HEXAGONE Windsurf Freestyle

Hi ! I’m Chris. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been passionate about windsurfing and this year, I’ve decided to go and meet with the best French freestylers ! So, how did I start windsurfing? Well I think… It’s part luck, part destiny… Windsurfing, for me, started with my father who who did it a little bit… It was summer, and during summers I didn’t often go on vacation. I’d spend summers here in Six-Fours at my dad’s windsurfing club, and one day he put me on a board, and… I started just like that, between two sandcastles. During summer I’d try to pick up the sail and then one day I just took off. When I started I was 4-5 years old… In fact, one afternoon a week in elementary school was dedicated to sailing… I ended up being assigned there, and I liked it, I was hooked. It was mainly for the chance to practice with other kids my age, to meet up once a week. Over time I progressed, I took pleasure in it and that’s how I got into it. freeriding, then jibing, then doing little jumps, then bigger jumps, then I started wavesailing, surfing. Us younger kids, we see the older guys raise the bar and obviously it’s inspiring, it makes us dream, skating over water, that’s what it looks like. Who would be the first to land an air jibe, or a loop ? We motivated one another. My parents pushed me hard, and I liked that. I’d spend my days in the water, I’d always try to be in the water every chance I got, even now that I’m 35 years old, it hasn’t changed. I think that’s how a passion is born, that’s all you think about. You live to windsurf all day, and now it’s my kids who are getting into it, tacking and jibing, and they’re only 4 and 5 years old it’s so cool ! I think that freestyle started right at the beginning of windsurfing, because people would rig up old sails, wooden booms. …with huge boards. We’d stand backwards on the board with the sail behind our back, back-winded… ..doing flips through the booms, riding the rail… Yeah, it was old school ! That’s what the origin of freestyle was: being able to create new moves, and having fun without waves, because there aren’t waves everywhere. «Freestyle» for me, if you translate it in French, it means «style libre» It looks a lot like flatground skateboarding: you slide in all directions, you ride the board tail first, you switch stance. We don’t need a large area or special conditions, and the idea is to land some very technical moves It’s typically loops, rotations, 360s, 360s in the air or sliding on the water That’s what sets today’s freestyle apart from other disciplines, like waveriding, slalom or speed sailing That’s freestyle. It’s kind of like what you’d find in skiing or BMX: it’s really about free style, going out on the water, trying to land your tricks and invent new ones, and letting loose. It’s true that we have this in common, this sport, which we all share together It’s a big family. We’re all buddies, we ride together, we share our passion together. All of these guys, they’re all passionate It’s freestyle, we’re not here to get stressed, we’re here to have fun, have a great time. We’re a small family, so we get together at our spot, we make plans to meet up, we have a blast. « Taquet! Taquet! » « Grave! Grave! » Well it’s not bad, this morning was pretty strong ! Jojo’s rocking it behind. Now unfortunately, the wind’s starting to fall a bit, let’s hope it picks up again later… and it looks like it might be coming back with a little luck… It’s starting up again, let’s go ! Riding with friends is a real pleasure, you’re on the water, you do your tricks, you let yourself go, really You can send any move, you crash, it’s no big deal We’ll be looking for new stuff, new tricks, to push a trick to its limits. We’ll have a laugh, we’ll try new moves, we’ll push each other hard. Like, one of us will try a new trick, and obviously you’ll want to try and do the same. The best motivation to progress and have fun is, quite simply, to have fun. The PWA clearly was a goal I set for myself when I was a kid. I dreamed about leaving, traveling, and of course having the same life as the pros we saw in the magazines. The PWA, it’s the Professional Windsurfers Association. They’re the ones who organize the whole windsurfing world tour. It’s the most important windsurfing tour : it crowns the world champions at the end of the season It has always represented the windsurfing elite, and it’s the highest level that we can reach in our discipline. To define what a contest is about : we are in a zone marked by four buoys, and we have a time limit to express ourselves, which is usually 7 minutes. We are allowed between 6-7 attempts, and keep our best 3-4 moves on each tack. After that, it becomes strategic, like in all competitive sports. You need to have the technical skills, of course, but you also need to know how to make the right decisions, to pull the right tricks at the right time to get the best out of the conditions, and most importantly to do better than your opponent. During a competition, in your head you’ve got to be a killer, you need to win, and you can’t have any feelings. You need to go all in, because that’s how competitions are. That’s why we chose to compete, to push our limits and give our best. We compete to win. You need to be clean, you need to have style, you need to do big moves. You need to be good in the moment, and in the box. The Wesh Burger with bacon ! Go all the way to the beach, Juju ! Come on ! Faster, Tonio ! Faster ! Faster ! Faster ! Come on, on the beach ! On the beach ! On the beach ! Woooow ! He’s done it ! Very good, Juju, that was beautiful ! With bacon ! On the beach, him too! Does he have his score yet? The Wesh Burger man ! Le Chat ! On the beach, le Chat ! He’s a bit far, no big deal. Come on, double burner to funnel to flaka ! That’s not it, never mind ! Round of applause ! Fourth : Bjorn Saragoza, 26 points, Bonaire finishes strong. Italia is here with Matti Fabrizi, well done, 25 points ! Sam Esteve who’s in sixth and advances to the finals! Yes buddy. You’re welcome kids. When he was born he was drinking cuba libre in his baby bottle ! And that was finished for him. So he says ok, I’m gonna go windsurfing! In the air, the double goiter, we can applaud him ! One turn, triple turn, and he lands it, and he landed it ! The triple turn ! He’ s on the podium ! Happy to see you in third place, Bjorn ! Kiri in 1st place! Kiri, 2013 World Champ, congrats ! A round of applause for them all ! They’re all from the Caribbean, from Bonaire, congratulations to them! The extreme side of the sport is dangerous, but that’s also why we love it. It’s true that we have some friends who have left us, but that’s part of the sport, I think. It’s not an extremely dangerous sport either, I think it’s more bad luck. Most of the time it’s the small and stupid injury that is going to hurt our performance. A sprain, a broken bone or a torn ligament, that’s what we’re talking about. It happened to me, and it made me lose precious time. Especially in freestyle, where the level evolves extremely quickly, it’s very hard, and mentally it isn’t easy. So it’s really important to avoid injuries I’m going in. It started to hurt. I’d rather not do too much today so I can do more tomorrow. Freestyle is a discipline that’s not even 20 years old. 20 years is nothing, nothing… Seeing the evolution of the discipline these last few years shows that sails and boards will continue to improve, to get lighter I think, and faster I don’t think it will stop evolving. Two days ago a new freestyle trick came out. I see it on Tour, the level keeps getting higher, and it’s always very hard to stay at the top. That shows that the sport is evolving, the level is improving. 10 years ago, what we do now was unthinkable, so maybe in 10 years we’ll be doing stuff we find unthinkable now. Well, I hope ! I’m going to Leucate to see Julien Taboulet, aka «Wesh-wesh». Look, Thomas sent me his video from Hawaii ! Big session with no wind ! It’s simple, there was no wind. There are a few waves, it’s too bad, but that’s windsurfing. 4.7 sail, 118 liters, shlogging. But I’m happy, I got something out of it. It’s been a year and a half since I last windsurfed, it’s always enjoyable. It’s cool, I’m glad I got in the water, got the feeling back. That’s just how it is, it’s the sport. It’ll be better next time, it’s cool ! Vincent, I knew him pretty well. We did quite a few competitions together, spent a lot of time with him, went to parties together, and other moments outside the sport. Vincent was a freestyle and wave purist, one of the young guys, one of the best at the time. The ocean is kind of like the mountains : they’re dangerous places. Unpredictable. Accidents can happen very quickly. Sadly, sometimes life is really hard. He was a pure freestyler, and he’ll stay a pure freestyler, a pure waverider. I think that when we ride, we all have him in our thoughts. He windsurfed in Monteynard, which is a pure freestyle spot. He’s no longer with us but I still have great memories with him, we did many competitions… … This would have made him laugh, for example ! He enjoyed life. With Vincent, it was the jokes and the freestyle. That’s what I remember him for. There tends to be a lot of apprehension, everyone thinks it’s difficult. To start windsurfing you need to be motivated, it’s not an easy sport, even if it is easier than it used to be. Beyond all of that though it really, really is a fun sport. It’s not something you can explain, I think, it’s something you must feel. It’s funny because it’s two separate things : the board that glides on water like a surfboard, but in addition you have a boom in your hands with the sail, and you really feel the wind in the sail, so you have this power in your hands and this gliding sensation at your feet, and it’s true, it’s excellent, it’s a great feeling. I think that all board sports are exceptional. That planing sensation, you can’t put a price on that. I wish everyone could feel what I feel, what we feel as windsurfers. Why do I ride ? Because it’s my whole life. It’s the only thing I do. I love that, riding. Today the goal is also to pass on the passion to the next generation. I like that, to pass it on, because windsurfing is a sport that deserves to be known. We should promote that. We use only the elements: the water and the wind. It’s incredible Ride is Life. Translation by : Kévin Ema-Otu, Marius Brouet, Margot Samson from US Windsurfing

