01: Working hard at something you don’t care about can be called stress. Working at something you love is called passion and it kicks you out of bed in a morning. I was fortunate to find that flame with Mystic at a young age and have been surrounded by people that share the same stoke ever since. 02: When I was a kid, my dad was part of O’Neill for twelve years. I was always heavily inspired by Jack O’Neill. Creating the wetsuit, flying a self-made balloon, starting a charity and surfing everyday no matter how busy he was. You can always reflect and take inspiration from others to execute your ideas and dreams. 03: Be honest. If you have an opinion, share it and don’t be afraid of the response. Your opinion can always add something to the discussion. 04: Make time to listen to people you respect. 05: You can’t please everyone. 06: Trust the people you hire. The only way to grow and evolve is to set people free and let them be good at what they do. Trust in that process. 07: Family, friends and health are are as fragile as glass, so make sure you never drop them. When Covid kicked in I realized more then ever how important family and loved ones are. Sometimes you must hit the brakes, look around and enjoy the moment. 08: Ideas are easy, execution is the hard part. Sometimes we have crazy ideas at Mystic, but we try to always realistically estimate what we can and can’t execute. Once you feel the execution and teamwork is going well, then the dreams can become bigger. 09: It’s important to be loyal. 10: If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. The more visions and skillsets the better, but make sure your team(s) can eat from two pizzas. While building our brand for the last 19 years, this has been crucial.

11: Don’t stress about social media. People always look better, more successful and like they’re having more fun on Instagram. You won’t be able to beat that in real life, but if your glass is half full and you feel happy, then it’s all good. 12: TV is dead. YouTube and Netflix are the way forward. 13: When the team and I spent 27 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean by kite, I realised how important sunscreen and water are! 14: You can always get into wave riding with a kite later. Do freestyle and big air while you’re young and fit. Once you get older and suffer more with the beatings, the more experience you will bring into waves and you’ll be even better as a result. And don’t forget to use the right wax: using the wrong one is freaking annoying! 15: Always respect locals in the lineup. When my wife and I spent four months living in Brazil, I surfed a lot. Early on I made the mistake of catching waves without respecting the locals. You quickly learn your lesson doing that in a country like Brazil!! 16: Keep things real. The South Africans taught me that. 17: When you’re in Cape Town don’t think about sharks. Once it gets in your head you won’t be able to go to fully commit to the wave. 18: Nothing will develop you as a person quicker than travelling. Meeting people and understanding different cultures is an amazing learning curve. 19: As much as I love to travel, I think it’s important to have a steady base. I really appreciate arriving back at the place that feels like home. 20: Holland has shit weather but it’s one of the greatest countries to live in. If you like long downwinders, strong wind, hectic storms, bitter balls, soccer, good food, good parties, beautiful people and a bit of ice skating occasionally, you should consider paying a visit.

Max Blom, 36, is the co-founder and brand director at Mystic and is also part of the North Actionsports Group (NAG) senior management team.

Max started kiting when he was 17 and took an intern position at Maui Magic during his university studies. Distributor of Wipika kites in the early days of the sport, Maui Magic's owner wanted to start a sub-brand specifically for kiting and put Max and one other guy in charge of rolling out the entire marketing set-up for Mystic.

In 2007 Max bought Mystic outright with his dad and spent 12 years further developing it into the strongly recognisable accessory brand that it is today. In 2019 the North Technology Group bought Max Blom Senior's shares and merged North Kiteboarding (a brand they'd taken over in 2018) and Mystic under one umbrella; the North Actionsports Group.

Mystic is still growing rapidly, has started developing new products for surfing and in 2022 will celebrate 20 years in business.

Max lives in the famous beach town of Scheveningen in Holland with his wife and two daughters, aged three and one

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