Stef is a ski instructor with ES in Verbier in the winters, and here he tells us about his summers, working with Harlem Kitesurfing, who are based in Holland.
As the days grew longer and the snow began to melt in Verbier, it was time to put a storage wax on my skis and head for the Dutch coast. I live in a town called Zandvoort (see photos below), famous for it’s racing circuit. I caught up with some friends and family, but not for too long, since I had a quick transition back to work the following Monday.
In the summers I work for a kite brand named Harlem Kitesurfing. We produce all essential gear that is required for an enjoyable kitesurf session out on the water. I’m in charge of the communication with all the factories where our gear is produced. I also maintain the software and business processes behind the scenes. My work involves making sure we order the right amount of gear, maintain the highest quality possible and stay on top of technological and sustainable innovations. At the same time, I ensure all day to day activities run smoothly in the office.
Our peak season is during the summer, allowing me to teach skiing in Verbier during the winter months.
Surfing, kitesurfing, wing foiling and gymnastics
During my free time, I practice various water sports. Depending on the conditions and company, I either go surfing, kitesurfing, or wing foiling. Given the variable nature of these sports, I find it nice to keep doing regular exercise as well. After many years, I rediscovered my passion for gymnastics, and now every Tuesday evening, I join a training group for 1.5 hours to play around, learn new skills and stay in shape.
One of the most exciting aspects of my summer was my involvement in an ambitious project with Harlem Kitesurfing. Already since November ’22, we were on a mission to transition to the most innovative, sustainable production facility for kites and wings. It is called Brainchild Production and is based in North Macedonia. In March we managed to start producing there, and in August we launched our first product from this new factory. See the photos for the colourful result!
Now that winter is approaching, I’m more than excited to get ready for the ski season again. Summers at home are fun, but winters in Verbier are something else!
Stef was born and raised on the flat terrain of Holland but that didn’t stop him from seeking out and exploring the mountains. Learning to both ski and snowboard at an early age, Stef would originally only go to the snow for one week per year but eventually, after spending a whole season in Revelstoke, Canada he got hooked by the allure of the ski industry for good. As a CSIA and CASI certified instructor Stef is a passionate instructor, more than capable of bringing your skiing to the next level. For him, teaching is about having the right balance between learning and having as much fun as possible.