Aloha Classic 2013

The Aloha Classic was warmly welcomed back this year to Ho’okipa with both the AWT & PWA organizations coming together to hold a windsurfing contest that was a huge success with great conditions and exciting action. Top Pros which ranked from the AWT brackets advanced as wildcards to the PWA brackets and this saw some of the best windsurfers in the world competing against each other.

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The local boys dominated with their knowledge of Ho’okipa and their strong windsurfing styles with Marcilio Browne taking out the PWA World Wave title, Levi Siver deservedly winning the Aloha Classic and Bernd Roediger taking first place in the AWT contest for the second year in a row. All three sailors call Ho’okipa their home spot and winning here, at the mecca of windsurfing, must be a very special moment and truly gratifying. We asked each of these inspirational athletes and deserving winners their thoughts about winning at Ho’okipa and their thoughts on the other winning riders. Here’s what they had to say along with some of their images from the JP Aloha Classic Maui 2013 contest:

    MARCILIO BROWNE : PWA WORLD WAVE CHAMPION 2013

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Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos


Sum up your initial emotions on winning the PWA World Wave Championship and your thoughts & feelings about it now that it has all sunk in…

My first emotion was a lot of happiness and relief. But not relief for winning or loosing , but more for that event being finished , as we were all so close on points it was a bit stressful for me on the last few days , i couldn’t help not thinking about it , so it felt good when it was finally over . Now i am still so happy , had a couple of relaxing but also busy days in Maui , not that much time to think about it . I was either surfing or sailing everyday and also organizing the house and all my gear for this Chile trip , so now i am writing this from the plane which is probably the first moment i’ve sat down and did nothing .

It’s been a while since the PWA were at Ho’okipa. Did it mean more to you that you won your championship at Ho’okipa, which is now your home break?
For sure , it did. The Aloha Classic was always my favorite event to watch as a kid and i always wanted to do it , so to have the title being decided on that event having the support of my friends , sponsors , dad and Caitlin on the beach was unreal , i couldn’t ask for more .

Your thoughts on Levi winning the JP Aloha Classic…
I think he is the most deserving guy to win that event by far . I was so happy that he pulled it together , sailed so well and won it . He has been one of the best Hookipa guys for over 10 years and had never won an event there before . So now he finally did it , it was meant to be ! I am very happy for him .

Your thoughts on Bernd winning the AWT Ho’okipa Contest for a second year....
It didn’t surprise me at all . Bernd rips , he is an amazing competitor , goes for it on every wave , every heat . In my opinion this year he was sailing even better than last year , so i am very stoked that he won the AWT .  

2014 is just around the corner. What are you looking forward to most about this coming new year?
Just to enjoy every trip, every event . I will keep on training and trying to improve as much as i can but my main goal is to have fun . 

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

    LEVI SIVER – ALOHA CLASSIC WINNER 2013

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Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

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Sum up your initial emotions on winning the JP Aloha Classic and your thoughts & feelings about it now that it has all sunk in…  
It feels really good and rewarding for sure.  I thoroughly enjoyed the sailing in the event and to win that way was a good sensation.  They made some good choices in the event allowing 20 minute heats gave us a real chance to express how we sail and two best go through was smart I thought.  With that format there’s a real good chance you’ll have the 4 sailors that are sailing the best that particular day make it in the final together.  I like the way they moved guys around every round too. 

Ho’okipa is your home break and it has been the mecca of windsurfing for so many years. Did winning at Ho’okipa mean more than any of your other wins?
It did for sure because I have more pressure here because people expect that from you and it can put added pressure.  I wasn’t gonna go down that street this event. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone but myself. I wanted to smile and sail with my friends and that state of mind really worked for me. 

Your thoughts on Marcilio winning the PWA World Championship…
Epic!  They diversified the tour by adding Ho’okipa and it made a wide open door. It breathed life into the tour and made a statement that everyone already knew that you can’t forget the full dimension of our sport.
Brawzino is the best all around sailor in the world right now and I know I’m not alone with that feeling.  I’ve seen him destroying Ho’okipa for years now and the footage I’ve seen of him in Pozo is ridiculous.  He earned it and deserved it and I know it inspired alot of other sailors too.     

