Sailor in Focus

He is currently working on his own move, he fancies himself as a wheeler-dealer on the stock market and he is the face of the PWA. This week we catch up with Ben Proffitt.

Having been windsurfing since he was nine years old, it is no wonder why he excels on the water. This season we saw Ben Proffitt (Simmer) charge his way into 13th place, having delivered an exceptional performance in Klitmoller. When he is not competing, he is the face of the PWA, keeping thousands of people entertained on the live stream. We caught up with Proffitt to find out a little bit more.

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?
Proffitt: “2011 was a good season for me... 13th is my best overall placing. Some events I feel I could have had a better result. Pozo and especially Tenerife but I either messed up or had a bad draw (mouso on a charge).

But on the other side I was really lucky in Klitmoller. I injured my foot before and really shouldn't have sailed. But I did and managed to get through enough heats to get the some points. Then with Sylt not happening. Those points I gained in Klitmoller made all the difference to keep me in 13th! So swings and roundabouts!”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
Proffitt: “I Started when I was 9 so. errrrrrrrr....  25 years!”

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
Proffitt: “There is no real one person... but just all the guys out there really pushing it and inventing new moves and putting style into the standard moves... it just makes you want to hit the water. Mark Angulo was my hero growing up. So I’m glad to see him back and ripping!”

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
Proffitt: “Not sure.  Maybe stocks and shares... and I would now be absolutely broke and living on the street!...So not much different really!”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
Proffitt: “Well it’s a new one for me this year. But I reckon up north in WA. The place kicks ass. The waves are so fun!!”

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
Proffitt: “Jumping: it would have to be the push forward. As it just feels so cool when you get it right...  not so good when you get it wrong!

Wave moves. All of them.  backside/front side 3's, takas, and goiters all feel awesome when you hit the lip perfect and land them full planning!!  Probably say wave moves are my favorite.”

PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why? 
Proffitt: “Flaka. Don’t ask me why but it took me ages! I nearly killed my self-learning that move... strange really as once u learn it. It’s the easiest move ever!! Tweaked push loop took some time too!”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
Proffitt: “The Proffitt- a-roll is still taking time to master but one day it will be ready. Apart from that I’ve been working on one handed, one footed back loops!”

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

Proffitt: “Yep. Pretty much that. Watch lots of videos. Really visualise the move in your head then go try it...  and if possible get someone to film you. Then you can watch afterwards and work out what was going right and what was going wrong. As you often feel your doing something when your actually not...  the video doesn't lie!”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA wave tour and why?
Proffitt: “Probably Tenerife. I reckon I could do pretty well there, as they are my conditions. Solid bit of wind but not too windy and some decent waves to bust out some front side 3's etc. I was a bit gutted this year, as it didn't go according to plan. I had a storming Alex Mussolini come through the double and take me out...  and if there was one person that day you didn't want.  It was him!”

PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?
Proffitt: “I actually get pretty nervous.  So I need to get myself really pumped up. If you see me really quiet and thoughtful before a heat I’m probably going to sail bad... thinking is bad for me! Ha-ha.  Where as If I’m singing, dancing and having a laugh I’ll probably sail my best. Loose and relaxed. I need to be relaxed and stress free to sail good.”

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing? 
Proffitt: “Usually check the weather to see when I can go windsurfing next. Lol. But in terms of other sports I like to mountain bike, surf and play golf a little bit...  and sometimes maybe have a few drinks! ...Oh and losing money on the stock market!”

PWA: What are your goals for 2012?
Proffitt: “Pretty much the same as every year.  windsurf as much as I can...  stay injury free and just have fun with it!!  If I’m enjoying myself I sail well.  If I’m stressed I sail like a plank!”

PWA: Any other words?

Proffitt: “Fingers crossed for a good year.  Windy and plenty of waves...  oh yeah. And tune in to the live stream!!  Comments are welcome :)”