Not to leave the elephant in the room unnamed: Hardboard is quite far inland for a windsurfing club. Great is the contrast between the lee of the Drienerlo woods and the untamed, sometimes relentless sea. 'That's true,' says chairman Robert Bast. 'But we have a transport committee and two vehicles for a reason: our green bus - the Hulk - and the silver surfer.' 'Moreover,' adds fellow board member Marije Kok, 'we have two sports we can practice in Enschede: we do wakeboarding at Rutbeek and we skate at the Performance Factory.'
Although DWV formally stands for 'Drienerlose Windsurf Vereniging' since it was founded in 1987, the association is anything but limited to windsurfing. 'Only in part of the name and in the statutes does it still appear,' says Bast. Indeed, over the years, the association added plenty of sports to its palette: kitesurfing, wakeboarding, wave surfing, skateboarding and, in the winter months, snowboarding and skiing. 'Fortunately, Hardboard did prove to be a future-proof name in that sense,' Bast observes.
By 2023, the vibrant DWV Hardboard has as many as 140 members, 20 committees and three equipment storage rooms, on Calslaan, Campuslaan and in the parking lot next to the athletics track. This is no luxury with so many sports. And it has another added advantage, says Kok. 'Some of the sports we offer have a slightly higher entry level. Then it helps that you don't have to buy all that expensive equipment yourself. For the price of two beers a month, you can become a member and use all the equipment whenever you want.'
After all, if there is wind, Hardboard members seek out the water. Like during last week's spring storm. 'We drove with a group to the Markermeer, with members of all levels,' says Kok. 'Some are adrenaline seekers, doing tricks or jumping up to eight metres high with a windsurf kit, but we also have beginners who are quietly learning things.' 'We even have a so-called surfing clause within the association,' Bast adds. 'If it's windy, you can't go to a meeting, for example. It's just great to get away for a while, whether you go for the adrenaline kicks or just want to surf quietly. Even just a little bit of floating can give a sense of satisfaction and freedom.'
Throughout the year, the association organises plenty of activities: an introductory weekend after Kick-In, winter sports weekends, a surfing trip to Portugal, a fixed weekly drinks evening at San Remo ('we have quite a lot of sociable members') and - sometimes spontaneous - surfing days, which often feel like a kind of mini-holiday, according to the board members. 'You leave early in the morning and are not back in Enschede until late in the evening. It's always a bit of a drive, of course,' says Kok. 'But its precisely those long drives that provide the sociability. When you're in the car together for two hours, togetherness comes naturally. You are dependent on each other. That has ensured that we have a very close-knit association, where everyone can join in.'
What fuels the togetherness all the more is the lack of competition. 'Our members can enter competitions if they want, but internally we really only have a wakeboarding competition,' says Kok. 'In that, we not only have a prize for best trick, but also for best outfit and best crash.' 'Of course sometimes someone brags about high jumps and tricks, that's part of it,' says Bast. But what you mainly see at Hardboard is a kind of mutual support; the fact that someone still pulls off that one trick after a lousy day, that is really amazing. It is individual sports we practice, but we do it together.'