Your thoughts on Bernd winning the AWT Ho’okipa Contest for a second year….
Bernd’s a rare breed.  You can actually see his sailing improving in the event. I’ve never seen that happen before.  He took  his sailing to the next level last year in the event and he did it again this year.  He also has a different style then anything I’ve seen before it’s really his own. To watch the birth and rise of another great form of wavesailing get’s me excited to keep pushing my sailing.      

2014 is just around the corner. What are you looking forward to most about this coming new year?
I wanna go ride epic perfect waves and get more inspired! I really wanna make another movie about exploring the untouched places out there.  I like the process of having a vision on paper then going out there and trying to make it happen with a few surprises along the way. 

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

    BERND ROEDIGER – AWT WINNER 2012 & 2013

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Sum up your initial emotions on winning the the AWT at Ho’okipa for a second year in a row and your thoughts & feelings about it now that it has all sunk in…
Yikes, that’s a lot of summing! There are so many emotions from shock to joy to pride to plain old fashion dumbfoundedness! Is that a word?.. No, mom says no it’s not, but you get the idea. It doesn’t really sink in until the next day you go out windsurfing and you realize just what happened last time you touched the sand here. That’s when a whole other host of emotions come flooding in. That happy/sad you get when you think back to the very first time you ever dreamed of this, and every time you’ve dreamed of it since… that you spent one day in that dream, and in one day that dream disappeared from your life. The truth is that victory isn’t happiness; victory, I think, is the last glorious death of happiness. It’s the dreams that keep you alive, that get you up every morning, that take life beyond little superficial things like 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Ho’okipa is your home break and it has been the mecca of windsurfing for so many years. Did winning at Ho’okipa mean more than any of your other wins?
For sure! I mean I’ve been windsurfing there since I was like eight years old! Dedicating day after day to that place, and to windsurfing. So to be able to win there for sure validates the obsession!

Your thoughts on Marcilio winning the PWA World Championship…
Obviously stoked for Brawzinho! That guy works so hard, trying to balance between being one of the best Hookipa riders out there today and training for those onshore PWA conditions. This year he achieved that perfect balance, showing all of us how amazing he can be in the onshore conditions by winning Klitmoller, and then making it to the man on man finals at Hookipa. He really tied together the two opposite poles of wavesailing, becoming the ultimate best windsurfer in the world.

Your thoughts on Levi winning the JP Aloha Classic…
Justice. Levi has waited so long for it. Years of pushing himself, his sport, to the next level of windsurfing. Breaking new ground for us every single time he sets foot in the water, but never setting foot on that top podium. I can’t imagine how that would feel, to have something like that eating away at your for so long. To finally be free of it, for good, to be able to finally see tangible validation for such a long fought war, justice!

2014 is just around the corner. What are you looking forward to most about this coming new year?
I really have no idea! I guess I’ve been lucky with the fact that no one has come through and structured my career into a set of goals or a list of jobs to do. Right now I can’t see my future in a straight line, but as a huge universe that’s expanding all around me. Every person I meet, every new place I go, my world gets a little bigger, a new location emerges on my map! Next year, I hope to be somewhere I had no idea existed, with new faces around me, absorbing every new experience like a sponge!

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

Fish Bowl Diaries Surf and Windsurf Photos

MANY THANKS TO MARCILIO, LEVI AND BERND FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS AND CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN ON YOUR WINS!

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A Day in the Life of Victor Fernandez Lopez : E42, Spain

While we were in Maui we had the opportunity to document a day in the life of one of the current top windsurfers, Victor Fernandez Lopez. Here’s what he got up to!

