“Life begins where your confort zone ends, … there are expectations, ocean is the place where I have to perform” Bianca Buitendag, on travelling the world from Fiji Islands to Australia, commenting images of ‘Disguise in nature’ video by Film Director Dan Mace. A few weeks ago I was excited to share with you the video ‘Disguised in nature’, a beautiful film documenting the travel lifestyle of surf professional Bianca Buitendag. I decided to go further and I am happy that she agreed on telling us a little bit more about her experience and motivations. Bianca was born in 1993 in Victoria Bay and grew up near Cape Code (South Africa). Having two brothers she learned to surf with them when she was still a child aged 8 years old. She started to compete and never stopped until now becoming a professional surfer. Some of her accomplishments includes : 2nd Quicksilver ISA World Games (Peru, 2010), Winner of ASP Billabong World Junior Championships (Australia, 2011), 2nd of ASP World Junior Championship (Bali, Indonesia, 2012), 1st Lobitos, Peru and 1st Azores (WQS 6 star – 2012), Rookie Year – Women’s World Tour (2013). This year she was topped by athlete Stephanie Gilmore (also a member of Roxy Pro) at Fiji’s Women Pro where she finished 5th. She finished 2nd at Roxy Pro Gold Coast early this year. ASP calls her a ‘rising star’ amongst the women potential for WCT class of 2015 … Meet Bianca.
Business Madame : In the film you share some of your moments with one of your surfer friend while competiting for the championship. Both personnal and professional lives appears to intricate one in the other.
Bianca Buitendag : Yes of course. Your profession is an extension of your personality to a certain degree. In the film, our aim is to give viewers an inside to what tour and competing looks like, and how our lives are different because of that.
BM : Your video is named ‘Disguised in nature’ for sure a reference to your love of nature. To what extent does surfing helps developping and maintening awareness about environemental issues ?
BB : I grew up surrounded by nature. And I plan on being as close to it for as long as possible. I see humanitarian issues more than environmental issues. And they are plentiful, in every country, color or culture.
BM : What other sports do you practice while away from home and how does it differs from your daily routine ?
BB : I have provincial colors in 5 other sports but chose to focus on surfing at the age of 16. I enjoy all water sports, especially when there is a bit of adrenaline involved. But surfing being my profession, is the only sport I practice full-time.
BM : A few days ago I interviewed Formula E (F1 but 100% electrical) driver Katherine Legge of Team Amlin on being the first female driver to join the world championship. In the professional surfers community do you think that women are represented enough ? at an acceptable level ?
BB : My personal opinion, yes. I think we are promoted in an acceptable way. Obviously there are different situations for different sport types, but feminity in surfing is a beautiful thing.
“I feel the need to learn, to gain knowledge. Competitive surfing teaches me about my character, about life, disappointments, identity, purpose.” Bianca Buitendag
BM : What did you study at school and how does it influences your life as a professionnal surfer ?
BB : I finished school with an average of 87%. I am now studying a Bachelor of Science in Financial and Accounting Management part-time through Northeastern University. I am able to do this degree complete online which is very suitable to my lifestyle. It influences my life a lot. I feel the need to learn, to gain knowledge. Competitive surfing teaches me about my character, about life, disappointments, identity, purpose.
BM : What is your mental attitude, your strategy before entering a competition ? How do you prepare for it beyond the core physical training I mean ?
BB : I make sure I have the right people around me. I try to be at peace with who I am and where I am.
BM : Tell us about your next goals and wishes as a pro !
BB : I want to do my best in everything I do in life, never letting an opportunity go past. I want to create a platform to inspire, to create awareness around certain issues. I want to show and be changed by the love of God, a love that fulfills. That’s it.
Go here for ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) on Bianca’s results : aspworldtour.com/athletes/680/bianca-buitendag