Meet Jasmine DeBeer she Surfs in Belgium
(Top photo: Jasmine ripping at the Belgium National Championships by photographer Wouter StruyfEver)
wondered what sports are big in Belgium? Meet Jasmine DeBeer she’s from Antwerp in Belgium and she can tear apart a wave. This modest blonde is 23 years old and currently in Australia after attending the Hurley High Performance Camp in Northern New South Wales for one month. The Australian HPC is recognised by the Australian Institute of Sport and is gaining traction in the international surfing world as a forward moving training facility for all surfers. The centre provides a one month residency for international surfers and Jasmine has just come out of her month’s training so we thought we’d find out how she went.
Jasmine decided to take her surfing to the next level after winning the Belgium National Titles for the last 2 years, she says “There are really only 12 girls who compete on a serious level so to progress and push forward I made the decision to come to Australia and be amongst some of the best surfers in the world.”
Antwerp is a city of Belgium about an hour from the coast which is separated from England by the English Channel. The water is cold and there’s not that much swell. So how could a girl get into surfing living in Antwerp? Jasmine is an amazing skateboarder and practicing in the skate bowls provides a repetitive surf-similar environment so naturally when Jasmine first got in the water the balance and technique was already there. But what inspired her to rubber up and get in the water? “I saw Blue Crush and decided that surfing was something I really wanted to do. We went to the sea and I did some surf lessons on big foamies. I’ve always loved the water and swimming and combined with my skating it was great feeling.”
It wasn’t until 2 years later that Jasmine and her family went on a surf trip to Portugal when she really got hooked, hanging out in the warm waters and rolling waves was the perfect boost she needed.
On return to Belgium Jasmine was surfing regularly and began competing. “There not much going on in Belgium competition wise, lots of people who surf do lots of travelling to France, Spain and Portugal to get good waves and warm water. There is just one championship a year here in the Autumn holidays as well as the Benelux Championships which is Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg we combine to have an event in September and from that event the top 3 finalists head to France to compete.”
Skateboarding has made Jasmine’s transition to surfing easier than starting from scratch and she says has helped her to develop specific skills like airs and wide turns. “The coaches at the HPC have been working with me on making my air’s, I know the feeling from skating and practicing in the skate bowl helps because of the repetition and the controlled environment so when you get out in the water you know what it should feel like and the actions you need to wind it up” she says.
The HPC is becoming world renowned for it’s specialised training and access to state-of-the-art facilities and staff, so what’s it like as an outsider? Jasmine says “I’ve already done a month of training there. In general all the coaches know so much, it just feels like Australia is so far ahead of Europe in surf training. The Australian coaches are relaxed so it’s a lot easier to take in all the information and analysis. With the cross training I loved going on the Streetboardz, I found them so similar to surfing for turns and style correction, they make it easy to memorise turns and combinations on the boards like snaps. I found the training we did on them helped me a lot when I got back in the waves.”
Whilst she’s here Jasmine is making the most of Australia’s warm weather, water and waves on her door step and will be competing in WSL Qualifying Series events on the East Coast starting with the Burleigh Pro on the Gold Coast at the end of January as well as competing in local Northern NSW Boardriders Club events. She says “I just want to see how much I can improve this year and see if I enjoy the QS events and if I can get up to the level all the girls in Australia. I’m looking forward to picking up lots of advice and tips along the way. I think I’ll find it hard to go home later in the year because I love surfing so much and Australia has such a great surf culture I feel right at home.”
Jasmine has set up a crowd funding site to help her training programs and surfing development in Australia. Visit her page CLICK HERE