This is the result of a summer of wave-chasing. My summer of 2013, to be exact. At that time, I was in the height of my competition hiatus, I didn’t have anything to do but travel around Hawaii and the west coast of North America with Kevin Pritchard finding fun waves and filming them. Most of that footage went to make our Tourists of the Sea series, but looking over the leftovers and throwaway clips unseen by the world, I realized that these were my favorite moments. These clips best express what I set out searching for that summer.
Like all footage, these clips are now obsolete. They capture a past me in a past style. My riding has improved since, or to put it more accurately: changed. That summer I was drawn to speed and being one with the wave. My board, fins, and sail were tuned to do fast turns and tricks in the critical sections of the wave, being a part of the wave rather than on it.
This short edit captures the fear of hitting a big lip, and also the fun of riding small waves alone through a garden of rocks. Or, the frustration of riding super-technical mast-breaking beach breaks. The goiter at 3:07 is possibly the most technically difficult goiter I’ve ever done: heavy beach break with strong gusty off-shore winds.
Watching THESE ARE WAVES over again, I remember back over a decade ago to sailing with Alex Mussolini and Sebastian Steudtner. We’d all pile onto one big Hookipa wave and go for airs and 360s over each other. It was so much fun– energy ping-ponging back and forth. And not only fun; those sessions made me a better windsurfer.
And in editing the clip, I couldn’t help but think of Thomas Traversa, Brendan Pyatt and David Ezzy, as they are the three people who care about windsurfing wave riding more than anyone else I know. A little bit of me is always wondering what they think of every off-the-lip.
Now that I’m back on the PWA world tour, my focus has shifted and so has my style of riding, but I’m still just chasing waves and trying to hit heavy lips as fast and as hard as I can.
(PS, the music, which is wonderfully fun, doesn’t start till 35 seconds in, so don’t turn up the volume too high searching for sound and blow out your ears.)