Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Duotone) has enjoyed a long and illustrious career on the PWA Wave World Tour with the German making his debut in 2000 and then becoming one of the best wave sailors in the world, which saw him become a household name in the overall top 10. Even 18 years later the German maestro is still able to mix it with the best in the world, while also juggling being marketing manager for Fanatic and also being headily involved in the testing process for both Fanatic and Duotone. As one of the most experienced and knowledgeable sailors on the world tour we thought Klaas would be an interesting candidate for the next 20 Questions feature…
1. Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
It’s the greatest sport in the world! It’s an unmatched mix of freedom, power of nature, speed and unlimited creativity which gives you an addictive feeling! Conditions are always changing and the progress never really stops, which keeps the excitement up over so many years.
2. What quality do you like most in other people?
I like people with honest kindness.
3. What annoys or frustrates you the most?
4. What do you most like in yourself?
I’m quite patient.
5. What do you dislike in yourself?
I can be quite stubborn at times.
6. What has been your best moment on tour?
Finishing second at the World Cup Sylt 2009. Unforgettable moments!
7. What has been your worst moment on tour?
That must have been the moment when I got the message of André Paskowski passing away. I was in the restaurant of the competitors hotel on Tenerife with many other riders and the scenery turned into deep sadness within a few seconds.
8. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when your career started?
I would do it again the way I did it, finish your education first, then try to make a living from windsurfing. The sport is too small to live from it without a “regular” job afterwards.
9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Hard to pick a single one. Contest wise it was Bernd Flessner telling me to always check the score sheets. I found simple mistakes on 2-3 occasions where I ended up in the top – things might have gone different if these mistakes would have just been unnoticed. I made my first podium on Sylt thanks to that. Nowadays there is not many mistakes, as the calculations of the scores are made automatically.
10. What would be your perfect day?
A good surf in the morning, then an extended breakfast with my family. Then epic down-the-line sailing with 4.5m sail and 5m swell with a handful of friends. Then some more kids-time and BBQ with everyone!
11. Do you have any superstitions?
12. Which living person do you most admire?
I quite admire Kelly Slater’s achievements. Unreal how he dominated the surfing world over so many years and still rips so hard at his age. Good inspiration!
13. What is your greatest fear?
That something bad happens to my family.
14. What is your most treasured possession?
15. If you weren’t a professional windsurfer, what would you like to be?
I probably would have turned into a doctor like my parents and both brother’s. Windsurfing at that time made me study sports science instead of medicine.
16. Where is the best place you’ve been?
I like many places, but for me Chile and New Zealand stand out, as the people are just so friendly and welcoming and the Nature is stunning. I’ve had some of the best sailing of my life in Chile. I also like Cape Town and Maui a lot, the best is the mix of different places – and there are still quite a few for me to discover.
17. Where would you most like to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
Indonesia / West Oz / Tahiti
18. Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest, dead or alive?
Barak Obama – alive ;-)
19. First App you open in the morning?
20. Most visited website?
I think that must be fanatic.com – it’s mostly open for work.
Thanks, Klaas. Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!