And the winners of the first PWA Islas Canarias Excellence Awards are...

The day has finally come and after much deliberation from the panel of judges we are proud to present the winners of the first edition of the Islas Canarias PWA Excellence Awards. First of all our thanks go to our sponsors, the Islas Canarias, which have made these awards possible and we would like to encourage you all to visit any of the islands to enjoy a great windsurfing experience in any of the many spots available. 

Crashes, crazy moves, huge waves and an amazing collection of short videos have all been entered in this edition of the Awards. We have seen action from all over the world from PWA riders and amateurs alike. All this varied action goes to show that windsurfing is very much alive and well worldwide and that you can windsurf in all kinds of conditions, from a massive wall of water at Jaws to an inland lake in the middle of nowhere. To see all of the winners and runners up simply click here.

Deciding on the winners in each category has been a difficult and arduous job. Two of the categories which were decided by the PWA panel of judges are: Sailor of the Year and Honorary Award of the Year. The sailor of the year for 2012 goes to Philip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), for both his performance on the water and the amazing coverage for windsurfing he has generated outside the specialized windsurfing media. The Honorary Award has  joint winners, Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne) and Andre Paskowski, who have shown a phenomenal amount of strength and courage during this past year, as well as providing us with amazing action, films and general promotion of the sport.  

This year we also have another joint winner in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Windsurfing Cinematography, and the award goes to Flo Jung (RRD / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins), for the movie “Don’t let go” and to Andre Paskowski for the movies “4 Dimensions” and “Minds Wide Open”. 

Over the next few days we’ll also be releasing more exclusive interviews with some of the inaugural winners of the PWA Islas Canarias Excellence Awards.

Andre Paskowski, winner of the Short film of the year and co-winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Windsurfing Cinematography.

Do you remember how you felt when you finished the video?

I felt good because again it took some time and work and it is always releasing when you finish something. I looked at it with Sebastian and I was really happy about the Result. Gollito (Fanatic / North) liked it and I thought the whole process of filming and editing was nice. 

How long do you think it took you to plan the video?

Not so long. It is totally different to work with just one rider instead of five (Mind Wide Open). So all came natural and nice. Gollito did a great job riding. I was stressed a bit in Fuerte because we got no wind but all in all we were pretty lucky in the conditions and outcome. 

What is your favourite part of the video?

I guess Tarifa. I have lots of friends in Tarifa so it was nice to be there. On top we had nice wind all the time. We found this little lake where Gollito just did crazy moves. I love the slow mo shoots from Tarifa with the nice evening light. I think they are really beautiful. Also Dr Beat did fantastic in helping us on the mission to get best footage.

And finally, Can you tell us anything about your next project?

Yes. Funny. Because we just started shooting here on Maui. I am working on a new Windsurfing Movie in Full HD. It will be called Below the Surface. It will be Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) plus four other PWA riders. We aim to deliver again an outstanding result. I have made some nice investments into new gear and I believe it will pay off in quality. We are planning to release the movie in September at the World Cup Sylt. We are still looking for support. We have supporting offer´s for private persons, small and mid-sized companies. Just Email us at If you want to be part of this project and I will deliver more Info.

I am also totally happy that I am able to do this movie. My girlfriend plays a big role. She gives me lots of power and it feels good to not plan for one week till the next chemo but instead to plan six months until the Premiere in Sylt. I am totally HAPPY!

Justyna Sniady (Quatro / Simmer) winner of the Women’s Wipe Out of the Year.

Lets start with the big one, how many times do you wipe out during a session ;-) ?

Usually a lot, but since I broke my foot I've calmed down a tiny bit! :) It's quite likely to wipe out when going for new moves or trying to hit bigger waves. I always try to push myself and usually pay the price! 

What do you think is easier, wiping out during a jump or while surfing big waves?

To me it's pretty easy to do both haha:) However, even though I damaged myself the most with jumping wipe outs (broken ear drum with a forward, cut my chin and passed out on the water with under-rotated pushloop and broke five bones in my foot with another forward - all these accidents happened in Pozo btw!) I still think it's easier to wipe out safely while jumping than wave-riding. Once you know something is going wrong in the air most of the times you can just bail out and land safely in the water. With waves things get a bit more tricky - you usually wipe out because you got yourself into a situation with no real exit. You just need to take on what’s coming and hope for the best. That's why I think it's harder when you are wiped out by a proper sized wave. It happened to me that my foot got stuck in the strap and I couldn't catch my breath for a longer while.. that's when it gets scary! 

What do you recommend to a sailor that wants to start jumping to avoid wipe outs?

First thing I would recommend is instead of trying to avoid it, it’s better learn to wipe out safely! Things sometimes go wrong, that's normal - it's important to know how to leave the gear in the way that will limit the damage. Wipe outs can be fun and not really painful - you just need to make sure you know what your doing. For example - if you are going for a forward sometimes it's better to hold on longer (even if something felt wrong in the beginning) because bailing out after you did a rotation will hurt much less than doing that just after you just sheeted in. With backloops - it's always better to under-rotate and land on your side, then to go into a super-spin. The over-rotation in backloop often ends with the tip of the boom hitting your head - and that's much worse than slapping your butt on the water! So my tip is, don't try to avoid wipe outs - cos that's impossible when learning, just try to be smart about it and know the right tricks. Making sure that your footstraps are big enough so that you can leave the gear easily is one of them.

and finally, what gear were you using?

I used a 4.7 sail which turned out to be too small that day, and my faithful 75l Quatro quad LS.

Be sure to check back on Wednesday when we’ll have more exclusive interviews with some of the top sailors in the world.