Rolf and Simon “The White Lion” Joosten. (Picture by Christoff Griffith.)
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Rolf and Simon “The White Lion” Joosten, the German born father and son have called Barbados, and mainly the beaches, home for the last 23 years.
Together, they opened the mobile Upwind Kite Surf School in 2016, where they train and teach visitors to the island and water sports enthusiasts to kitesurf. They are living their dream.
Rolf, who is the pioneer of kitesurfing in Barbados, began windsurfing at 15. As time progressed he decided he wanted to leave Germany and travel the world while still doing what he loved.
As luck would have it, he landed a job as a windsurfing instructor that allowed him to travel to Greece, from where he moved on to the Canary Islands, Venezuela and Egypt.
“Eventually this little man [Simon] happened in 1995. He was born a year later and Egypt was no longer an option for us, so we were looking for another opportunity. By coincidence the windsurfing club at former Club Mistral here, which started in the 1980s and were the beginners of windsurfing tourism, were looking for someone to run their two centres – one in Maxwell and the other in Silver Sands – and I was offered the position, so we moved to Barbados when Simon was two and a half months,” he explained during an interview at Silver Sands beach. (RA)
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