Victor kick starts the day off with a healthy breakfast before checking out the day’s forecast and replying to emails.
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Last year Victor stayed in the rain forest area of Haiku which is on the North Shore of Maui and only a few minutes drive from Ho’okipa. A quick gear check and a short drive to our next stop.
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Unfortunately for Victor he had an ankle injury from the Sylt competition which he was still having treatment for in Maui with Sam from Deep Relief. Deep Relief has a solid reputation for their work and is well known for their effective treatment especially amongst the athlete community. Let’s hope you’ll never need to visit Sam but in case you do here’s the website! http://www.deepreliefmaui.com
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After being KT taped for some extra support for his windsurfing session later in the day, Sam gives Victor a few exercises for his ankle.
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Next stop, COFFEE! Baked on Maui is a great little coffee shop at The Cannery in Haiku and they serve some the most tasty pastries you can find on the North shore! You’ll often find many of the local windsurfers and surfers stopping off here. Victor has a few more errands before getting to Ho’okipa including picking up some MFC Fins which is also at The Cannery. MFC Fins are hugely popular with professional windsurfers and they also have a great range of SUP fins. For more info check out the website. http://www.mauifin.com/
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We then head on upstairs for his first meeting with two of Positive H2O’s founding members, Pascal Bronniman & Jake Miller. Positive H2O is a movement for clean water that brings together a community of athletes, conservationists, non-profits and companies, which help to facilitate local solutions on a global scale. Their mission statement reads “we promote a lifestyle that is healthy, conscious, creative and in harmony with the environment. Having clean oceans and access to clean drinking water and sanitation for people in need are at the top of Positive H2O’s priorities.” Victor is one of H2Os team riders. Take a moment to check out their website and feel free to contact Pascal or Jake to see how you can help http://www.positiveh2o.com
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We haven’t quite left The Cannery yet! We get a sneak peak at one of Victor’s new boards! Victor’s custom board is shaped by his Fanatic shaper, Sebastian Wenzel, and then these boards along with Victor’s feedback provide the basis of next year’s production boards for Fanatic.
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After all errands are run it’s off to Ho’okipa for one of Victor’s last sessions while he was on Maui last year. Here are a few shots of Victor rigging up at Ho’okipa, adding his new +H2O sticker to his sail and setting up his Go Pro!
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Many thanks to Victor for letting us follow him and also for putting up with my camera being stuck in his face for most of the day!

Most of the photos below were shot on this same day with the exception of a 2 or 3 which we thought were worth posting too!
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Kai Lenny : Maui, Hawaii

At the young age of 20, Kai Lenny has already become an outstanding athlete in a range of watersports including windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing, stand up paddle and tow surfing. He is strongly passionate and fully committed to his water-centric life and has recently shown himself to be a stand out at paddle surfing some of Jaws’ recent large swells.

Kai’s love of the ocean began at a very early age and life on Maui provides him a workplace & playground that perfectly caters to his training in all his watersports. His achievements are many but in 2010 he became the first ever Stand Up Paddle World Champion, a title which he retained in 2011 and in 2012 he became SUP World Racing Champion.

We got to meet with Kai for a face to face interview in a great coffee shop, Anthony’s Coffee Co,
in one of the most character-filled and laid back places on planet earth, Paia. As with so many of the athletes we’ve interviewed, Kai was genuinely friendly and his positivity and wholesome ambition is apparent in his demeanour and replies.

Many thanks to Kai for his time in answering our questions!

Check out Kai Lenny’s webpage: http://www.hawaiianwaterman.com/

The Basics

Name: Kai Lenny
Age: 20 years old
Nationality: American
Status: Single
Where are you currently based: Maui
Sponsors: Naish, Red Bull, Oxbow, Maui Fin Company, Contour, Turtle Bay Resorts

Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
The reason I love windsurf so much is because for me it’s like riding a motorcycle on water. You have a lot of power at your disposal, almost too much sometimes. You have the ability to jump as high as you want and you are able to do very maneuverable tricks and all these things you would be able to do surfing so windsurfing feels like you’re riding a dirt bike but on water and it feels natural. I surround my entire life with being on the water. Everything I ever do in my life is surrounded by doing some sort of watersport.

Most visited website:
I guess I just check swells. I like checking Windguru because it’s the most accurate but I’ve been looking at Surfline alot as it gives more insight as to when exactly it’s going to hit. With Windguru you can’t go wrong. It seems like they have every single spot on planet earth!

Three words you believe describe you:
fun loving addict

Three words that others might use to describe you:
You should ask those other people!

A phrase or motto you live by:
Train hard, have fun and keep dedicated because if you have a goal in your mind or if you have something in your mind that you want to achieve then anything is possible. You can do whatever you want in this life.

