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 Interview de Graham Ezzy

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Messages : 1077
Date d'inscription : 29/08/2011
Localisation : (750)17

MessageSujet: Interview de Graham Ezzy   Ven 30 Déc - 11:38

Interview with Graham Ezzy
By Chris / December 16, 2011 / airtime, interviews, ride /

Talking about waves, culture and aphorisms with a Ho’okipa ripper!

Having graduated from Princeton and at the same time being a North Shore regular, what do you think is the most demanding? Writing or riding?

Both good writing and riding seem to come from the same three traits: honesty, humility, and courage. Honest in doing just what you can do, nothing more nothing less. Humble so as not to impose oneself upon the text or the wave and to rather let what’s natural unfold. If you try to force a 360 on a wave, you’ll never make one, but instead you have to flow on the wave, letting it dictate what to do. And courage is probably the most important element of all. Wave riding is a lot about pushing through fear to hit bigger and bigger lips. Writing is actually the same. So much of good writing is about putting into words what one’s uncomfortable to share. I had a teacher that used to joke, “You can’t really write until your parents are dead.”

You are born and raised in Maui. This has obvious advantages with respect to riding. But did you ever find yourself wanting to leave Maui for good?

I love Maui but at the same time it is a cocoon completely separated from the outside world. For windsurfing, Hookipa is the best spot in the world for training; the wind blows almost every day, the waves are consistent enough, and the best riders in the world train there, which puts the pressure on everyone to push themselves harder and harder.

That said, I plan to spend a lot of time traveling to other waves around the world; Ireland and Cabo Verde are the most immediate. Also, I love New York City. There’s so much human energy and thought compacted into such a small space, and a ton of my Princeton friends live there. So I try to spend some time in the city a few times a year. Quite the opposite of Maui!

You like poetry. In the 22 years of you going to Hookipa did you find any “poetic elements” in the riding style of somebody out there?

Good style is always poetic, and good riding is defined by good style. Levi attacks big waves with speed and style, always looking to strike a stylish pose in the wave’s curl. Levi is the definite king of Hookipa right now because of this. Kauli is impressive too; he has dedicated himself over the last years to working on his flow. He is so fun to watch as he quickly carves and darts down the face of the wave. For him it’s not about tricks or being super radical, rather his style is about a performance art on the waves.

At 2009 already you won the PWA Cabo Verde Super Session doing a flawless taka! Could you share any tips with us? (any taka/air taka sequence would be much appreciated)

I really love the taka as a move, and I’ve been doing them for at least 10 years. And over that decade, I’ve gone through many different styles of takas– from white water slides to fully air takas. 6 years ago, on my 16th birthday, I broke my leg trying to invent a new way of doing air takas. It obviously didn’t work! Shortly after, I came up with the carving taka which is a lot like a surfing reverse. I invented it at Hookipa on a twin fin. Before the carving taka, takas were limited to small waves and onshore conditions, and no one seemed able to do them consistently in down-the-line conditions or at all on big waves.

In February of 2009, I was in Cabo Verde for the PWA event. The main event went poorly for me; the wind was super light and the waves were on the small side. But at the end of the forecast window, the waves picked up and so did the wind, culminating in a perfect setup for a Super Session. I went on the rocks that morning and dinged up my only board, but I was still amped for the Super Session. I knew the whole time that I wanted to do a taka on the biggest section I could find. I talked with Levi about it and he reckoned that a taka was impossible at punta preta because the wave was so fast, but I thought I could do it. The Super Session was one long heat. With the final 8 minutes to go on the clock, I caught a massive mast-and-a-half set wave. I flew down the line and up to the lip to throw into a taka, but I was too scared and didn’t rotate. I thought that I blew the entire Super Session, and I was so angry with myself– I was screaming at myself in my head. The sets were not very consistent and with so many sailors on the water, the waves were hard to catch. Somehow, I found a decent sized wave out the back, tacked on it, and started setting up. The peak was about mast-high and I told myself that I had to do a taka no matter what, no matter the consequences, no matter if I were to wreck everything on the rocks. I went for it, made it, and the perception of down-the-line takas changed forever.

I’ve got one simple mental trick that I used to help make that winning taka and still use for my takas now. I try to forget about the sail and only focus on the board. The most common mistake I make– and I think most other people– is forcing the sail too much and getting backwinded. I just think of rotating the board and letting the sail follow. And to do that, I think about doing an extra hard off-the-lip while staying forward on the board. Oh, also, don’t think about the flaka because that only screws up the rotation for the wave!

If you could decide on the PWA wave tour destinations, how would the tour look like?

For myself, I’d have it be only starboard down-the-line– i.e., Hookipa, Cabo Verde, and San Carlos. But that wouldn’t be a fair tour. Ha!

Here’s my fair lineup: Hookipa, Cabo Verde, and Guincho for starboard tack. And for port tack: Ireland, Indonesia, and Brazil. That covers, down-the-line turns, tricks, and jumps for both tacks.

To whom would you put your money on in case a tour like this was scheduled?

Kauli is possibly the most consistent sailor on both tacks in the world. The old guys like Kevin Pritchard have a ton of experience. And the new crew like Brawzhino are pushing the development of riding with combinations of turns and tricks. I hope I’d do alright too.

Many shapers seem to prefer squarish tails for their quads. What’s your prefered tail design for your multifin toys?

