XpBonaire Feature Story
If you haven’t heard about Tonky and Taty, you have missed a significant part of the island’s history of home grown heroes, a unique and a great example of what is really important in life.
Elton (Taty) and Everon (Tonky) Frans have been world ranking windsurfers for many years. Besides their athletic accomplishments, they have done even more. They put windsurfing on the map again with their freestyle tricks and skills, giving the sport a new edge. But their personalities, big smiles, positivity and their humble approach made them even more well-known and special to many.
Born on Bonaire and growing up in simple circumstances in a fisherman’s family taught the brothers early on to appreciate what you have. Some of you may have heard of the award winning movie, “Children of the Wind”, which features their life story.
But even after so much success, traveling the world and being the poster boys of the island, you would never know. Nothing of their great success has changed their core belief - life and Bonaire are beautiful.
The Frans Paradise
At the end of 2018, the brothers opened their own windsurf place located in Sorobon at the end closest to the public beaches. Now they have accomplished their big dream: to own their own place right where they are the happiest, on the turquoise waters that brought them so much success and joy, teaching others to improve their skills or fall in love with their favorite sport, windsurfing.
The Frans Paradise offers you the gear that suits your experience level and the current wind conditions and lessons by the champions themselves.
They are open seven days a week, from morning till afternoon, greeting you with a big smile and ready to advise you about anything you need to have a good ride. The brothers have begun with a simple set-up of a container filled with gear and a shop. Since the location is a public place, their future plans will embrace the setting and they will expand when the time is right with beach volleyball, bolas and other fun beach activities.
Of course, the two would love to build something more permanent in the future instead of the containers, but right now they are happy the way it is. When the business is ready to grow, they will talk with STINAPA and Drop as they operate in a protected area and fully respect the rules and regulations. Loving the water and nature, they understand and want to protect it for the future of the island and its people. They do not plan on using fencing, instead leaving the location as it is -free and open to the public.
Business plans turned out differently than Tonky had imagined, but most likely the way it was supposed to be - together with Taty, his younger brother, at his side like it has been for all their lives.
Of course the brothers had their typical sibling fights about unimportant small stuff, but they always cared about each other. Being each other’s wing man as they got in trouble or coming up with crazy ideas. When Tonky found his passion, windsurfing, Taty followed him. Even though the two competed against each other, they always knew they had somebody around they could rely on to share happiness and frustrations. The two brothers have inspired many around the world and each other. Tonky and Taty continuously ranked in the top 10 throughout most of their career, several times in the top five and even top 3.
Taty is planning to continue competing for the next two years, but Tonky will be at The Frans Paradise all the time to run the business and teach. Tonky started out with nothing and the people around him made everything possible. It is the reason why the brothers want to give other kids the same chance. The two are working on plans to let kids windsurf at their place with them. The Frans Paradise is the next step in their career. As Taty said, this is all he dreamed of, he doesn’t need anything more or better.
Sign up at Frans Paradise and follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram or send them an email. You will receive a swift response.