Josh Stone is a regular at Ho’okipa, quite often riding the biggest waves on days when no one else is out (yesterday, for example!), and for the last few years you’ll often see him there with his son Harley who is becoming a strong windsurfer in his own right and very much a part of the young blood of windsurfing.
Josh was PWA Freestyle World Champion in 1999 and 2000 and also the inventor of The Spock. Despite no longer being on the Pro circuit he remains one of the strongest wave sailors at Ho’okipa which is no mean feat considering he arrived in Maui from Oahu sailing goofy foot and had to completely change the way he sailed to master Ho’okipa. His explosive style makes him a stand-out in the water and one of my favorites to photograph!
Not only a powerful sailor but very much a family man, Josh embodies the spirit of Aloha and he lives up to his reputation of being one of the friendliest people in the windsurfing circle.
Many thanks to Josh for his interview!
Name: Josh Stone
Status: Happily married…2 awesome kids
Where are you currently based? Maui
How many languages do you speak? Which ones? English…passing French, passing German
why are you so passionate about windsurfing? It has been a part of my life since I was a young boy growing up in Kailua. I love the concept of combining water and air to create such a powerful sensation.
Most visited website? NA…I don’t really check out websites.
Three words you believe describe you: Fun, fun, happy.
Three words that others might use to describe you: Fun, fun, happy.
A phrase or motto you live by: You only go around once so you better go hard!
What one thing can you not live without (non-windsurfing related!) My family…I’ve been lucky enough to have the gift of time since retiring from pro-windsurfing, and I’ve spent most of that time with my wife and kids. They are really the only thing I can’t live without.
What poster did you have on your wall growing up? I actually had a poster of Robby Naish of course! I grew up a few doors down from him in Kailua and the first time I saw him I was surfing in the shore break and this guy on this pink sail goes flying SUPER high over us, and I thought…that’s definitely what I want to do! He was for sure the most inspirational windsurfer of all times, and I doubt there is a windsurfer alive that hasn’t had a Naish poster on the wall at some point in their life.
Favorite or most used app? Instagram…I love it because my family can see what adventures we are on at anytime and it pushes to facebook and twitter, so it is really visible. Pictures can say so much more than words.
What person would you like to swap lives with for one day? No one! I absolutely love my life. I couldn’t think of a better one.
Do you play any other sports? For sure…surfing, sup, biking (mountain and road), and snowboarding. When you live in a playground like Maui, you play!
How long have you been windsurfing? I’ve been windsurfing since I was 11 years old. I learned with a wood boom!!! So that’s about 30 years! WHOA!
Where is your favourite windsurfing spot and why? Now days it’s Ho’okipa because it only takes me 30 seconds to go home for lunch and then come back for another session.
What equipment are you sailing on at this current time? Goya…Fran is the BEST when it comes to gear because he’s fanatic and he knows what works…he’s still a flipping insane windsurfer. Keith Taboul shapes all of our boards, and there is no question he is by far the best shaper in the world…ask all the pros from all the other brands where they REALLY get their boards…I think the industry would hate that question to be truthfully answered! Hahahaha.
Who was your inspiration when you started windsurfing and why? Naish was my number one inspiration, but other Kailua stars were as well, like Peter Cabrinha. I remember a final at Diamond Head between Naish and Cabrinha when I was really young. It was like watching clash of the titans…truly unbelievable. ALSO, my dad was a huge inspiration. He was always a legendary waterman, and whenever he was in the water, his power and grace was unmatchable.
What’s your preference? Multi-fin or single fin? Jumping or wave-riding? Right now..quads are my favorite, and I have been trying different setups. I just keep coming back to the quads. Wave riding is my favorite at the moment because my ankles are REALLY starting to give me hassles, and landing flat from big loops is something I pay for now. I still LOVE the feeling of a huge stalled back or push loop, or a planning forward, I just know I’m gonna feel it.
What advice do you have for someone who’s starting out in windsurfing and would like to progress in the sport? Stick with it! Even with all the frustrating plateaus of progression, nothing feels better then finally nailing a move you’ve been dreaming of, whether it’s a tack or a wave taka. The learning stoke NEVER goes away in windsurfing.
Which move are you currently trying to master? Wave takas…again…I keep getting them for a month or so, then I lose them…very frustrating especially when you see Brazzy, Gram, Morgan and Bernd nailing every fricking one!!!
Windsurfing was a hugely popular sport in the 80s. Do you believe it will make a comeback and if so how can people help this along? For sure…sports are cyclical. Windsurfing combines water and air in an incredibly efficient way that creates an unbelievable power and speed…that will always be something people desire…to bring nature together to become greater than one’s self.
A piece of wisdom you’d pass onto your kids? Enjoy your life! That doesn’t mean don’t work…it just means don’t forget to have fun on the ride because it is the most awesome gift!
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years from now? Exactly the same thing! I love my life and being with my family here in Maui. We travel, have fun and do interesting projects. I hope this can be what I’m doing in 30 years!
What do you consider to be your worst quality? Your best quality? Impatience…I really have to work hard to be patient, and that’s important because impatience can cause stress for no reason. My best quality is that I truly believe in equality amongst all people. This makes it very easy for me to get along with just about anyone anywhere. It makes for a happier life.
What irritates you about other people and how do you deal with it? I don’t like when people are snobby. I’ve never understood what makes one person feel like they are better than others. I hate the VIP thing…it’s just silly.
If you had to live your life over again what would you change about it? Nothing! Life is a culmination of experiences that make you who and what you are…good and bad. To change something would change the fabric of who you are. Just enjoy the ride and try and do better if you’ve done something you’re not proud of.
I’m a big believer in….having fun.
My favorite place on earth is….home.
My parents are….awesome.
Life is nothing without….family.
I am….ready to go to the beach after this interview!!!