I have some squash tails that work really well, but right now my favorites are all pin-tails. The square tail is better for tricks but the pin tails are much better for the committed turns. The trick are still possible with a pin tail, albeit they’re harder.

Favorite song and movie part that gets you pumped up for the next session

Polakow’s entire About Time movie sets the standard for getting pumped. That last section after the big moto X jump is insane! One or two of those off-the-lips are still better than any I’ve seen in the last year. And for a song on the way to the beach, I’ve played “Lottery Winners on Acid” by The Crimea; it’s fun and has a lot of energy, which is exactly how I want my sailing to look.

We absolutely love umipictures and have to admit that the “japan” set new standards as an documentarytravelwindsurfactionmovie. What shall we expect after this?

Thank you. It’s so great to hear positive feedback on the films. Japan was a milestone for me in that I finally was able to make a windsurfing film with a narrative. Though, there is a lot to be improved. Japan is just the start.

Going Big in Japan from umipictures, first shown at the Windsurfer International Magazine.

Who has influenced modern riding the most and why?

Polakow, for me, is the most influential rider. He changed our perception of wave riding for everyone; he charges large heavy waves as if they were head high. Levi was also the first to become consistent at the 360s and goiters that are so popular now.

Is there anything today that windsurfing has to be jealous of surfing?

No. Surfing is totally mainstream. Windsurfing, on the other hand, is underground, off the radar, and therefore cool. The other day, I was at the beach talking with a friend about the high level of the up-and-coming maui surfers. He said something that struck me in the face as a bad sign for modern surfing: “There is this one kid that rips. He’s 7 years old, but watching him he looks…he looks like a 12 year old.” The fact that surfing can be so segmented and regimented shows that it is as common as soccer. Surfing was once so free, individual, and expressionistic. Now its home to surf-moms dropping their kid off in a Mercedes with a shiny new board. Thankfully, windsurfing seems populated by a diehard few that really truly love it. It’s the most core sport I know of– nobody pretends to be a windsurfer.

Your father proposes you tomorrow to design a new sail from scratch. How would it look like?

A really like what I’m already riding! So I think it would look exactly the same. The goal is to find materials that are lighter and stronger. But at the moment, the new Ezzy prototypes feel amazing– they allow me to do anything I want on the water.

You’ve been riding quads for a long time now. Lately you are experimenting with fins, switching from quad set up to thrusters and then to single fin. How did it feel each time?

Each setup has it’s own advantages. The quad is much more slidy, which is perfect for tricks and onshore waves. But it lacks some drive in the bottom turn. The single fins are amazing in the bottom, on the other hand. The added depth gives a great amount of hold. And it also helps for keeping and regaining grip off the top. The thruster is a bit of a combination of the two– still slidy but with more fin depth to give more drive and hold. The added depth really helps for a fast constant curve (the quads tend to stall a bit). My K4 fins are extra flexy and that makes a big difference too. I can push harder on the fin forcing it to turn tight and still hold.

Give us the detailed specs of your everyday Ho’okipa board, (length, width, fins size & distance between the straps) and what is the biggest sail you’re using.

Fin size: K4 custom asymmetrical 11cm thrusters with a 14 cm ‘stubby’ main fin. My stance is 19.5 inches(49.5cm) from the front of the back strap to the back of front straps (I like it wide to push both forward and back!). At the widest point it’s around 23 inches (58.4 cm) and the length is about 7’3″ (222.5cm) it’s 83lt with a rounded pin tail. My biggest Ho’okipa sail size is 5.0m. (Graham weighs 180 lbs/81kg)

The board is an adaptation from the Quatro Dumpster Divers that Keith Teboul was making last the spring. Those boards were his interpretation of Dane Reynolds famous Dumpster Diver surfboard by Channel Islands– short, fat, straight rails, and a square tail. The new ones are a bit narrower and are brought in at the tail to help with the hold on the turns. Also, I’ve got 5 fin boxes so I can run 1, 2, 3, or 4 fins. I really love the setup I have right now. I spent all of November trying to get my gear dialed and I finally have my boards and sails tuned perfectly.

In the past you have sailed some waterfalls at Peahi. Honestly how would you describe the feeling of being in the monster’s Jaws?

I love Jaws; it is possibly my favorite wave in the entire world. The peak shifts, so you have to set up really deep, which is a total mind game. Dropping into those massive waves is like nothing else, the drops seem to take forever. But it’s actually less scary than big Hookipa because the channel at Jaws never breaks. So there’s always a point of safety. Big Hookipa on the other hand is just a mess of monster barrels and white water.

Forecast for this week is sick so hope to see some action clips from you soon. Thanks for the interview!


Graham is sponsored by Ezzy Sails, Quatro, Dakine, K4fins and Chinook.

Je crèverai mais j'y arriverai: 2013, le forward!
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Messages : 1077
Date d'inscription : 29/08/2011
Localisation : (750)17

MessageSujet: Re: Interview de Graham Ezzy   Ven 30 Déc - 11:43

Citation :
Surfing is totally mainstream. Windsurfing, on the other hand, is underground, off the radar, and therefore cool

Ma préférée celle-là Cool même si on peut nuancer un peu quand même
Enfin un interview subtil et bien mené, c'est rassurant de voir que ça existe encore Rolling Eyes

Je crèverai mais j'y arriverai: 2013, le forward!
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Interview de Graham Ezzy

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