“My vision for the future changed.” VIKING sponsors big wave surfer Crispijn Hartzema.

We’re proud to announce that starting in 2021, VIKING Bookings will sponsor big wave surfers Crispijn Hartzema and Sacha Bongaertz. These two courageous athletes and all-round great guys work year round to brave 50 foot waves, and we’re excited to join them on their journey. Today we’re introducing Crispijn, for whom collaborating with VIKING means freedom to focus on doing what he loves. And don’t worry, if you’re not Dutch you can call him Cris, he knows it’s hard.

“After my first big wave, I decided: I’m going to dedicate my life to this.”

First wave

Crispijn Hartzema feels fear long before he’s in the water: “Mostly beforehand, even already in summer.” Fear is not irrational when you’re a big wave surfer. Perfectly normal, even. More normal, surely, than letting go of the jet ski that’s towing you into a wave about to grow to over 50 feet. “But when I’m on a wave like that, my fear turns into focus and being present in the now. It’s been that way ever since the first one, Jaws in Hawaii. Right then I decided: I’m going to dedicate my life to this.”

Even though nowadays Crispijn’s passion for water is clear for anyone who meets him, there was a time where he couldn’t even get into the water. “When I was a little boy, six or seven, my sister pushed me into my first wave. Since then, all I wanted to do was surf, but growing up, I used to have these ear infections. I wasn’t even allowed to go in.”

Big man, big waves

Although he was aching to dive back in, it took until Crispijn went off to study in Cape Town for him to get back to surfing. Ever since, he’s been drawn to bigger waves than most: “I’m a big guy, over six feet and 200 pounds—big waves suit me.” It took a while, however, for him to even consider surfing the really big waves, as he was struggling with limiting beliefs. “There weren’t any Dutch big wave surfers around, which held me back. But after a certain point I couldn’t ignore it any longer, I wanted to go to the next level.”

In the winter of 2018, Crispijn traveled to Maui, Hawaii. Having spent the summer training, he decided he was good enough to go for his first big wave, and so he did. “That was one of the few moments where my whole life changed in a few seconds. To experience a big wave up close is epic.”

“Thanks to VIKING I can focus on surfing.”

Three years later, big wave surfing is still Crispijn’s primary focus. Year round he trains, works and waits for those few moments of glory in hotspots like Maui and Nazaré, Portugal. We at VIKING sponsor him to help Crispijn get back into the massive waves year after year because, as Crispijn knows, it’s not easy. “It’s more than practice. There’s also the equipment, the jet ski, the fuel. With VIKING surfschool software at my side I can stop thinking about that when I’m in the water and go for it.” The only thing on his mind is the next wave.

The collaboration between VIKING and Crispijn didn’t just happen: he and our founder, Thijs, know each other from way back. “I even used to give kite surfing lessons for him and there has always been a connection, this shared way of looking at life. I’m so proud of what VIKING is doing.” For Crispijn it comes down to the way of life he’s working to achieve every day: “VIKING helps me focus on surfing and they’re doing the same for schools and students all over the world. Encouraging everyone to make more time to have fun and get out into the water.”
Want to know more about Crispijn Hartzema? Check his social media or keep your eye out for new blogs we will write about him.