Once a professional windsurfer ranked amongst the best in the world, Holland’s Anne-Marie Reichman has had the opportunity to travel and compete around the globe. Her travels took her to Hawaii, which led the pro windsurfer to surfing and standup paddling. In recent years, Anne-Marie has called Maui her home, but for the past few years Anne-Marie has gotten back to her roots, creating, organizing, and competing in her one-of-a-kind event, the SUP 11-City Tour. –SC
Tell us about your athletic background.
In ’97 I started my first worldwide travels to become a professional windsurfer in the waves. My highest ranking was in 2002 when I was ranked 3rd on the world-ranking list of the Professional Windsurfing Association, and I had many years ranked in the top 5.
During some of my travels to Maui, my friend Sky introduced me to yoga. She saw that my body was strong, but not flexible. We did yoga videos and I took a few classes. It was all based on physical exercises which now, throughout the year has switched more to the ‘internal journey’ of body and mind. SUP came by on Maui when Dave [Kalama], Laird [Hamilton] and Sean Ordonez showed me how. It took me a while before I tried; winter 2008 was the year and I was hooked, challenged and excited straight away.
Why do you SUP?
I love being in, on and under the water. In windsurfing I always wanted to do some cross training, but could never put myself in a gym. SUP seemed to be that solution; it was fun, physical (all muscles in the body engaged), outside, required balance (in your body and mind) and most of all, I was in the ocean and got to learn to read her in a different way again. I started trying SUP in the waves and then over the summer I also got into the downwind races in Hawaii. SUP opened up many new experiences, which I love.
The other fun thing about SUP is you can cruise, train hard and take your SUP in waves or in flat water… “all you need is water” and you can SUP. I really like that about the sport.
What’s the SUP scene like in Holland and surrounding areas?
The SUP scene is growing steady in Holland now. In 2009 when I organized the invitational SUP 11-City Tour, I had to explain to everyone that SUP IS a sport, where it comes from and why people like to do it. This year, there’s a pretty full agenda of events in the country. When I took some waves on my SUP, the amount of paddlers had grown and people will come up to me and start telling me about where everyone takes their SUP these days. The age of standup paddlers in Holland varies, but I heard my friend talk that his 8 and 10 year olds that are hooked on SUP. Also, friends my age, older and younger are into it, 24 – 50 year olds. It shows the diversity of the sport and also how accessible it is to many!
To read about SUP Woman, Maggie Hogan, click here.