Interview with Nik Baker
Nik Baker has been enjoying a fantastic year on the PWA world tour and currently is sitting in overall second in freestyle and third in waves. We caught up with Nik for the following chat at the end of the PWA Sylt Grand Slam.
Q: Are you happy with your performances so far this season?
NB: On the whole I am really pleased. I started working with MPG this year and it has really given me the extra motivation and hunger back again. My only real disappointment so far was in Fuerteventura. I only managed to make 11th. We only had 2 rounds and I finished in 2nd and a 17th. If I had made it through one more heat I would have been 2nd in Fuerteventura and 1st over all in freestyle. All is not lost, there is still one more event to go and it looks like Matt, Ricardo and myself have a major battle to fight.
Q: Have you felt the difference after the training with Scott Sanchez and MPG?
NB: Definitely, I'm fitter stronger and a lot more hungry to perform. It seems I am enjoying competing lot more again due to the training.
Q: What has been the toughest event on the tour so far this season?
NB: Gran Canaria for sure. We did four rounds of freestyle on 3.4 and 3.7 and then a double wave elimination in the same conditions all in 6 days straight. It was hard work but good fun at the same time to get such good conditions. I was doing pretty well so I was really fired up.
Q: The battle for the freestyle title is extremely close ...do you think it is going to boil down to nerve and experience in Bonaire?
NB: I think Bonaire is going to be tough for a few reasons. Firstly it is the finals and its real close between a few of us so the pressure will be on in every heat. Secondly it’s a new location so some of us have no experience there. The conditions are dead flat water so the tricks are going to play a major role. I am planning on going to Maui for a few weeks prior to the event to practice flat water freestyle and try and learn some new moves.
Q: Matt and yourself keep getting referred to as the old guys of freestyle...does that annoy you or do you take it as a joke?
NB: It would annoy me if I was young but I am not. I am 31 and freestyle is definitely more suited to the younger guys. Matt and myself have had a fantastic season so far. I think our success has a lot to do with our competition experience. A lot of the young guys make a lot of mistakes due to lack of heat experience.
Q: You are getting married next year...will marriage make a big difference to your windsurf travels?
NB: I am getting married in August next year but no it will not make any difference to my windsurfing. Michelle is completely behind my career in windsurfing. It was her who persuaded me to start working with Scott from MPG. She could see I needed to get my fitness and hunger back if I was going to keep competing for the next 3 to 5 years.
Q: Is it going to be a huge wedding?
NB: Not too big, about 100 people at the sit down and maybe 200 at the party.
Q: You went down under last winter, any big trips planned for the New Year?
NB: I want to do another trip in the beginning of 03. We have not decided where yet.
Q: Three words to describe yourself?
NB: Fun, professional, dedicated.
Q: Three words to describe your past?
NB: Lots of fun!
Q: Words to live by?
NB: Enjoy it while it lasts, and listen to you elders.