We caught up with Joey Sanchez just before the start of this year’s SoloSports San Carlos Desert Showdown. Check out the video below, and see what Joey has to say about competing on the AWT.
After spending a couple of seasons in the Amateur division, how did you prepare in the closed season for the progression into the Pro bracket?
It has always been a dream of mine to compete among the professionals of the sport since I began windsurfing five years ago. Having already started working for Solosports when the AWT announced a contest in San Carlos, I started taking my windsurfing more seriously, focusing closely on clinics and the style of expert wave riders that passed through the camp. After competing a few years in the Amateur division, I qualified for the Pros. This progression required me to refocus again but this time on more technical moves and strategies against tougher opponents.
Do you get nervous competing against the other Pros?
At first, yeah! Seeing my name alongside guys, like Levi Siver and Kevin Pritchard, was intimidating, both heroes and friends of mine. I remember my first AWT praying not to be in KP’s heat, knowing he’d publicly spank me on the water. And he did. Haha. But now, it’s just fun competing and trying my best against the other Pros.
In 15 words or less explain why everyone should book their stay at Solo Sports?
Our motto says it for us, “You just don’t know until you go!”
Whats your favorite part about the AWT?
The AWT is one of my favorite weeks of the season! It’s great to see people from all over the world coming together and enjoying their passion for wind and waves, no matter age or skill level. From the top pros to the young groms, everyone is able to talk story, have fun, and of course party…party boy!
Who is your biggest inspiration in Windsurfing?
The Pritchard Brothers have always been huge inspirations for me. Without their support and encouragement, I don’t know if I would be at the level I am, competing against them. They’ve been and continue to be a big part of my windsurfing career. I hear Matt say, “Chill it and kill it!” every session I have. I also have been largely influenced by Keith Teboul. He gave me my first true wave board and his style is my inspiration. Thanks Keith.
What is your dream windsurfing destination?
San Carlos, of course! I’ve been lucky enough to travel to world class windsurfing breaks, like Ho’okpia and Ponta Preta, but nothing beats sailing the south swells and consistent side-off conditions in Baja.
What AWT events do you plan to attend this year?
I did the Cabo Verde event already this year and placed 7th which was an amazing experience! I plan on doing the Baja contest in Punta San Carlos coming up this summer. Depending on the results and scheduling, I would like to do the Maui event again and hopefully Peru to experience port tack sailing.
What is the best thing about traveling with the AWT?
Traveling with the AWT crew is always exciting and a good way to explore a new spot. Whether the conditions are epic or not, everyone is happy to make the best out of any situation. I’ve had some of the most memorable trips with the AWT family and look forward to more!
What advice would you give to someone that has never been to an AWT event?
The contest has an overall great vibe to it for competitors and non competitors alike. There’s always great action on and off the water and the chance to meet people from all over the world and grow your windsurfing family. Everyone is there to make you feel welcome and comfortable to ask questions and advice.
Thanks Joey, and we will see you soon!