The 2005 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Super X World Cup - Interview Vidar Jensen
<PHOTO1>“A Norwegian wave champion sounds pretty crazy to me!”
As the waiting game continues on the final day of the 2005 Costa Brava PWA Super X World Cup, we caught up with Vidar Jensen (N-44, North). One of the PWA’s longest running riders, but still ripping it up with the best of them.
You’ve been on the PWA tour for fifteen years now. What has changed since you started competing?
When I started out in the late eighties, windsurfing was booming. Guys like Robby Naish and Bjorn Dunkerbeck were superheroes around the world. European events like Holland and Sylt attracted a hundred thousand spectators without a problem. After that, the hype dropped a bit, but the last couple of years windsurfing is regaining popularity. People are picking it up again and there’s a lot of young kids getting into it. As for me, I still enjoy windsurfing as much as I did in the beginning. But in a way it’s different, because I have matured a lot over the years.
These days you’re doing waves and Super X. Is Super X a discipline that suits you?
Absolutely. I’ve been competing in freestyle and back in the day I did slalom and course racing and Super X combines the two. Since 1995 I’ve only focussed on wavesailing, because I don’t really have the physique for racing and I simply enjoy waves more. Then in Super X you don’t want to be too heavy or too light. You need a combination of flexibility and speed, so it works fine for me.
How do you keep improving yourself in wavesailing?
I am still as motivated as I was in the early days, although maybe a bit less on the average days. On the good days I’m always out sailing. I’ve been in the wave top 5 for the past seven years or so and almost got the title three times now. There’s a lot of young guys on the tour now that are very good sailors and pose a threat for sure. But in competition, experience is what counts. That’s why the top 10 has been filled by the same guys for years, but I’m sure there’ll be some changes in the top given time.
Are you going for the wave crown this year then?<PHOTO2>
I try not to put too much pressure on myself by thinking in terms like that. I just go out and have fun. There’s only a few wave events on the calendar, so chances are limited. I’ve been leading the rankings twice up until the last event in the past, so I should have a chance. But I have to say a Norwegian wave champion sounds pretty crazy to me! I’m very excited about the Guincho event. It’s starboard tack in which I’ve improved a lot. After that, Gran Canaria is my home turf, so I should do well there. We’ll see.
You’ve recently signed up with outdoor clothing company Helly Hansen. Why did they pick you?
It’s a Norwegian company with mostly Norwegian team members, so in that aspect I fit right in. I was invited on a sailing trip with the team on a huge trimaran boat in the Norwegian fjords for a promotional film. Shortly after, I joined the team. It’s an interesting challenge for me, working on product development. In the bigger picture, I think it’s an important development in sponsoring. To get windsurfing back on the level of the late eighties and early nineties, I think we need more non-windsurfing sponsors.
Are you slowly starting to plan your post-windsurfing career?
I see myself doing the PWA tour for at least another two to four seasons. If we get some more good wave events in the future, I will definitely continue to compete. I take it year by year really. After my professional windsurfing career, I will find a job related to the sport. I can’t picture myself in an office environment, that’s for sure. I’ve learned a lot on the tour about life, people, languages and business, which should open doors for me in the future.
<PHOTO3>What are your thoughts on the Costa Brava event?
I really enjoy it here. It’s more like being on holiday than anything else. This is the sixth time I’ve been here, first for freestyle and then for Super X. It would be a pitty if we get no wind here this year, but we’ve had some great events in the past.