There’s a lot of talk surrounding the term ‘style’ when windsurfing’s discussed. But what is style exactly and what makes a rider’s style good or bad? And what makes a stylish windsurfer legendary?
Tricky points to discuss as ultimately style, and the legendary status of which, is down to opinion. Opinions, as we all know, differ from individual to individual. A panel of judges may not agree 100% and likewise you reading this may not agree with comments in this article. So, subjectivity makes the topic of style a quagmire to navigate. Yet we’re going to suggest the following regardless.
Without further ado here are some of the most stylish and legendary riders to ever set foot atop a windsurfing board.
Innovative, reckless, punk rock, genius and so on… The list of colourful adjectives thrown Mark Angulo’s way is extensive. As a long time Ho’okipa windsurfer, and one of the originals, Mark’s style is instantly recognisable.
Going huge, inventing new moves, crashing hard and (at least in his youth) tearing it up on land as much as in the water are just some of what MK is famous (infamous) for. These days there’s a much mellower attitude that emanates although he’ll still go as hard ever when the waves are pumping and the wind’s filled in!
These days JP is more about chasing down the biggest swells he can find across the globe. Previously a bit of a competitive animal Jason Polakow rewrote the wave sailing rule book with his hooking and distinct turns.
Tweaked out aerials and a fearless attitude in the water makes him instantly recognisable. He may be getting on a bit, in terms of age, but he shows no signs of slowing down. Not bad on a dirt bike either – although we understand this has been curbed slightly due to JP not bouncing when crashing into Terra Firma!
How can any list discussing legends and style within windsurfing not include the main man himself Robby Naish? Pretty much the guy that wrote the professional windsurfer’s hand book and still one of the best performers at his home spot Mr Naish is the ultimate grom with a bunch of signature moves that makes him a stand out straight away.
Not only a ripper on windsurfing gear Robby ain’t bad on any other kind of watercraft; kite, SUP, surf, windsurf and foil RN does it all and does it with legendary style that’s for sure!
Winner of the Red Bull Storm Chase – so not afraid to go big in ‘emotional’ conditions – yet fully rounded in terms of skill level on both tacks Tommy T kills it when free sailing and ain’t no slouch in competitions either.
Even though only slight in stature he makes up for size in BIG moves and when thinsg get gnarly. In fact, the gnarlier the better.
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne
A new school rider hailing from Brazil Brawzinho cut his teeth initially on the PWA’s freestyle circuit before switching to waves. Noted for being super consistent on both tacks, in the air and on the wave, Brawzi is one of the few current crop of modern sailors that can bust out a double forward on demand.
Having already won world titles Brawzinho is seeking his next in the PWA’s wave discipline exclusively. With such a show of hard work and determination it’s surely on a matter of time before he brings home the bacon.
The Moreno Twins
Both Iballa and Daida Moreno have dominated women’s competitive windsurfing for years (and still continue to do so). Often going equally as big as the men their consistency is their style as well as having a few huge moves in the bag. Showing no signs of slowing down they continue to rip and provide inspiration for other females and men alike.
A really nice thing about the Moreno’s is how tight knit they both are. Living and training together off the water the identical ladies are the best of friends, which is the ultimate in stylish and legendary behaviour if you ask us.
Witchcraft team riders
We couldn’t pen an article like this and not mention Witchcraft’s own bunch of stylish rippers. After all, it’s the reason they ride our kit. So in no particular order –
Yannick Anton: an awesome flowing style who rips as hard as any of the big name pros. In fact, Yannick and Traversa used to sail together until injury halted his pro career.
Will Ward: UK Fuerteventura transplant Will Ward has an obviously aggressive style and isn’t afraid to go big when conditions suit. A bit of demon for dirt biking as well.
Andy Fawcett: another UK rider Andy Fawcett is based down in South West Cornwall and is what we’d describe as an ‘aerial manic’. Sometimes wave riding he’s more usually in the air, especially when it nukes.
Frank Diaz: based on the ‘other’ island (Lanzarote) Fank Diaz is an ex-World Cup sailor so knows a thing or two about competitive sailing. He’s no slouch in free sail mode either, busting out big moves with the rest.
Jonas Handekyn: having the awesome windsurfing playground of Cape Town on your doorstep will always ensure you’re a dab hand at windsurfing and Jonas certainly is that. Whatever the conditions on offer he’s ready to step and deliver.
As we said at the start of this article stylish and legendary status are such subjective fields. We could list even more riders, but there simply isn’t space. So, over to you guys. Who makes it onto your list?