I’m really happy with this change. Change is always good. I was a bit upset at the end of last year when I was dropped by the NeilPryde/JP team. It was very late in the season and I didn’t really find out until the last minute. It took me by surprise, I was their highest-placed rider in the wave rankings and I assumed I’d still get the same contact and keep my place on the team. By the time I found out it was December and most of the other brands had already finalised their budgets for the 2014 season. All the deals and budgets were closed and I didn’t have anywhere to go!
I started talking to Andrea from Point-7 and also Patrik Diethelm as a possibility amongst others. A lot of brands were interested but the deals were all closed. I was kind of stuck. At one point I felt like quitting completely. Maybe I could just do a bit of sailing in Maui and do the odd trip but not as a sponsored rider? I had to think of my future and I couldn’t compete for free or just a few thousand dollars a year. That’s not my game or my goal. I love windsurfing, don’t get me wrong, but I was so frustrated and I didn’t know what to do. But then I had an e-mail from Andrea who suddenly seemed super interested. At the same time, Patrik also contacted me and managed to put together a decent offer. Over the next weeks I worked out deals with both brands, who both found some budget for me and now everything’s perfect. I’m pretty much on the same sort of deal as I used to get with JP/NeilPryde and I feel much more relaxed.
The new equipment is unbelievable. I feel I’m sailing better and feel comfortable on the water. Of course I’m still getting used to the new sails and boards to fit my needs a little bit better. Patrik came to Maui for a week just to shape me some new boards for the Ho’okipa side and now he’s working on my onshore boards for Pozo. He really listens to me and so does Andrea, which has got me super stoked and super motivated. It almost feels like this new change is something that I needed. That’s why sometimes change is good.