Website van Jan Pruijssers


RTL 4 asked me a few questions in a talk program about health for 60+.
They wanted someone who is still plays sport on older age.
A sport different than common sports as football, cycling, etc.

Click here to view the event to see.

My story


Why kitesurfing?

Since 1980 I windsurf, together with my wife. If you windsurf for so long, you only enjoy it with strong winds (6 Beaufort or higher), which you don’t have every day.
In 2000 I saw the first kiter on the IJsselmeer at Hindeloopen, at that time on a surfboard. It seems you can kite with only a wind-force of 3 Beaufort, perfect.
I immediately started learning how to kite, in the winter. Knowing how to kite is a real advantage. In the spring (2001, age 58) I started with lessons. The question was:
can I still learn to kitesurf at my age? I succeeded by trial and error. In 2008 I got rid of my windsurfing equipment; I made little use of them.

Did you have good materials?

No, in the beginning all materials where new and because I didn’t know if I would succeed as a kite surfer, I bought 2ND hand, not very good material. My first tube-kite was a Wipika 2 liner. Later converted to a 4 liner, a world of difference. I probably lost 2 years, but once I learned it well, I made much progress.

What material do you use now? 

In april 2006 I got from my wife a new CABRINHA SWITCH BLADE 12 m².( give me also such a woman, ha ha) But not without any reason, it was a present for rebuilding our house. In 2008 I moved on to a Crossbow IDS, also a good kite, a 13 and 9 m2. In 2010 I moved on to F-ONE Bandit, a 11 and 9 m2. Why? Such measurements respond faster to the bar and give more lift. The 11 has the same speed as the 13 Crossbow. In 2011, in the spring, I got a F-One Bandit4 a 12m2
and in the autumn a 9 and a 6. This is the first time for me to sail with such a small kite for so much wind, but it sails super. In 2015 I put the little 6 away, I din`t use him somuch. Since 2017, I own a Bandit 12 and a 9m2. The small 9m2 is my personal favorite.

What board do you use?

My first board was a beginners-board of 180 cm. After one season it broke. From two bro’s on the camping I purchased a (yellow) wooden, homemade board of 140 cm; broke it also; that’s when I got the nickname: Jan the Wrecker. Meanwhile Tom was making his own boards, with a wooden core. His fifth board was quite nice and the next one became mine. After a few adjustments it appeared to be a perfect board. Smaller again, only 130x 40 cm, (2007) but suitable to jump. Wouter Moulijn made for me a board from Carbon, with concave bottom, very stiff and fast. Size: 140 x 42 cm, so with my 80 kg I can sail relax in the wind holes. (see last movie 2012)

Is kiteboarding a dangerous sport?

Yes and no; most accidents happen while lifting and lowering the kite. Some people take the safety measures rather lightly, with consequences. That’s why kitesurfing comes across so badly in the news coverage.

What was the most difficult thing to learn in the beginning?

To arrive at the same spot you departed from. In the beginning I had to walk-back. (puf, puf) Often because there was just too little wind for my kite.

Are you really the oldest kitesurfer of Netherlands?

In 2014 I am 70 years old; everyone I know is much younger. In the summer of 2006 I spoke with someone who is two years older, but he was still learning, perhaps he will quit. (Haha) If there is someone older, let me know.

The eldest kitesurfer at the world was RIP POUL from Denmark. He died after a day kitesurfing in 2012 at the age of 88! Now the oldest kitesurfer at the world is: JAQUES POURBAIX from Belgium. In 2014 he is 81 years old. COOL! 

Click here  to view the event to see.

Have you always been that sporty?

Yes, from my early teens to my early twenties I used to play soccer, at Celeritas at the Haque. I also participated for a year in swimming, judo and cycling. I would like to be a sport teacher, I have stiff hips. I watch all sports on TV, except martial arts.

Did you ever had a kite-mare?

Happens to everyone. The first time was on the camping in Hindeloopen near a dyke. I didn’t notice that my kite( C-quad ) was very close to a fence. When I pull my kite on, I was immediately drawn forward. I went with my belly against the gate. I could throw away my shoes, my toes came through. The second time was on the beach of Horst, near Harderwijk. I was raised by a gust of wind and landed on my back. My whole orientation was gone and I was dragged into some reeds. When I laid down on my stomach, I could use my safety- leash. Therefore it is not a bad idea for beginners to use a helmet.

Can you learn to kite surf on your own?

This is very difficult, because in the beginning you just do not know what to do. So it is important to take lessons first. After kiting alone for a few times, I heard that Tom Overmars also wanted to kite. That was nice and cozy too. Tom had a background with land yachting, a welcome bonus. In the beginning Tom was 17 years old and now 22 (in 2006), but Tom outdated me. Meanwhile, Tom married (2010) with Joyce, and she also wants to kite surf, nice.

What are you learning now?

First I thought that jumping was only for the younger guys, but now I can sail upwind and have control; yes you want to go on, so now I am jumping as a young boy. Not so high, but already 2 meters and I would like to have a controlled landing. In 2017 I started training the Downloop.

In three training sessions I had it  under control. See the last video of 2017


Where do you usually sail?

From home, Deventer, I usually go to beach Horst, near Harderwijk. From the first of april I go to the camping in Hindeloopen near the IJsselmeer, a fixed place. Both locations have knee deep water, and place for kite surfers. With SE to NW wind Mirns is a good spot. This was our camping place for almost 35 years, and we loved this spot.
Unfortunately we had to leave for financial reasons. See the video of 2016

 Who made this video?

My wife and she does it very well. Don’t you think? A number of years ago, we followed a video tutorial together, very useful. My wife makes the video recordings, I do the editing; this costs a lot of time. Since 2012 I have a Go Pro camera with different uses: on the chest, helmet, board, in the lines, super.