Sander van Eck, originally from the Netherlands, now lives on the North coast of Ireland.
A qualified engineer, the natural route would have been to work at a tech company in the Netherlands. His passion for surfing led him down another path.
Luck would have it that he found a placement working on product research and development on sustainable surfboards on the North Coast. During this time he got introduced to Ireland and the waves of the Wild Atlantic.
Several years down the line and he has now settled on the North Coast, chasing waves all along the coast and working in an old stone building on a working Irish farm, where he designs, builds and repairs surfboards.
The waves in Ireland are incredible, but also fickle, windows are small due to the strong winds and tides. Time is key and often there is very little time to spare. The elements are harsh and not only the surfers, but their equipment is pushed to the limits. Here is what Sander has to say about time-pieces in these conditions:
‘’I always surf with a watch, this way I can keep track of the tide, time the period between sets of waves and be in the right place at the right time. Being in the right place at the right time makes the difference between the wave being surfable or rocks sticking out in front of you, the wind being perfect for an hour or making the ocean choppy and unmanageable. I’ve had many time pieces to this point, many that broke on impact with the water in what we call a wipe-out. These watches were rated to be waterproof to a 100 meters or more, however many of them did not stand the test against the wild Atlantic and the power of the waves. I’ve surfed with the Nomadic watch for a good while now and it’s by far the best watch I have ever worn surfing and stands the test of the elements.’’
Sander is currently filming a documentary with Venezuelan photography legend José Gonzáles, and a renegade crew of international wave chasers, but more on that soon…
📸: José Gonzáles