Shallow Waters

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It’s so hard because I admire so many people. There are so many great people in the world but off the top of my head right now it would be fun to have dinner with a Frank Sinatra or an Abraham Lincoln. Someone who was a character. These two were opposite characters but both of them would be interesting.

If you were a superhero, which power would you want to have?
I’m split between flying but I’d love to be able to breathe underwater. If I could combine the two that would be perfect! I guess if you have Superman powers he can hold his breath – maybe I’ll just go with Superman powers!

You’re going a windsurfing trip to a desert island, other than your windsurf gear, what three things do you take with you?
I’ve kind of experienced that already. I went to the Marshall Islands a few years ago with Levi and Jason Polakow and a bunch of the Oxbow guys. We had limited space on the boat so everyone was saying we’re taking this and this but I took everything! The 3 things beside windsurf gear was surfing, kiteboard, stand up gear and besides that I sneaked in some other things too! Everyone had 3 bags, I had 6! When we got there everyone was like you have 6 bags but by then there was nothing they could do about it!

Who would you like to sit next to on a long haul flight?
If I was on a super long flight I’d want to sit next to a Victoria’s Secret model!

What poster did you have on your wall growing up?
I always had posters of Robby Naish, Laird Hamilton, all the guys at Jaws. I always had Jaws pictures. It was water-centric. To be honest, I kept my room pretty clean and the walls! I went through the classic movie RIP all the time. I ruined a VHS tape and then I’d go buy a new one just so I could watch again because I’d watch it so many times that the tape would wear out. It would disintegrate! I would watch it through and then stick it back in and watch it again. Just thinking back about all the times I watched Jaws videos and all the times I watched RIP – how did I watch them so consistently?

How old were you when RIP came out? Four or three and half!

What’s your favorite or most used app?
Recently it’s been Instagram. I use music on my phone more than anything else. I use it more than my phone! I just text people because I’m in such a rush! I like looking at movie trailers too.

Favorite kind of movie?
Recently I liked the New Dark Knight. I like everything, depending on however I feel. I’m not into pure horror! By the end of those kind of movies I feel too skittish!

What was the last movie you watched?
Apocalypse Now

If I take a look inside your refrigerator would would I find?
Red Bull, salad dressing, ketchup. That’s it right now as I was traveling for two months so I just haven’t stocked up.

Too much swell to go shopping?!
Exactly! I just go to my parents’ fridge and raid their fridge and they have everything. You name it they have everything!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?
To be honest, I feel my life is better than anyone’s. I wake up and I go do whatever I want. I go in the ocean and have fun. I travel all over the world, meet new people and then I can have any gear I desire because I’m sponsored. I have my dream car. I live on Maui. Celebrities get hounded. I’d maybe be happy in a different scene just for a little while to get a different perspective on life.

Windsurfing

How long have you been surfing/windsurfing/SUP/kiting?
Started surfing when I was four, windsurfing when I was 6 and SUP when I was 7, kiting when I was 9, tow in surfing when I was 9.

And now you’re paddling into Jaws!
Yeah! This last swell I got caught inside by a huge set. I was inside and I was sitting out there and this bomb came in. And the scary thing with Jaws is you can’t see anything when you go over the next wave because there’s so much spray. All you see is this dark shadow. I took three waves where the lip landed right there. I was so scared because you see the waves moving slow. I’d go under and open my eyes and I’d instantly be 50 feet under water because as soon as you go under 50 feet of water goes over you. I’m looking up and there are just these gnarly white water clouds. You get pounded and then I’d come up and I wouldn’t get pulled in. Sometimes when you wipe out you get pounded down but you don’t get dragged, you stay in the same spot. So I popped up and the next wave is right there. Finally I got dragged in a little bit. I didn’t want to pull the CO2 cartridge as I only had one left. If I needed to I would have but I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to waste it.

Where is your favorite windsurf spot and why?
I really like Cape Verde. It’s such a fun wave. You can do the biggest aerials, big solid turns, not necessarily the best waves for tricks but it’s such a clean crisp wave. I just love that wave.

And your favorite SUP spot?
Pipeline.

