Translator from GOOGLE

BIG names in the windsurf world

It would be silly to have such a discussion on windsurfing without putting a post about some of the BIG names in the sport. The thing to remember is there are many types of windsurfing and many facets as well. For example: there are innovators in board design, sail making, fins, booms, you name it.

My discussion here is going to start with the BIG names in the sport itself. This will be the first post on the subject and i will continue this idea of thinking with future posts - since i find it interesting...

Today i wish to start with the icon Robbie Naish. This name is known throughout the windsurf world and there are now Naish boards and sails. This fellow is such an athlete, that when you see him kiting ,SUPing or even snowboarding,  he just blows you away. The Auzie forum posted this clip that says a lot about this smiley ripper from Hawaii. Some more history and discussion after...

Based on the information in the "History of Windsurfing" on this blog, in 1976 this fellow became the World Champion at the young age of 13 on an Original Windsurfer. When you think about this, it is QUITE a feat !! Apparently the windsurfers , who were also surfers, of the day, took Robbie under their wing and uphauled the sail when he could not... He wore harnesses so high that they looked like chest hooks and not around the waist. This requires patience, determination and natural skills and ability. By 1979, Robbie Naish had been World Champion four(4) times in a row running !!!

In the 80's Robbie wins the PWA titles over and over - like five(5) times in a row... It was NOT until 1988 when Bjorn Dunkerbeck dethrones Robbie.  (Will cover Dunkie more in a later post :-) No matter, Robbie apparently won kite slalom world title in 1998. So, this dude can rock !!

Even his father, Rick Naish, is known as a board shaper and surfer. Must be in the genes :-) They moved to Hawaii from California when Robbie was quite young .... Both seemed to be working for Mistral at the same time. It seems Robbie stayed with Mistral and Gaastra for quite some time. He started with his own sail company and eventually moved on to boards as well - Naish now sell kites, SUPs, etc ...

Okay besides being a world competitor with something like 24 titles, what else is he known for? He is known for his pink sail with the US1111. He is known for riding giant boards in crazy waves, jumping them AND doing loops!!!  Some of that is in the above video... Also believe he was one of the first crazies to attack JAWS - the giant waves !!!! Some say he was known for innovations in footstraps, window in the sail, harness, etc ... also "table top push loop"

He is often called a "living legend". Does all this get to his head, apparently NOT. He is described as a quiet small man, who is very modest and down-to-earth. Always a ready smile and glint in the eye = ALOHA.

Besides Hawaii , it seems Sylt became a favourite and he visited so often that he became fluent in German. Is that how he got hooked up with Porsche ?? :-)

Here is a "newer" video:

Episode Eighteen : Meet The Boss from Naish Kiteboarding on Vimeo.

and some older good stuff:

A question Christophe and I asked myself at OKA Main Beach in May 2022 was "How many windsurfers actually made a decent living with windsurfing?"

A few legends that are found quickly by searching the www are Björn Dunkerbeck, Brian Talma, Francisco Goya, Philip Köster and Jason Polakow. Names that do not show up are names like Ken Winner, Antoine Albeau, Peter Hart and Finian Maynard. If you're looking for female windsurfers, the list gets much shorter: Sarah-Quita Offringa and Daida Ruano !!

Ironically I do NOT see any Olympians in there nor sail designers like Barry Spanier. For me these are windsurf legends as well !!

As someone wrote, there are less competitions and less money. Sometimes it feels like this sport is dying in Canada. I had hoped that SUP would lead to WindSUP and then windsurfing ?!? However, even Helmut, who has three windsurf boards and one WindSUP, has never put a sail on his WindSUP :-( Not to mention kiting and windwings now. People seem a little resistant to windfoiling. Claude from OKA told me it took him three summers to dial it in and he IS a good windsurfer !! 

To me there are too many issues for kitefoiling AND windfoiling - water depth, inconsitent winds, etc etc ...

Difficult to predict the future on this one !!