Super X World Champion Matt Pritchard Interview
PWA: Hi Matt, how does it feel to be the world’s first ever PWA SuperX
MP: It feels pretty good because that was on my list of goals for this year. I knew I could do it, I just had to focus and let it all hang out. This was my second World Title and it gives a sense of accomplishment when you worked hard, and did what you had to do.
PWA: Give us a run down on what is SuperX and the typical course.
MP: SuperX is a mix of freestyle and slalom racing. You have to do certain moves in between obstacles. Sometimes you spock, sometimes forward loop and sometimes just jumping over obstacles. The coursed change up a bit- sometimes we do beach starts, sometimes boat starts. Once the course is set, the race director can change moves to different parts of the course, so you really have to pay attention and know the course.
PWA:Are they courses different at each event?
MP: A little bit different but the same concept applies, this being the second year.
MP: They made the maneuvers a bit more easy- no Flaka’s or grubby’s, just spocks and duck jybes around all the marks. There are no real rules except having to do your compulsory moves and be relatively smart- the only real rule is no dangerous sailing? But what does that mean????? I just go for it, no matter what!
PWA: Do you think that SuperX will be become an event in national circuits or is the required skill level too high for the average sailor.
MP: That is the beauty of the format, you can decide how hard you want to make it! At local or national events, you could say all you have to do is get your fin out of the water and do duckjybes on the last mark. It’s very flexible and conducive to anyone, anywhere.
PWA: There is a lot of appeal to the media and general public, with lots of action and a guy racing over the finish line first. But what is the appeal for a sailor?
MP: Same sort of appeal- lots of good action and you know who wins. Its not a subjective deal where maybe you won and maybe you lost- you just know. I like racing around and having to be a tactical warrior and super X really allows for this to happen. You can go from deadlast to first place in a matter of seconds if all goes well….. or bad.
PWA: How is it shaping up between the young freestylers and the older multi-disciplined sailors, do you think the faster guys will dominate next year once they have the tricks under their belts?
MP: It will be interesting that is for sure- the faster you go, the harder you fall. I think at this stage, super x is a perfect balance that makes it fair for everybody.
PWA: Kevin did pretty well in his first superX. Is he faster than you and
can he catch up on the tricks?
MP: He was probably the fastest guy on the course and once he figures out his moves, he will be dangerous.
PWA: With wearing helmets the discipline seems more high contact then other
disciplines. Have there been major crashes?
MP: I had probably the most gnarly crash seen as of yet. A French kid caught his fin on one of the jumps and got launched- I was full speed behind him and had no where to go. I took him out so hard, my board was stuck 6” into his and it took me a while to get it out- needless to say if it was his neck or any body part, he would be done.
PWA: Right now you are sporting a cast on your left arm. What happened and
how long are you out for?
MP: I was doing a goiter and miss timed it- my wrist got bent over backwards and I am going nuts now- I have another week and my cast comes off- I can’t wait.
PWA: What disciplines are you aiming for in 2005?
MP: Wave and Super X again.
PWA: So what sort of training will you be doing leading up to the 2005
MP: All sorts of training. I help on all the testing with Gaastra sails so there is never a dull moment. If not waves, then slalom, course or freeride.
PWA: How is gear developing for SuperX and how do you see this flowing
into production equipment?
MP: It is really good to have super x leading a new direction for development. So many aspects of super x are necessary to having a good sail. Early planning, stable, maneuverable and fast are all denominators in coming up with a sail that wins Super X- I don’t know about you, but I want all my sails to do that. So developing this is no easy task but the good news is that all that we learn goes right on to the production sails and gives everyone a shot at having the latest and greatest.
PWA:Thanks Matt and good luck for 2005.
Copyright PWA 2004.