Sailor in Focus

We catch up with British freestyle flair Max Rowe to find out his thoughts on the seven stop 2011 world tour and his plans for 2012.

Max Rowe (Fanatic / North) was born and raised on the wind battered east coast of England, where he first stepped onto a board and learnt his first moves. Since those first days out on the chilly British waters Rowe’s skills have come an extremely long way allowing him to achieve one of his dreams of competing on the world tour. Rowe now has two seasons in the bag where he has displayed an exceptionally high level of talent allowing him to methodically dispose of his opponents to secure a top ten finish this season and a number of top fifteen places. We caught up with Rowe whilst he is out training in Brazil to find out what he is working on and what he has planned for 2012.

Max Rowe

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?

Rowe: “When considering the extremely tough field in the freestyle fleet at the moment I am happy with my result but was hoping to do better. After a good start to the year I was in twelfth place after three events so I was hoping to keep this up for the rest of the year, however once discards come into place a lot changes!”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?

Rowe: “I have been windsurfing for ten years and doing freestyle for the last six years.

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?

Rowe: “It has to be the guys at Club Vass like Ollie Scott, Bubble, Colin Dixon and Si Hurrey. When I first started working there when I was eighteen, these guys showed me what freestyle was all about and they were sailing to a really high level.

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?

Rowe: ”Who knows? When I was growing up I always dreamed about following a professional career path in an extreme sport.”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?

Rowe: “I would still have to say Vassiliki, Greece is right up there as there’s nothing like having all your mates out on the water with you.”

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?

Rowe: “The shaka is my favorite as I love the feeling! Its like you’re floating when you do a big one!”

PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why?

Rowe: “I would have to say the shaka again. It took years of frustration to finally nail it! I guess its just another level of commitment to get it right you really need to get your whole body on top of the sail.”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?

Rowe: “Well I’ve just got back from a trip to Camocim which is two hours away from Jericoacoara, Brazil. It is a flat-water spot and there I just learnt to Burner into funnel and Air funnel into funnel. At the moment there’s not any brand new moves so it’s a case of getting the harder combinations dialed.”

PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others?

Rowe: “A bit of both works the best for me! On this recent trip there was loads of top guys there and that really helps when you can see the moves up close. Video is a massive help as well, everyday on this trip we were filming for at least three hours a day and analysing the footage back every evening.”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA freestyle tour?

Rowe: “Fuerteventura!!”

PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how do you prepare for your heats?

Rowe: “It makes me feel good and I really enjoy that otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I don’t really get nervous before my heats its mainly just excitement, in the time leading up to them I try and find something that distracts me from thinking too much about it as this never helps. This year being involved with the commentating for the live streaming has been great cause a lot of the time its like oh my heats coming up soon best go get out there! Rather than hanging around anxiously on the beach. I think knowing that everything is set up and ready to go is good for piece of mind also!”

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?

Rowe: “Well out here in Brazil I’ve been surfing and SUPing a bit but mainly chilling in a hammock waiting for the next session!”

PWA: What are your goals for 2012?

Rowe: “I would like to finish in the top fourteen and continue to have a great time travelling and doing what I love.”

PWA: Thanks for your time Max, good luck in 2012!

For more info on Max Rowe and to follow what he is up to head to