From former World Champion to one of the finest sail and board designers in the world
Francisco Goya (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) is one of the iconic figures of windsurfing. In 2000 Goya completed his childhood dream of becoming PWA Wave World Champion, thanks to his incredible style on the wave and his radical jumping. Fast forward four years later and the man himself started his very own windsurfing company - Goya Windsurfing - which is now one of the leading brands in the sport. Creating his own inventions and custom equipment has been in Goya’s blood from a very young age so it should come as no surprise as to why he is so successful. Now we took the opportunity to catch up with one of the true windsurfing greats. Read the interview below.
PWA: When did Goya Originate?
FG: “The brand began in 2004 with both sails and boards from the beginning.”
PWA: What first made you want to enter the world of board and sail making?
FG: “You know before I even got into the sport my brother was already windsurfing. He took me to the factory where he was making custom boards - I was 12/13 at the time - so I was inside a production factory before I even knew how to windsurf. And before that we’ve always been modifying skateboards, so building things custom has always been in my blood I think. I think as a kid it was impossible to get the exact setup you wanted to ride, so basically we just had to make our own from a very young age and it grew from there.”
“After finishing high school we were already working with sail loft and board manufacturers in Argentina. Shortly afterwards we came to Maui and I started with Sailboards Maui and Hi-Tech, from there I started working with Sean and that’s when we got together for Quatro back in ’94. Again we were just making boards for ourselves really, just so we could have the best equipment. We didn’t even finish making our own boards and we were already creating shapes for 8 out of the top ten in the world at that time.”
PWA: What’s the relationship between Goya Windsurfing and Quatro? You are two different brands but you operate from within the same building...
FG: “It’s very different. We make different shapes and graphics, but we are consistently trying to out do each other. In Goya we work in a slightly different way. We look at how we can simplify and unify the elements of the sport. At Goya we try to avoid comprimises and just make boards that work for all conditions. So that’s we why we have two lines - the quad line and the thruster line - The thruster line is a little bit faster and more in the freestyle wave category. But we also produce boards for freeride right through to beginner, whereas Quatro are a more specialized brand.”
PWA: What are the options for people visiting Maui who would like to try out some Goya Equipment?
FG: “We work with a couple of shops in town - namely Maui Windsurfing Company and Hi-Tech - where you can rent the gear. Here in the cannery - Haiku - we have more of an integration where people are able to demo the stuff at no cost and then we exchange feedback with each other on the beach. We also offer retail from here too. This operates as our distribution center, but we also have one in Tarifa, Spain, where people can try out the equipment. We try to work a limited amount of shops, so for example you can also find our gear at Solo Sports, Baja, Big Winds in the Gorge.
PWA: How do you choose your team riders?
FG: “Longevity is number one for us - we want people that we can build a true relationship with, because it is only over years of experience together that you can start accessing the true potential of the relationship. So with all our team, right now they are all winning and getting great results, but to us it’s not all about the results - of course it’s great - but it’s not the most important factor. We love working with team that we have.”
PWA: How about the philosophy of the brand?
FG: “The same goes - it’s not so much about how much we can grow, but rather what we can do for the sport in order to help the sport. We try to look at things from a different point of view! So for example by trying to be greener either through producing products that last much longer or by being greener in the way everything is produced. All of our packaging is biodegradable and we also use almost no printing on our sales as this is toxic for the factory workers. It’s all about how we do things! The ultimate goal is to continue to build momentum that is good for everyone.”
PWA: The PWA returned to Maui for the first time since 2006, how was the reaction?
FG: “It’s great, it goes along with everything I’ve just said. The level of the sport right now is so amazing that all we need to do is just have an event to showcase it! When I tell people about rotations which have both a forwards and then backwards momentum they just won’t believe me. There’s no other sport that’s doing that right now! We just need more events to showcase it and then after that I’m sure it will just have a snowball effect.”
PWA: Thanks Francisco and good luck for the future.
If you'd like to view the entire Goya Windsurfing range click here.