10 Q&A – introducing Ron van der Staay being our Sports Director on Sylt

We met at the Kitesurf Tour Europe in Scheveningen 2014 - Tell something about your vita where born etc. you do your own events also being a national judge at NKV? 

I was born in 1988 in Leeuwarden, Friesland which is in the northern region of Holland close to the „famous“ spots on the IJsselmeer and the Islands. I started kiteboarding in 2000 at 12 years old with my best buddy’s and my dad, I’m proud to call Workum my homespot! In 2011 I graduated...

for my Bachelor business administration in Leisure management with a specialisation in adventure sports management. I started this education to make a living from something related to sport & managment, at that time of course I did not had any idea how exactly. My passion has always been with sports. 

At this moment I’m self-employed working for Blade kiteboarding as international team manager, the KTE as a Judge and KiteFinder as sales manager. Additional to kite boarding my core business is producing promotional events for other companies.  

In 2011 I started Hooked-event together with a friend. Our goal is to introduce people to action sports and bring them together, not just only kite boarding. We want to give people the opportunity to try a sport by giving introduction lessons, we hope they will get Hooked and continue a sport! I still come across people on the beach that did their first lesson at Hooked, that makes me smile :) in may 2015 Hooked will be for the 5th time. 

Enough about me, lets talk about the Kitesurf Cup Sylt and the team competition format. Let me give an insight, most events in the kitesurf business are trying to get the “normal” audience relate to our sport in order to get an attractive event for sponsors. I believe this is a very important step to get to the level we all think our sport should be. However having a commercial goal for an event can also be a killer for the sport itself. I can’t speak for others but we should not forget that the reason why we started this sport: We love the rush, the water and the wind. In the end it and its all about having fun with your friends and pushing the limits in terms of tricks, airtime, speed and risk! 

Therefore the team competition is a very interesting format. Its about fun and raising the level of kite boarding.


Myself I love freestyle, since boots came along the level has raised and the international competitions has grown into a very interesting direction. However for non kiteboarding audience it is very hard to relate to freestyle. So we need to make something very fun to compete and watch what really shows the core of kiteboarding: tricks, airtime, speed and risk. Wouldn`t you love to see +100.000 people standing on the beach cheering for all the riders on the water? I would, and at Sylt i think i will :) 

My role in this competition will be the one of sports director; i will announce all the information about the competition to the riders and the audience. Also my Job ist to push the sportsmen in the hands of Paul the commentrator. We will do the race format a bit different then we have known, for the riders it will mean that you don't have to stress about doing 2 heats in 35 minutes and for the audience it will be more easy to understand and fun to watch. 

All in all our sport is so much more than one discipline - every discipline is going to a own direction with own gear, riders and crowds, how cool would it be to see all these people together? Mario Rodwald doing his signature KGB 5 or 7 you could also see Tobi Brauer doing a triple spinn boardoff and if you like speed you could see the bar being raised by the slalom racers that are really stepping up their game last years!

Im looking forward to it, hope to see you all at Sylt from the 30th of June until the 5th of July.