We catch up with freestyler João "Janjão" Henrique, yet another rising star from Brazil’s huge pool of windsurf talent.
He’s only 19 years old, seems to have pretty much every known freestyle trick in his repertoire, and has already placed 5th in a PWA freestyle World Cup. Remember the name, as João "Janjão" Henrique looks set to become a major force behind the freestyle movement, and a clear threat to the big guns on the PWA’s Freestyle World Tour.
We caught up with the freestyle guru to find out more:
PWA: Can you tell us a bit about yourself. How old were you when you started windsurfing, how did you get into it, where's your home beach etc etc?
“My life turns around windsurfing, My father taught me to sail when I was 6 years old in Cauipe Lagoon. In the early days I didn't like it too much so i didn’t practice very much, but when I was 10 years old I saw Brawzinho doing high backloops, ponchs, frontloops, and I was impressed and wanted to train to do everything he did. I live in Ceará, a state in the northeast of Brazil. I have two homes, one in Fortaleza and other in Icaraizinho. My home in Icaraizinho is my favorite, it’s where i can train with focus and nobody to disturb me, and I have many conditions; flat water, some waves and wind almost the all year. My home in Fortaleza is also good, I can go to training in wave spots.”
PWA: Why did you choose to focus on freestyle over racing and wavesailing?
"Because for me slalom is super expensive, I have to buy about 5 sails and 2 boards to compete well, and wavesailing here in Ceará is difficult because we don't have many waves for training, but I like slalom here in Ceará I race all slalom events and I have some good results."
PWA: Is it intimidating for a young guy like yourself to try and break into the PWA's freestyle ranks?
"No, because I train so much and I have focus in what I'm doing, if you have 100% confidence in what are you doing, you don't feel nervous."
PWA: How accessible is the PWA tour for aspiring freestylers from places like Brazil?
"It is really difficult because you need to change (REAL) for (EURO), and the flights are expensive. For me, each event I spent like 2.500€ plus excess baggage."
PWA: How did it feel to place 5th in Lanzarote in 2010?
"I felt a real professional, because everything worked good for me, the wind was perfect for my sail and my board. Before the event I trained in the same conditions and with the same equipment."
PWA: How much work do you have to put in to get results like that?
"So much work, focus, dedication, and you have to train hard mentally so you don’t make shit of your heats."
PWA: What are your goals for 2011?
"Train hard, go much better than in 2010 and find some sponsors."
PWA: Traditionally the winter training period is when new moves are created. Can you give us the heads up on what new moves we might expect to see next season?
"I hope double Culo but everything you can imagine is possible, windsurfing every year surprises me, windsurfing is on a level that I don't doubt anything anymore."
Follow Henrique's 2011 season here at PWAWORLDTOUR.COM