Interview - Bianca Buitendag - Professional surfer

Interview: Bianca Buitendag - Professional surfer - July 2017


Bianca Buitendag official website


Surfing Sports Models

When and where did you discover your love for the ocean, and specially, surfing?

I feel that I didn't discover it, I was born into it. Being in the water has felt more natural than being on land. This love is integrated into almost every memory, and is something that could never escape me.

Growing up, what other sports or creative endeavors were you good at?

Growing up, I had provincial colors in more than 5 sports. Swimming, lifesaving, gymnastics, hockey, biathlon, to name a few. I grew up in a household that encouraged sporting as well as academic excellence, if the talent was there, there was no excuse in not seeing how far your could take it.

What is it most about surfing that you enjoy?

Surfing exists without consistency, which births an intuition and excitement not offered by any other sport. When you cross the shoreline and attempt your first paddle, you have no idea what to expect. It is a fight to predict unpredictability and humble yourself to be cradled by the wonderful ways of the sea.

What do you consider your career highlights so far?

I have made the finals of 5 World Tour events and ended in the Top 4 on the World Championship rankings in 2015.

What are the biggest professional and personal challenges you have overcome?

Professional challenges are nothing compared to the personal. Yet it is personal trial and tribulation that fuel the fire of competition and drives an athlete to dive into the distraction that the sport could bring. Lets put it into a better context- I reached my best competitive state after my father took his own life not very long ago. The 10 seconds you have when riding a wave is the only moment that you can escape the unbearable heartache, as instinct takes the reigns of your brains. And it takes a lot of 10 seconds, and some very interesting conversations with God when you are floating solo in the depths of the deep blue to survive a shock like that. It also takes a lot of 10 seconds to achieve athletic excellence and it is just coincidence that they could cross some sort of finishing line walking hand in hand.

What's the biggest wave and longest ride you have ever had?

Concerning big waves -I am very close to someone that finds this escape at the top of moving mountains of water, which has inspired and given me the courage to test these turbulent waters as well. The longest ride however was on a trip to Peru with my dad a few years back to an area called Chicama.

What's your take on big wave surfing vs competition or traditional surfing?

My take is we shouldn't touch the comparison. They are two different disciplines driven by different ambitions - beautiful in different ways as well.

Have you ever survived any really big wipeouts while going big wave surfing?

Like in personal trauma, I feel the body has a way to forget what it should, so to tell you the truth, I don't remember even if I did.

Before going out for a surf, do you check webcams first across the internet, or do you just pack the board and go?

You would have a rough idea of the conditions you are heading to - Whether it is word of mouth, a call from a friend or a quick peek online.

Who have been your biggest supporters in your career from both a personal and professional perspective?

I believe career supporters come and go and quickly as you lift and drop the trophy above your head at a prizegiving. However, it is those who believe in the individual and heart in the reflection of the trophy that would never disappear. And these can be condensed to be counted on one hand for most athletes, including me.

What's your favourite wetsuit and bikini brands?

I have had the support of Roxy for more than 10 years, and have been very proud and privileged to be a part of their movement.

What parts of South Africa and the world has your surfing taken you?

I am 23 and have traveled more than 30 countries in 5 years, so I guess you can say it has taken me much further than a blonde-haired kid from a coastal village in the most southern point in Africa could ever have imagined.

Do you have any favourite beaches in Australia that you have either surfed, or would like to surf at?

I travelled from the Gold Coast to Bells beach in a van in between events and I saw and surfed in some of the most beautiful locations that I had ever laid my eyes on.

What's your favourite 3 surfing films and documentaries?

I am more interested in non-surf related publications.

What's your favourite surf tour to participate in, and why?

Probably the event in FIJI held at the end of May every years. Because it really does broaden any horizon and stretch my cultural borders.

What's your option on the current state of women's surfing, and do you think it has peaked, or do you feel there's still room for the sport to grow?

Don't be too interested in only the sporting performance of these girls - but rather turn your gaze on the beauty and strength of their personhood and unseen victories. But concerning performance - It has only started to take off. Watch this space.

Any chance we might see you or any of your friends in the surfing Olympics Games?

I would hope so! Its a dream come through for any athlete.

Apart from surfing, what do you do to relax?

I am studying a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance through Northeastern University while I am on the road. So even through it may sound ironic, this is a great escape from competitive pressures and repetition.

What do you most love about Mother Nature, and tell us about some of your trips through nature via mountains, hikes and so on?

What I love most about nature is the realization that God intended it to bring us to the ground, shake us in humility and force us to recognize our dependence of Him - something that we can so easily lose sight of in the process of created and hiding inside of self made and a false security.

What's your star sign, and are you true to it?

I was born on November 9th?

What social causes or community type projects are you involved in?

I have been involved in projects mainly initiated and established by friends that inspire me in the daily Including as well as

What's your motto?

Learn to know the love, value and interest that God has in me, and others consequently.

What would you like to be most remembered for?

That is not up to me.


Editor's note: A massively talented athlete and a beautiful sole. Biaca's achievements are super impressive and something tells us we will be hearing much more about her in the future. As she says, Watch this space.