You’re one of the very few that have SUPed there?
Yeah, a couple of people have. When I went I didn’t say I want to go stand up paddle at Pipeline. I was driving to Waikiki and Jamie O’Brien calls me and says let’s go standup at Pipe. So I basically went with Jamie because he knows that place so well. I also knew a lifeguard who I went with but I would not suggest for anyone to go out there unless you’re invited. I haven’t been out since because I haven’t been invited.

Your favorite surf spot? Jaws

And for kiting? The Point at Ho’okipa

You’re very prominent in the watersport world and very much a household name so how deal with the constant attention and pressure of being in the limelight?
A favorite saying of mine that I always tell myself is ‘rise to the occasion’ . So if I’m out at Jaws and I don’t feel super comfortable and I feel pressure because a lot of my heros are out there and I want to show them what I’ve got I would tell myself ‘rise to the occasion’ to push myself to get to be at that level and I’ve been doing that my whole life, basically rising to the occasion. There are times you wish you didn’t have to do something and you wish it was mellower but when it’s mellower I wish I had the pressure because it’s fun!! It adds that little bit of intensity level and motivation. Rising to the occasion is my favorite thing.

How do you stay grounded and normal?

I don’t believe that what I do is ever good enough in my mind. I’m always a perfectionist. I always feel I could be better in this part of my life or this portion of sports or whatever. That keeps me humble knowing I’m not at the level I want to be at and I don’t think I care if people think I’m the best. I do in a way because I want to be the best but it doesn’t effect me because I want to feel the best for myself. If I feel I’m the best in my mind then I’m satisfied. It feels good to be recognized. I’m grateful. I remind myself to be grateful. It’s been a lot of work to get there. It hasn’t been given. I had to work really hard so that’s one of the reasons why I want to keep this going and that’s why I want to stay humble. You can watch every train wreck – as soon as someone gets famous they get cocky or big then all of a sudden they disappear. If I stay humble, I might stay a little longer!

Which move are you currently trying to master?
In surfing I”m trying to get my aerials down. Trying to get it where I can air reverse 360 consistently. With kite surfing trying to work on my strapless and to be able to jump really high without footstraps and do rotations. Two rotations are my goal. Windsurfing I have a list of moves I’ve thought up of. When I’m in my jumping mood I really love jumping. If I was on a wave it would be sick to do perfect aerial fowards where you clear sections and you then forward and land on the other side of the sections. Not where you forward and land in the same spot but clear sections. With jumping I’ve been into doing the Kono backside and you pop it and then you do a forward.

What challenges have you encountered in your career and how have you overcome them?
I’ve always made sure I surround myself around positive people. There are always going to be negative people no matter what. If you’re a really good person, there’s always someone that’s negative to it. That’s just life. The biggest challenge is to not be that child star syndrome. There are so many kids that can’t quite make it. They’re on the edge, can’t make and then disappear. I did not want that to happen. Once I knew I made it I felt I was on more level ground. I don’t feel so much pressure now.

What is the biggest misconception about being professional waterman?
People just think you go ride and do nothing else but it’s a lot of work. For example, getting gear fixed, replying to emails and making phone calls. I get so many emails you have no idea! Basically it’s like a business. I was in Australia for two weeks doing a promotional tour. I went to two shops a day for two weeks and then I raced in between. That’s draining. Half of the time it’s fun and then half of the time it’s a lot of work. But I enjoy that, I like working. If I’m not working, I feel like I should be doing something. The biggest misconception is that it’s a free ride but you always have to be behind the 8 ball and keep reinventing yourself.

Which spot would you like to sail or surf?
I’ve never been to Indonesia. It’s super rad for surfing. For windsurfing I want to go back to the Marshall Islands. Oh my gosh, that place is just a dream down there!

