If you turn around, you'll see the new X-Class behind you. The first pickup from Mercedes-Benz. What do you make of the pickup concept?
It's amazing. It's the perfect car for me. As a surfer, but also for everything else that I do. The first advantage is the load area. I love a clean car. In that respect, I'm very... German (laughing). I hate it when I come back from surfing and have to load wet and sandy surfboards and wetsuits in my car. It uickly makes your car very dirty and I have to go and have it cleaned frequently. That's a huge advantage of a pickup.
The second thing is that I can more easily transport more stuff. Especially longer boards – they don't even fit in a normal car. And my racing bike can also be quickly loaded. Daily loading and unloading would be much simpler with a pickup.
You already drove the X-Class during a photoshoot – what was your first impression of the vehicle during driving?
From a purely comfort-oriented point of view in the interior and how it drives, I would say that the comfort which I have in an SUV is definitely also on-board in the X-Class. Even the handling and particularly the steering – it wasn't like with other pickups, it genuinely was like a true Mercedes.
Besides a reliable and spacious vehicle, as a big-wave surfer, do you need a particular mindset or a specific personality? For example, do you need to be tougher than others?
You have to be able to assert yourself. Big-wave surfing is a macho sport with plenty of adrenaline – that's why there are also many big egos. You definitely need a healthy level of self-confidence and fighting spirit. But what's more important for me is the ability to take responsibility. And with that esponsibility, also discipline and the appropriate amount of respect, towards oneself, the team and others.
But I think that everyone is capable of achieving anything they want. It's just a question of how much you want to and whether you have the ability to believe in yourself. It's about chasing that dream with all that you have and not giving up.