I flew to the Netherlands earlier this year to meet with my newest sponsor, Jobe. They’re located about an hour outside of Amsterdam. When they offered me the opportunity to come meet with them, I jumped all over it. I love Europe, and Amsterdam has always been a spot I’ve wanted to check out.
Amsterdam is famous for its tourist attractions, namely the red light district. Smoking certain substances and other unnamed activities aren’t necessarily legal in Amsterdam, but they’re not illegal either. This general leniency in moral standards makes Amsterdam a top tourist destination worldwide. That being said, Amsterdam in no way reflects the rest of Holland. In fact, it couldn’t be more different. Most of Holland is quiet with beautiful open fields and pastures, such as where the Jobe factory is.
I landed in Amsterdam and met up with my high school friend Roy Hofman. We went straight to the city center. It was unbelievable. The cool thing about the city is that it’s built on the water, so it’s all connected by a series of canals. Its name comes from Amstelredamme, which shows the city’s origin: a dam in the river of Amstel. We ventured over to the red light district after lunch. I could people watch there all day. There are all sorts of eccentric characters walking around. Some guys walk around with flower pots on their head to make money. No idea if it works or not. Living there would be an adventure every day. It seems like people from all over the world conglomerate here to make Amsterdam a multicultural melting pot. They have Argentinian steak houses, Thai massage parlors, Irish pubs; pretty much the best of the best establishments from around the world.
The following day we went to check out the Jobe factory. I was impressed by the size of the building. Jobe is a huge company and they sell every type of water sports equipment; wetsuits, tubes, ropes, skis, kneeboards, etc. I got to meet the entire company. Jobe was started about the same time as some of the other companies such as O'Brien back in the 70's. Jobe was originally a ski company, founded by water skiing legend Jeff Jobe. His entrepreneurship and enthusiasm have kept Jobe alive and well to this day.
At the factory, we had a great meeting about getting Jobe back into the U.S. market. Jobe had pulled out of the U.S. several years ago while it focused on the Australian and European markets. Now seems like a great time for a sound company to come breathe some life into the industry. We talked about the development of my own pro model, which will be available as an early release on my website in July. Jobe plans on fully breaking into the U.S. market for 2012. The meeting went great and I’m hoping we can help the industry we all love to continue grow.
The final day in the Netherlands we went to check out the cable park. The seen out here is super ill. Luckily it was the opening weekend for the cable park. One week sooner and we would have been out of luck. Our friend Wouter strapped up and Roy hopped on his wakeskate for some early season shreddage. The guys rip. The cable park is called Ermerstrand. It has some great features like a transfer box and a kicker. Roy and Wouter killed it. Roy was sticking heel 3’s off the kicker and shuvs in the flats. Wouter was doing mad air tricks like crypts and back and front rolls.
People in Amsterdam know how to shred and I only see the progression getting better and better. Right now there are 13 cable parks in the Netherlands and they’re planning on building a few more. It’s awesome to see the progression of wakeboarding around the world, whether it's cable, boat or anything else that pulls a rider.