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02/17/2014 - created by Chris Yates

THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM

Markus Rydberg pops his Cape Town cherry and narrowly avoids the infamous Great Whites

Markus Rydberg (Simmer) has just returned from his maiden voyage to Cape Town, having spent a month in one of the most popular training locations for the pros during the off season. The Swede has now set his sights on the PWA Wave World Tour for next year and is extremely motivated to eventually break into the world’s top ten. Rydberg made his debut in 2012 during the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup and is continuing to go from strength-to-strength with his sailing - on both port and starboard tack. After his first trip to Cape Town we caught up with him to see how his training went. Read the interview below:

PWA: Where did you spend your winter training?

MR: “I spent January in Cape Town, South Africa.”

PWA: What made you choose Cape Town this time?

MR: “I have always wanted to go there because it seemed to be pretty consistent port tack training there, which is exactly what I was looking for as I mostly sail starboard at home.”

PWA: Was it your first time in Cape Town? 

MR: “Yes, I don't know why I haven't gone before though…”

PWA: What was your impression of the place? The sailing and the general atmosphere of the place?

MR: “It is definitely a really cool place! The season was a bit unusual apparently, with lighter winds than normal. But I still had a lot of fun on the water! It is a really good place to practice for sure! Besides the windsurfing I really liked Cape Town. There is always something to do when it's not windy, either surf, hiking, big city life etc.”  

PWA: What were your goals in CT? and how did they go?

MR: “Jumping wise my goals were to stick the one handed back loop and tweaked push on port tack. I got pretty much 100% on the one handed in the end and was really close to land the tweaked push so I'll sort them out soon. For the riding frontside 360 was my goal. I trained hard, got the rotation down but kept on sliding out the back so I will keep focusing hard on those to land them consistently. Other than that I also got more power and height in my other moves.”

PWA: Favourite spot you sailed in CT?

MR: “I just had two sessions in Big Bay but did really like the spot. I also had a sick starboard day at Misty Cliffs so think those two are my favorite ones.”


PWA: Memorable moments from the trip? Both windsurfing and non-windsurfing…

MR: “That's definitely when I saw a great white take a penguin about 50 meters away while sailing. Did a pretty shaky jibe after that, haha… I also met a lot of new people and made some really good friends.” 

PWA: Do you think you will return?

MR: “Absolutely!”

PWA: Favourite move?

MR: “Tweaked pushloop.” 

PWA: You also recently changed to Simmer…how are you finding the new equipment?

MR: “Yes, I'm super happy that Simmer wanted to sign me up as one of their international team riders. It feels really good to represent the brand and the crew behind it is super supportive. The equipment is great! It suits my style of windsurfing perfectly and I'm sure it will help me to reach the next level!” 

PWA: Favourite setup?

MR: “Black Tip 4.2 and 85 ltr Quantum.” 

PWA: What are your goals for the next year and the future?

MR: “My goal for this year is to do the PWA tour and hopefully break in through the trials and put myself in the main fleet. It is super tough at the moment with a lot of good guys trying to get a spot in the trials but I'm super motivated and will sail as hard as I can! I also want to push my podcast project, where I'll make pretty much monthly episodes about my training, trips, competitions and my life as a windsurfer in general. My long term goal is to break in to the top ten on the overall PWA ranking and help windsurfing to grow as a sport as much as I possibly can!”

PWA: Next training location?

MR: “I'm off to Maui at the end of March to do the Simmer Style photo shoot and get some starboard tack sweetness.”

PWA: All sounds great, thanks Markus and good luck over the coming months.

To see Markus Rydberg’s latest movie, shot in Cape Town, click here.

You can also keep up to date with all of Rydberg’s latest adventures by following his blog here and also ‘like’ his Facebook Fan page, which can be found here.

Photo Credit: Amanda Beenen (Tabou / Gaastra)

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