What has been your scariest ride?
I don’t know, I’ve been scared a lot! Jaws is always so scary. Ok, the first wipeout I had a Jaws. I was towing and it was probably the biggest wave I’ve ever ridden at Jaws on the left. I got really comfortable because it was when were were tow surfing and you get 50 waves in an hour. I was going left and it started to close out. I saw the section and I thought I can make that but what I didn’t know out of experience is that you can make the section but then there’s going to be another section coming towards you. I could have kicked out but I was scared to kick out because I what if I kicked out and my worst fear was if I saw a bomb breaking on my head. At that point you feel so alone and it’s the scariest thing in the world. I still have nightmares about that. I was going and I made it around the section. I came out and I tried kicking out and it was just too steep and I went so high and was on the edge and I could almost make it out but I just slipped on my board. I fell and the wave barreled over me. I was 16 at the time and I truly thought I was going to die. Underwater I was literally thinking I lived a great life and I’d done so much in my life. I didn’t actually have any flashbacks! I was just thinking whatever happens let it be but then I came up with so much oxygen because I was so relaxed. I came up and started laughing because I was alive. Dave Kalama comes flying past me on the jet ski and tells me he’s going to get my board. I went under another small wave and DK and Shaun Walsh come over and picked me up on the jet ski.

Deep Waters

Other than family, what do you cherish in your life and why is it so important to you?
My life is simple. I don’t go out much. I like hanging out with my family. I have a group of really close friends I do things with. The reason why I never got into partying or I’ve never had any alcohol or done drugs in my life is because I’ve always been so focused on my sports and been so passionate about that. That’s my love, being in the water and trying to figure out the puzzle in the ocean. So why do I need to go do drugs when I’m having way more fun doing this. As soon as you go into drugs or alcohol it’s because what you’re doing doesn’t satisfy you.

How do you stay positive and upbeat?
I’ve always tried to be as positive as I can because whenever I am good things happen and even if bad things happen there’s always been something I can learn from it. There hasn’t been one situation in my life where something happened that hasn’t been for the greater good. Nothing good can come out of being negative.

What’s your greatest achievement outside of the water?
Everything has always been on the water!

What do you consider to be your worst quality?
Being impatient.

And your best quality?
Having drive and not giving up. Actually that’s probably my worst quality too because sometimes you have to just let it go! You can’t make chicken soup out of chicken poop! I always get told that when I’m training for a contest. Don’t take a crappy wave and expect to do well. You can’t make chicken soup out of chicken poop but you can turn chicken soup into chicken poop!!

How do you personally define success?
Success to me in it’s most basic form is having satisfaction and feeling like you’re content with something. That’s the most basic form. For me I always feel like I have a weight on my shoulders and even if that weight is lifted for 5 minutes it feels like the best feeling in the world. I try not to know what it’s like to not be successful. This year I lost a world title this year in stand up paddling to wave but I almost felt like it was a good thing because it set me up to have more world titles later on because when you win you don’t learn anything. When you lose you learn a lot. Look at Kelly Slater, if he’d have won in 2004 against Andy Irons I’m sure he would have only 7 world titles now but because Andy beat him it drove him to get 11 titles and he’s still in the running to get 12 world titles.

And finally…

I’m a big believer in … always having fun

My favorite place on earth is … Maui

My parents are … the biggest reason why I’m where I am today.

I could never … succumb to drugs or alcohol.

I’ve always wanted to … be on Saturday Night Live

Life is nothing without … a dream

Today I will … have more fun than I had yesterday.

The Internet is … a connection to people around the world

I am … my own worst enemy

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Josh Stone : Maui, Hawaii

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!

The Basics:

Name: Josh Stone
Age: 41
Nationality: Hawaiian
Status: Happily married…2 awesome kids
Where are you currently based? Maui
Sponsors: Goya
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!

Shallow Waters

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!

Windsurfing

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.

Deep Waters

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.

And Finally…

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!!!

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Levi Siver : Maui, Hawaii

This week we met with Levi Siver on the north shore of Maui for a face to face interview and amongst other things we discussed his role in Quatro, his beliefs and secret spots he’d like to go to.

Originally hailing from Idaho, he moved to Maui with his parents and his brother Luke when he was at a very young age. Ho’okipa soon became his home break and with many years of experience under his belt he has built a deserved reputation for himself as one of the best wave sailors that Ho’okipa has seen.

Levi can easily be called one of the windsurf legends of the last decade but there are no unnecessary airs and graces when you speak with him.  He’s an easy-going, regular guy with a keen sense of faith and determined belief in doing good. At 31, he still sails as intensely as when he was younger with no hint of taking it easier any time soon and has proved himself a master at riding large, powerful waves.

