You are very professional in creating your own content and representing on SM. During these unusual times in what way do you benefit from this approach over professional windsurfers, who are very focused on competitions?
I have always combined competing with writing for windsurf and SUP magazines. 2020 is actually the first year since I am 12 years old that I haven’t competed. I would always explore the locations where we would travel for competition, and write articles for the magazines, as well as additional trips dedicated just to creating editorial content. I believe that it is a very important part of providing value and exposure to my sponsors, maybe even more than competition results, and these last years that means having a strong social media presence too. I have been writing for mags for many years and I was the co-owner of SUPING Magazine for 5 years as well, so I have some experience with planning content schedules, a vision of what could be interesting, organizing photoshoots, etc. I think that the difference between other athletes that have been mainly focused on competition is that I am more used to it, and I actually like it. I love sharing my stories and trying to motivate people to travel and try our sports. Maybe for some people focused solely on competition, the media side is a new thing to them, or something they don’t enjoy and feel a lot of pressure with it.
The location where I live allows me to sail a lot in very good conditions surrounded by stunning nature, and that helps a lot too. Tom and I always take turns with the camera to consistently provide material to our sponsors. We even bought a water housing to be able to get nicer photos with different angles and perspectives, because at some points when I wanted to shoot with professionals, due to the restrictions, it was impossible for them to come.
You seem to have fun in every possible condition. Nevertheless, what are your most favorite conditions and sail set-ups?
You are right! I like to believe that having fun, just as feeling happy, it’s a choice, a mind set up that you can work on. That said, and having gear for different conditions, there are no bad days! If I can choose my dream day, I would go for a light wind mast high clean peeling wave, hahaha. Something like a good Baja California, light side off Ho'okipa, or a Pacasmayo day to use my Super Hero 4.2 rigged baggy. That, I like a lot! The tack, I don’t really care, I think I have more flow port tack but more experience on starboard... I confess I love everything! I love it a bit onshore too, for the Super Hero 3.7 with power in the sail and steep shoulder high waves. I have the whole quiver of Super Heroes from 3.0 to 4.7 and, except for the 3.0, they all get used about equally… All conditions have their treasures, like a good down the line and aerials when it's offshore, a nice top turn when it's sideshore, or the backside airs when onshore and windy! I get excited just writing about it, what an awesome sport we do!
Do you have some advice for other windsurfers?
There are no bad days in the water! You would be surprised how much fun some of those average days can be! Small or easy days are the ones you can actually push, try new things or risk a bit more, so those days will make the difference in improving your level. Having some goals can be very fun too, just be careful that having goals don’t become a frustration, set your goals step by step. Push your level with friends, but don’t compare, every person has a different learning rhythm. I am often one of these few people sailing on those average days, and you know what? The other few sailors around happen to be some of the best, I am sure that this is one of the reasons that makes them become so good.
Even, if it is difficult to say at the moment, what are your plans for the upcoming season? What are your most interesting projects you are working on?
I'll keep working on getting nice photos and videos for social media, both for my own account and for my sponsors accounts, as well as continue with articles for windsurf and SUP print magazines. I'm organizing clips for a couple of videos too, some about some adventures I want to share, and also some about gear for my Spanish-speaking audience, as it is a large market and most of the content available is only in English. I'd love to travel a bit and join some IWT and PWA events, but it is hard to make plans at the moment. I try to have flexible options and a plan B. I'll pay attention to what is possible and make the best out of it.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I'd love to live a life very similar to what I've been doing. Spending seasons on Maui and Spain, and traveling to some places in between. Writing travel articles for magazines, promoting my sponsors and making our brand Windy Lines grow. I'd love to take a more active role for my sponsors in the photoshoots and marketing aspects, which is a work that I love! I also have some projects in the making to promote the sport and to motivate women in sport.
Any further motto or statement you want to share with us?
Live life true to your heart. The moment is now.
Pictures: Tom Soltysiak, Maria Andrés, Fishbowldiaries