31 thoughts on “HEXAGONE Windsurf Freestyle”

  1. Awesome!
    Looking forward to the subtitles, I understood some of the interviews but my French is way too rusty 😛

  2. Ce film est GÉNIAL !!!! Et aussi je n'arrive pas à trouver certaines musiques utilisées dans le film. Quelqu'un aurait une solution ?

  3. Genial !!! je l attendait depuis un petit moment et je ne suis pas du tout decu. Super travail 👌🌊

  4. Superbe film avec pro comme amateur!
    c'est vraiment dommage que le freestyle ne soit pas plus pratiquer en Bretagne.

  5. Exactement ce qu'il faut à un windsurfer de retour de vacances pour le supporter (le retour)… Merci 🙂

  6. Bravo, bravo… Graphiste video maker dans une agence de comm. et fan de windsurf je ne peux que te feliciter pour se taff de fou. Les cuts les flous les bon callage le cadrage y a tout mec ! Bravo j en redemande !

  7. Super film, il en fallait vraiment un comme ça! Bref juste énorme il ma vendu du rêve, j'attend le HEXAGONE Windsurf Wave maintenant :p

  8. GG au réalisateur monteur et tout ceux qu'on taffé la dessus c'est vraiment bien ! J'était venu regarder un peu de ride je penser rester la 5 minutes mais j'ai pas décroché des 45 minutes ! ça représente bien la beauté de ce sport BRAVO !

  9. les 5 dernières minutes sont tellement exceptionnelles, dignes d'un grand windsurfing movie, et le reste est méga chouette, bien fait, bien pensé, top participation !! Merci pour ça

  10. Magnifiques images et surtout une excellente maîtrise du montage. Bravo !!! Ce film mérite de participer au festival du film de la glisse à la Tranche en 2017 !!! Enjoy !

  11. Bonjour,
    super vidéo sur des plans d'eau français, quel niveau
    Quel est le modèle du WindSkate avec des grosses roues que l'on voit vers la fin (Tour Eiffel en arrière plan)
    merci de vos réponses

  12. Excellent travail, que de sincérité dans les dernières minutes, et que d'éblouissement tout le long du film, que ce soit les riders ou les cameramans et photographes bravo à tous (volontier une suite)…

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