The fact that he is so well known as a professional windsurfer is proof in itself that taking a different route than most in windsurfing has paid off for him and he has reaped not only success but happiness in following his career on his own terms.

Levi currently has a new responsibility with Quatro which is to film and get content for their website to communicate the Quatro brand. He tells us that he enjoys the creative side of videography and when I joked with him that sometime in the future he may end up doing Windsurfing Movie 5 he laughed and replied, ”I hope not! It’s not the Lord of The Rings Trilogy! I want to do a different name.” We’re all eager to see what’s in store in the future!

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The Basics

Name: Levi Siver
Age: 31
Nationality: American
Status: Single
Where are you currently based? Maui
Sponsors: Oxbow, Redbull, Quatro, Goya, Positive H20, MFC, Dakine
Why are you so passionate about windsurfing? I think it’s about escapism. It’s a place where you can enjoy and you don’t really have to listen to other people tell you what to do. It’s your place and it’s cleansing . You’re in the ocean. It’s healthy, it feels good and you learn a lot about yourself, your fears, what you’re capable of and it’s progression. To become better at something. It’s always been a way for me to escape. It’s just fun, it’s playing. You stay young!
Most visited website? Surfline
Three words you believe describe you: Relaxed, passionate, reclusive
A phrase or motto you live by: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you

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Shallow Waters

If you were a superhero, which power would you want to have? Time travel.
You’re going on a windsurfing trip to a desert island, other than your windsurf gear, what 3 things do you take with you? A really beautiful awesome girl, plenty of stuff for barbecue and cold beverages.
So food, drink and a woman?!! Yeah! *laughs*
Who would you like to sit next to on a long haul flight? A really cool beautiful woman or a super funny comedian that makes you laugh and pulls you out of your own little world.
What poster did you have on your wall growing up? Maybe all the Gaastra guys at that time – Robby Naish, Jason Polakow and the Pritchards.
Is it weird now that you’re best friends with some of these guys like JP? Yeah but it just shows the longevity of the sport, that some guys stay relevant and stay competitive through many decades which I think is cool and is inspiring to me because  I’m coming into my best years at 31. I think progression in windsurfing can happen for years as long as you stay smart about it. I have way more experience and understanding of how waves work in my 30s rather than my 20s because I’ve had years of accumulation of everything.
What person would you like to swap lives with for one day? Barrack Obama. I’d set some things right!
Do you play any other sports? I love all water sports. I love watching soccer.

