A talk with Yentel Caers

To start with, could you tell us a little about your early years and then eventually getting into the PWA for your escalation to the PWA freestyle podium?
Windsurfing has been always a big part of my life because my dad, brother and sister windsurf. I learned the first steps already on a really young age. After this I just followed the lead of my brother and sister to start freestyling. Around  11 I started competing in the fun competitions. In 2013 I did my first PWA in Podersdor 

Do you only freestyle or do you enjoy other windsurfing disciplines?
My main focus is Freestyle ofcourse, but I also really enjoy wave sailing and specially jumping. I also like to do some slalom In the future just to get more days on the water when the wind is to light for freestyle. 

Which will be your target for 2017,  and what are your plans to achieve it?
Ofcourse the mean goal is 0.7 :p, at the PWA.  I really try to train with more focus on the water, but also off the water training strength and to be fit.

Which conditions have you been appreciating the most for competing and for fun?
Like the most people know, I really like the strong wind days, the bit more tricky conditions, like fuerte I really like. It gives me a good feeling when I land the best moves in this kind of conditions. But I also like to have ones a competitions on port la nouvelle ones for example, flat water and strong wind like this we will see some different moves. 

You tried now for the first time the new Point-7 Slash Freestyle sail. How do you like it?
In the beginning I had to get used to It. That’s normal, but how more I sail with it the feeling gets better and I find the perfect set up. The sail is really easy to handle but still has more than enough power to get a  lot of lift

In freestyle completing with success a move, is because of gear, technique, physical training?
Yes you have to be good in your minde train a lot, and good gear, but being motivaded is the most important to learn good moves, keep trying over and over, nobody even the best guys, have to train a lot for the moves.

In a heat you would mainly win, because of gear, technique or physical training?
A combination of all but during competition you have to be mental ready because if you’re not mental ready, your training and gear does’nt help you,because the stress will take over.

When you’re preparing a heat against an opponent is there a lot of analysis of the opponent to try and spot their weaknesses or do you just try to focus on your own moves in the time given?
I just try to focus on myself, because you never know how he is gone sail in the heat and how the conditions are, so with moves you can expect.

Would you target in doing moves that you know that the opponent is not as good?
This depends against who you are, because of the judging system you have to focus on landing your own moves.

 As the sport has progressed to amazing moves, does this mean that freestyle has become maybe too difficult for recreational windsurfers, or is this just extra motivation for them to learn more and more.
It just extra motivation, because the moves look more radical doesn’t mean they are more fun, I still like to do a lot of slide moves and old school moves.

Do you think everyone needs to learn all the moves, or just some are needed to score the points?
I think it’s better to learn all the moves, otherwise you’re limited in the moves when the conditions change.

Which are the moves that you need to know before joining PWA.
I think you kind of need all the  moves, because even from the first round you can expect the best moves already.

Would you have any tips for freestylers, such as small changes they can make to their training that might reap big dividends to rise to the next level?
Watching movies helped me really a lot, just go to continetseven for example, and search the move you wanna learn and check it over and over.

Do you always try to maintain a balanced mind during a heat? Can it be useful to tap into your emotions such as anger, or ignore them altogether?
Try to keep the balance, but also anger helps you in motivating.

On a personal level, which way do you prefer to win? By making the move of the day or by a more calculative way?
Moves of the day!! I really like to do the biggest and best moves, but for the future I will calculate also a bit more. But still will go for the biggest moves.

All your family is windsurfing. Was  your father an inspiration to the sport?
Yes my family is a big inspiration, and specialy because my dad is so motivated to go out in all conditions.

There are a lot of good freestylers coming from around a lot of spots around the world. One of the main group are coming from your same country: Belgium. Why is this?
I don’t know, but 1 thing is sure we are all super motivated because we live a far way from the water, doesn’t matter what kind of conditions there are, we will make the best of it.

Are there any current PWA Riders who you really like to watch to improve even further?
There are a lot good guys on tour, I like to see everyone improving this will push me a lot but also the freestyle discipline.

In Fuerte you won the single elimination. If you had to choose one final to win, would it be again in Fuerte, or in an another location? Who would you like to have it against?
Yes Fuerte is for me the best event, with the challenging conditions, a final Against Amado would be great again. But also Steven, Golitto….. doesn’t matters they are all ripping

When you are going into a heat, do you ever have any self doubt or fear? Or do you just try to focus on doing your best?
I just try to do my own thing and don’t watch to much to the other guys, when you start looking I will get more stress

Do you have any tricks to win a heat, if you feel that the opponent is doing a better job than you in one heat? Is there any good strategy for that scenario?
This really depend on the wind, but in generally I will sail from the beginning full on. Ofcourse when you’re losing I will risk a bit more.

When you are not involved in the windsurfing world, what do you like to do in your free time?
Different sports like mountain biking,surfing, skateboarding….. 

Is there words of wisdom you would like to leave us and your fans, in regard to both competing and life in general?
It’s all about fun!! Competitions and training, when you have fun in something everything will go easy!! Enjoy the days on the water doesn’t matters what kind of conditions! 

That’s brilliant, thanks Yentel, it’s been a real pleasure to speak with you.

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