What can you tell the readers about yourself?
My name is Nienke, I’m from Camperduin, a small town on the coast of Holland. I’m obsessed with playing in the ocean, in particular with riding my longboard. I just love having ten toes wrapped around the nose of the board; to approach surfing in a personal, classic way.
Camperduin, and Holland in general, don’t have a lot in common with the waves in places like Malibu or Noosa. I used that as an excuse to travel a lot form a young age. After improving my longboarding skills I started participating in national and international competitions. Four years ago I started ‘Single Fin’. For this community of like-minded longboard enthusiasts, I organize trips to the most beautiful longboarding destinations for small groups.
Photo: Marjolein Pieneman
When did you hear about The Bamboo Brush Society?
I learned about TBBS via Jelle Mul. Immediately I liked the product, but even more the philosophy behind it. It’s quite easy for consumers today to just buy stuff, without thinking about it too much. What is it made off? Where did it come from? Where will it end up? This kind of questions is important because in the end, as a buyer, you are responsible. Not only for the materials itself, but also for the CO2 emissions of transportation, factory work conditions, degree of biodegradability, etc…. There is so much involved. I think TBBS raises awareness on critical purchasing even when it comes to small items like toothbrushes.
I have to say I have to remind myself many times on this issue as well, and I am far from a responsible human being considering all my travelling around the world. I feel a bit guilty about that sometimes.
With all that travelling, what is the best spot you have brushed your teeth at?
Maybe the spot where I just came back from. Chicama! Such an incredible wave, a true freak of nature.
What project are you most excited about this year?
So, I’ve always had a little love-hate affair with competitions. In fact, I don’t think longboarding and competitions are a very good combination. But I’m a competitive person and competitions are forcing me to show my best surfing. This year I like to participate in the whole European WSL longboarding tour. But I’ll do it my way; if conditions are suitable I’ll use my Single Fin and leave the leash at home. As a good friend of mine always says: ”Leashes are made for disobedient dogs, not for surfboards”. 😉
If you would be in charge of taking care of our beloved planet tomorrow? Which 4 persons would you pick to help you lead? (can be anyone in the world)
Tell us your best travel story?
There are so many and they are all unique and great, so I’ll just pick one. I very much enjoyed my time in Australia. I went there for half a year after finishing studying and this was the place where I really picked up my longboarding. By coincidence I met World Longboarding Champion Harley Ingleby while I worked as a nanny at his hometown. He took me under his wing, and to Noosa Festival of Surfing, where I saw true, classic longboarding by the best in the world for the first time. That trip has taught me a lot. I was the opposite of the stereotype backpacker Down Under. Instead of hopping from place to place and from hostel to hostel, I lived with a local family and went home with more cash than I arrived. I would love to go back to visit the kids I nursed and surf those amazing spots again.
Any books, documentaries, films or series you lately watched and like to recommend?
I loved the movie by Keith Mellow; Fish people. I must have seen it 15 times by now, as we showed this during a Patagonia Tour through Europe, and during the Single Fin trips last autumn. Another documentary I watched a while ago was ‘Get me Roger Stone’ on Netflix. It was interesting because after watching that, you finally (sort of) understand how this lunatic called Trump was able to become president of the United States.
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Last question… What is the number one place you’d like to go?
I’ve always had the desire to discover Ireland. I hope this summer I will get the chance.