SAILOR IN FOCUS
Christopher Friis (Simmer) started windsurfing just six years ago, but he has already progressed onto competing on the PWA Wave World Tour. At the age of just twenty two years old, Friis, is without a doubt on of the most promising young talents that Denmark has to offer. With his super tweaked pushloops and now consistent frontside wave 360s in his artillery, Friis has the potential to progress along way in windsurfing, as long as he is able to transfer his free sailing skills into his heats. As an exciting prospect on the tour, we decided to find out a little bit more about Friis. Read the interview below.
PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on how the 2012 season went and how would you rate your results?
CF: “2012 was not really a good season for me result wise. I’ve been training hard all winter in Cape Town and after that I actually moved to Tenerife for better training conditions for the World Cup there. When the competition was on I failed badly and did not even make it past the first round. My free sailing has moved a lot and I’ve managed to bust out a few new moves and gotten more consistent in others, I know that if I can pull it together in my heats I can go far.”
PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
CF: “I got into windsurfing in the summer of 2006 when I learned it at a boarding school in the south of Denmark. So for about 6 years now, 5 years in the waves.”
PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
CF: “I’ve learned so much from training with Kenneth Danielsen (F2 / Simmer) the past few years and he is definitely the one who has had the biggest influence on my sailing. Other than that I don’t really know, I get inspiration here and there from different riders and try to mix it with my own thing.”
PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
CF: “I would probably be doing some other extreme sport, mountain biking looks pretty cool. If I was not windsurfing at this level and with the goals I have in the sport I would probably be studying right now too.”
PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
CF: “Hanstholm and Klitmøller, Denmark, is right up there in my book because it gets world class conditions with loads of nice people around. I really enjoy Cape Town in general because of the consistent wind and waves with the big city nearby. Tenerife this summer with good friends was also one of the best trips I’ve had so far.”
PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
CF: “The frontside wave 360 is such a sick feeling to land on the wave, especially if you get airborne. It is so rewarding to finally start sticking them after a year of training this move.”
PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
CF: “Right now I am working on getting my frontside Wave 360 ready for competition, other than that I am working on my double forward every time I can.”
PWA: How do you learn your moves and improve your sailing? Videos? Watching others?
CF: “Mostly just through trial and error, talking with other riders about the moves I want to work on and finally a bit of video. I go through the move a thousand times in my head before I try it on the water and afterwards I try to think of what I can do better next time.”
PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA Tour?
CF: “That has to be Klitmøller for sure! Because it is so unpredictable and can get so extreme. The conditions we had in 2011 in Klitmøller were insane! I think all the places on the tour has its own charm and different vibe to it, so I think all the spots are interesting. Pozo is probably the place that fit’s my own sailing best.”
PWA: How does competition sailing make you feel? And how do you prepare for your heats?
CF: “I am normally not really a super competitive person but I still enjoy the rush of going through a heat in the World Cup, although I compete mostly against myself out there and if I am happy with my performance I don’t care if I advance from the heat or not. For preparation I just make sure I have all my equipment rigged and ready on the beach. Just before my heats I like to be alone for a while to clear my head and work out my strategy for the heat.”
PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?
CF: “I try to go surfing as much as I can, hang out with friends and the rest of the time I am actually just making plans for when and where to go windsurfing next.”
PWA: What are your plans for the winter?
CF: “I will spend my winter in Cape Town, as usual. There is simply no better place to go for port tack training in the wintertime.”
PWA: You recently went on a trip to Iceland, can you tell us a little bit about it and did you score any great conditions in the cold?
CF: “Yeah Iceland is so sick. It has so much potential to deliver insane conditions up there. Everything from perfect down the line to side onshore jumping from both port and starboard tack. I went up there with a group of good friends, Amanda Beenen (F2 / North), Manuel Grafenauer (Fanatic / North), Andraž Žan (F2 / Different) and Tom Hartmann for two weeks and we were all stunned by the majestic nature and sick conditions for windsurfing, surfing and SUP. We experienced one of Europe’s longest surfing waves, with snowy mountains around us in the north, stormy jumping conditions in the south and several sick down the line days in the east.”
PWA: What are your goals for 2013 and the future?
CF: “For 2013 I am just going keep up my motivation to improve every time I am on the water and to try and get my head straight for the competitions. Other than that I think I might have a few original trips lined up to places that has not been windsurfed yet - cold and warm. What the future holds is probably an education somewhere down the road when I have accomplished my goals in this sport.”
PWA: Thanks for your time, and have an awesome time training in Cape Town.