I was born and grew up in Paradise, California. My parents are both teachers and have been taking windsurf trips to the Oregon Coast and Hawaii every summer since I was very young. I learned to windsurf when I was 4 years old at Floras Lake 20 years ago. I was just hooked right away and really stoked to sail and learn from everyone sailing there every year. I remember back in the 90’s seeing Will Brady jumping like 10 ft. in the air somehow with a 310 liter F2 Phoenix on the lake. Over a decade later it still doesn’t make any sense but it’s the type of thing that was just inspiring and made me want to keep learning new things on the water. Floras is an awesome place to hang out, windsurf, surf and the perfect place for anyone to learn.
In 1999 I had my first trip over to Maui and kept going back every summer after that to teach and sail. When I graduated high school I moved to Maui for a few years and then came back to Oregon and California to finish college. That’s where I’m at right now, finishing my last semester of college at CSU Chico. It’s definitely hard being a windsurfer here after living on Maui and the Oregon Coast, but I’ve been making it work by getting on the water every sailable day and making trips when I have the time.
Not a lot of people sail here or even know what windsurfing is. I got a new 4.7 the other week and the FedEx guy was asking me if I had ordered some sort of Hawaiian rug. I’m really fortunate to have support from Hot Sails Maui, Black Project Fins, Kanaha Kai, Chinook, and Floras Lake Windsurfing. For gear I usually sail on my 4.2 Fire or 4.7 Firelight. Then I have my 76 L quad or my 100 L when I’m doing freestyle.
As much as I love Hawaii, I have to say my favorite place to sail is definitely the Oregon Coast. It’s free and wide open. There’s no one telling you when you can and can’t go out. There are so many different spots with different waves and different wind conditions – the possibilities are endless and it helps you become a really well rounded sailor. And everyone is stoked that everyone is sailing instead of showing up to the beach and being like “damn it’s crowded.” Not to mention you can live off of one of Bandon’s El Jalapeno burritos for 3 days.
photo: Dana Miller
photo: Luke Mathison
My favorite part about competing on the AWT last year was connecting with so many different sailors and hearing their stories. It was an amazing tour and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at Waddell in May. Hoping we can hit it with swell. Goals for 2012 are to graduate college, keep traveling, windsurfing and learning new moves on the water.