Denise de Haan
Denise de Haan began wakeboarding at the age of 12 when she took to the water at a cable park located near her house in Almere. Despite playing soccer for her age group's national team, Denise quickly realized that she had discovered a new love. She was more than happy to swap her soccer ball for a wakeboard. Never one to do things by halves, Denise dedicated herself 100% to her new passion, and before long had won every national cable title at least once, and some major boat titles along the way too. Seven years after starting out, Denise experienced the downside that every professional sportsperson fears the most: serious injury. After tearing her ACL ligament in her right knee in 2007, Denise bounced back stronger than ever in 2008 and chalked up her best season to date, capturing the WWA Cable World Championship title. As fate would have it, a serious injury to her left knee in the final event of the World Cup of the 2008 season forced Denise back onto the operating table for yet more surgery. To add insult to injury, a torn meniscus in early 2009 ruled Denise out of the whole season and also tested her strength of character to the limit. In the face of these serious knock-backs, Denise has always maintained a positive attitude towards her rehabilitation, and is now more determined than ever to make the most of her good health and fitness. Look out for this flying Dutchwoman as she accelerates back onto the competitive scene in 2010.
Q: What has been the biggest highlight of the past 12 months for you?
A: Being back on my board after major knee injury.
Q: What's the best thing about riding for a living?
A: Paying bills from money that you make by doing what you love the most.
Q: Who do you enjoy riding with the most, and why?
A: Riding with my friends is the best, because we just have fun and there's just no pressure at all.
Q: Other than home, where is your favorite place to ride, and why?
A: Singapore and the Philippines. The people are amazing and the weather is basically perfect all the time.
Q: What are your main goals and plans for the next 12 months?
A: I want to start riding again in competitions, participate in promotional events and organize a bunch of clinics here and there.
Q: How do you see your sport evolving in the next few years?
A: Because winching and cable riding is becoming more and more popular, the sport is becoming more accessible. I think it's very likely that more people will start riding and the sport will continue to grow.
Q: Have you got any plans to film a new video part, and if yes, with which film company?
A: No idea yet. Watch this space!
Q: What do you do for fun when you are not riding?
A: I love going out with friends, surfing the net and cycling.
Q: What achievement are you most proud of so far in your career?
A: I was crowned World Cable Champion and European Champion in 2008 after ACL surgery. Pretty stoked about that!
Q: If you didn't ride for a living, what would you have liked to be doing now for an occupation?
A: I'd probably be a physiotherapist or something like that.
Q: What trick do you enjoy the most?
A: Roll 2 blind and ts 540s.