How do you feel while kiteboarding? And what is the best thing about this sport for you?
"It gets my adrenaline pumping and gives me a sense of freedom and control over the elements. If a forecast is looking extremely good there’s just nothing else on my mind besides going out there and pushing myself to the limit".
How long were you waiting for this day? And how long had you seen this forecast happening?
"I think I have been waiting for this to happen for about a year. January- February has become the period when these big storms are forming in the Netherlands for the last few years.
As we landed on our return from South Africa, it was already visible on a few of the forecasts so we were hoping for this to happen for real. As the day approached, it was sure that it was gonna hit strong. Nothing my brother Sean and I had ever seen before.
We could also see that our window of opportunity would be short. At first, the storm would be South with a sudden change to South West, and with that change, it would transform from about 35 knots to suddenly gusting up to 60+ knots. We calculated our window to try and get out, which would be between 2.00 and 3.30 PM."
Take us through the day of the record, from the moment you woke up!
"Yeah sure, for days there was just one thing on my mind. First, we got a warm-up with Storm Dudley on the 17th of Feb. Wind was NW and on my home spot reaching maybe 50+ knots at its height. NW isn’t the best direction and my brother and I did the whole session on an Edge V11 8m, got a nice score of 32,2 m. on my WOO that day. The wind was dropping pretty quick in the afternoon and we called it a day. We had our eyes on Eunice who would knock on our door the next day. A small inconvenience was Sean first had to do a school exam the next morning, so instead of staying the night near the spot, we had to drive home for two hours and drive back the next day in stormy conditions.
The next day all was prepped for the big encounter with mother nature. I and my dad picked up Sean directly at school at 11.15 am and drove to our home spot on the IJsselmeer in the province of Friesland. It’s a 2-hour drive but we made it in time. We prepared our gear on the beach ( or what was left of it ) and made it out just before 2.00 PM. We had 15 minutes of powered riding and then as forecasted all hell broke loose and winds picked up very strong even stronger in the rain fronts that were passing over. We went out together for about 15 minutes, no one else was on the water, even other experienced kiters decided to skip this one and watch the show on the beach.
We managed to survive for about 45 minutes and decided to land and take a break. Time to get a look at my WOO score, it didn’t take long to get my score on the first sesh 34,6 m. new PB and European record, second-highest jump Global all time. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with that, my goal was the World Record and I came so close. Now what was the question, I wanted to take a second try. Everybody said don’t it’s just too strong, my brother won't go anymore. He agreed it’s too much to get out safely. Still, I had to try and decide on one more session. Around this time we got no reports whatsoever of other kiters in Holland battling this storm anymore so we were probably the last ones that had been out there.
It was a three-man struggle to only get in and get a board on my feet but after 10 minutes Sean and my dad managed to get me out there. It was a short sesh, I did 2 jumps and the second was as far as I’m concerned went so big that it must have been the highest I ever did, and luckily we got it on video. I just knew this one had to be it but as the tension was building reading out my WOO it wasn’t the expected result but 34,3 m. Even as I was disappointed you got to keep a clear mind about when it’s time to stop and this was it. We kept ourselves and our gear in one piece had an epic adventure of a lifetime and were able to tell the tale. It’s all about setting goals and trying to realize them but also keeping in mind that injury or worse can be just around the corner in these conditions and it’s wise to quit and leave that goal for another try".
Do you have any adventures coming soon?
"Just did a trip to South Africa shooting product videos with Ozone very curious about the results.
I got a lot of training ahead for the competitions that I want to participate in.
Just put out my entry video for the Red Bull Megaloop really hoping to get one of the 6 spots left. Then there are the GKA world championships big air and hydrofoil in June in Tarifa. I'm hoping to participate, of course, in the Cold Hawaii games in Denmark in September, Multivan Kitesurfmasters in Germany in August. The cherry on the cake would be Redbull King of the Air this year, if not participating I surely will make it to South Africa for training.
Furthermore, there is a chance I will compete in some of the Big Air Kite League comps.
First I will have to finish school and that will be around the end of May this year I'm planning to take a year off to explore the possibility of taking on a pro kitesurf career."
What is your quiver? What is your opinion on the gear you use? Do you love it, if so, why? Would you recommend this gear to other kiters, why?
"Okay, hold on I got a combined quiver of foil kites and LEI’s. The inflatable that I’ve been riding all along since I teamed up with Ozone is the Edge. For about half a year now I’ve been so privileged to ride the V11 in sizes 7-8-9 m and my brother also has the 11m which I ride on exception. The 8 and 9 are probably the most used, the 7m only gets out in 50+ knots conditions.
What I like about the Edge is that it is probably the highest boosting kite around and it is aggressive in kite loops. It just looks extreme when you pull loop variations on an Edge. The V11 has again been an improvement over the V10, it handles gusty conditions better and the stability has again improved. Build quality as always is of the highest standard. The Edge has a good low end and a sublime high end so it’s a pretty good choice for kiters stepping into the game and also for experienced riders who want to step up their game. It’s absolutely the kite to start on your first jumps and with the right amount of wind and technique, it will shoot you to the moon.
The other side of me and that’s where I differ from most other big air riders is the fact that I also ride foil kites and that I’m a big air hydrofoiler as well. I got a Chrono V4 11.0, a R1V4 15, and a R1V4 18 in my quiver, also a smaller hyperlink V2 7m to play around with.
Why foils, just because I learned kiting on foil kites and you get more hours on the water riding foils and hydrofoil. Foils are a totally different style of riding, you need less wind compared to the same size LEI. You get loads of lift and hangtime they move slower through the wind window and therefore these are ideal for training and performing airstyle. It’s my belief that in big air we see more and more technical tricks being performed, that’s why learning to do these kinds of combinations on foil kites is a big advantage.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t use these foils also to ride them in high winds and go as big as I possibly can manage. The same thing on a hydrofoil, boosting big in relatively medium winds and doing loops and airstyle.
I believe the more all around you are the better chance you have to develop your own style and not follow the crowd. You have to stand out by doing things differently. I think that riding foils also have contributed to developing my jumping technique as it is now. I got a highly specialized technique and no one gets how I'm able to still hold my edge in 60 knots winds with only 63 kg body weight.
A big part of being able to do this is being adapted to handle a lot of power and always riding big sizes in high winds. So if you want to get out as much time as you can spend on the water, it might be a great idea to extend your quiver with for example a Chrono V4, combined with an Apex hydrofoil. I firmly can ensure you the foil kites produced by Ozone are the best performing foils around and will be a big contribution to everyone's riding experience".