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Windsurfing

What equipment are you sailing on at this current time? I’ve been riding on LS thrusters and dabbling on the Quad LS. Yeah, Keith’s wave boards pretty much.
Who was your inspiration when you started windsurfing and why? I think my brother was probably my first inspiration because we were so close and we were doing the same things and we were pretty close in age. I don’t think I would have sailed Ho’okipa as soon as I did and or progressed throughout the years without him because he was older and a fearless windsurfer. It put me in that frame of mind at a young age where maybe naturally I may not have been there but having a brother totally instigated that so yeah, I would say my brother.
How close is your relationship? Close.  In the beginning it was a little bit too much. Too head to head. We were super competitive, it got a big agro. Some fighting and things but we always loved each other. We’re friends and put the childish things behind us. I’m grateful to have my brother.
What is your most vivid or favourite memory of a personal windsurfing moment?
I would say probably putting the work in to go somewhere new like Morocco or the Marshall Islands where it was kind of a gamble. We spent a big chunk of our production budgets and it could have easily been a failure but it wasn’t. It was this total success in a 48 hour window and you look at your little crew you’re with and there’s two, three, four of you guys there and you don’t even have to say anything and everyone has the same emotion and you don’t even have to express it.
You must be closer for it? It’s a gamble and when you risk more you get more rewards. It’s something that’s left undone in windsurfing, that adventurous side of exploration, finding new waves to ride. Not going to the same ones. It takes a little more risk factor because some places aren’t that good.
Anywhere you haven’t sailed that you think one day you want to go there? There’s a few places.
Or maybe they’re secret places and you don’t want to tell us?!  I won’t give away the name. There’s one place in Mexico I want to go. For me I want to go to long right hander point breaks. I like starboard tack. I like long clean waves and I think there are a lot of those that do get windy and no one has put forth the the effort to go to all of them. I like to go to Cape Verde. It’s probably one of the best waves in the world for windsurfing.
So this spot in Mexico, any plans to visit it? Yeah I will go and video it.
Sooner rather than later? Yeah, it’s a summertime spot but right now here is pretty much the spot to be.
Where was your scariest ride? Tell us a little about the experience.
Scariest ride? Uhhmm. Probably Jaws. *pause* Just Jaws! Tow surfing Jaws January 2004, that big day. That was probably the most scared I’ve been in the ocean and those were the biggest waves I’ve seen in my life.
Which windsurfing move do you wish you had invented? I would say the Taka, it’s pretty sick. It’s a natural feeling move.
What are you doing when you’re not windsurfing? Basically I love to surf when there’s no wind and I’m a nature guy. I love to camp and be outdoors and be with friends.
If you could interview another windsurfer, what one question would you like to ask them? I don’t know, it depends on the personality. There’s a lot of different characters in our sport. I’d probably like to ask Mark Angulo why he moved to Florida!!
What are the biggest misconceptions about being a pro? That some people think you’re an arrogant person because of the way it’s marketed. It’s an adrenalised, crazy sport so people easily get caught in the hype of it. I think they judge you on that factor a little bit too quickly. I don’t think there’s any room for that arrogant attitude. It’ll spit you out. If you look at the top guys they’re humble, chilled guys and pretty unassuming personalities. Even like Philip Koster, all the guys, they’re down to earth, real. The guys on tour right now have a real passion for windsurfing and I don’t feel that they’re in it for the money. You don’t have any other choice than to do it for the love and passion of it.

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Deep Waters

Other than family, what do you cherish in your life and why is it so important to you? I would say my faith is the most important thing. My spirituality and faith in God which has got me through every aspect of my life and shaped the way I see the world and given me a deeper appreciation for the good things in life. When that’s right I’m more at peace with myself and the world around me.
Do you believe in a higher power? Elaborate a little on your beliefs. I believe in the witness of Jesus Christ. I believe he is the fulfilment of God’s plan and salvation for the world. His witness is the most powerful testimony in history and in everything I’ve seen with my eyes ever since I was a small child.
How has that changed your life? I believe this life has purpose. I believe these few years are more important than we could possibly imagine for an eternal plan.
What is a typical night out? What is a typical night in? It’s more about the people I’m with.  I love light music but not much of the music on Maui. I don’t care  for reggae. I like the old time Bob Marley stuff but the new stuff not so much and that’s about 95% of the stuff on Maui. I like Indie Rock, alternative rock or old time bluesy jazz or anything cultural.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years from now? I don’t really know.
Videographer maybe? I love the creative process of film and putting a vision together on a canvas of film with music. I want to stay passionate about whatever I’m doing. Ten years? that’s a long time away.
How do you personally define success? I think whatever you’re handed in life depends on how you’re responsible with it and if you use it to benefit others and for the right intentions that’s a success on every level.
So it’s not about popularity or money? I feel that’s the cancer and disease of the world, people misunderstanding success and true happiness with riches, wealth and power.
What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life? For personal satisfaction, when I left the PWA and did things my way and went to places I wanted to go to and I think I became a better windsurfer when I stayed true to what I wanted to do. I feel like I was trying to live a blueprint for windsurf success that’s been moulded through the years for the industry and I finally just said I’m going to go and do things my way and my sponsors stayed with me and my contracts got better and I feel my level of sailing got better because I was doing something I believed in for myself.
If you had to live your life over again what would you change about it? There are all kinds of things you learn along the way but if you treat your failures right and through your faith those are the things that define you and help you grow so it’s hard to look through it all and wonder what you’d change.

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And Finally….

I’m a big believer in…. God

Call me crazy but…. I don’t care

My favorite place on earth is…. right here

My parents are…. a blessing

I could never…. move to LA

I’ve always wanted to…. be happy

Life is nothing without…. friends and family

Today I will…. enjoy

The internet is…. addictive

If I had the power I would change…. the world

I am…. here

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