Christopher Friis – Interview
Christopher Friis (D-36) is an extremely motivated, upcoming young Danish wavesailor, who has started windsurfing only 6 years ago on Lanzarote. After 6 years of sailing, the 22-year-old Christopher is competing on the PWA tour and is already able to tweak crazy Pushloops and to rotate through double Forwards…and he is improving constantly. His slogan for windsurfing speaks for his motivation: “For me windsurfing is about constantly setting out to challenge myself and push myself as far as I can. I don’t windsurf because I’m chasing a dream or an ideal, I do it to progress and develop.”
After coming back from Tenerife a few days ago, he already had some sessions at his homespot Klitmøller, where the “Cold Hawaii PWA Wave Worldcup” starts tomorrow. We hooked up with Christopher to get to know more about him and his expectations for the upcoming event.
Read at the interview with him below.
C7: Hi Christopher, how is it? The start of the Cold Hawaii PWA event at Klitmoller is getting closer. How did you prepare?
Christopher Friis: Hey Continentseven, I am very good thanks! I have actually just arrived back in Denmark after more than 8 months of travelling. I have already had a few good days in The Cold Hawaii and I am starting to get used to the cold and getting dialed in to the conditions. I really enjoy sailing in Denmark and it is so cool to have an event like The Cold Hawaii PWA event on my home turf.
C7: Are you excited and what are your expectations?
Christopher Friis: I am super excited. This event has brought us some of the most extreme conditions we have had on tour for the past two years and I wouldn’t expect anything less this time. Klitmøller can deliver pretty much anything and it can all change from day to day so it is hard to make any calls on what we are going to see this year, but we have had quite a lot of windy days lately so I am confident that we will get some sailing done.
C7: We watched you sailing during the events on the Canary islands and your jumping skills were great! In waveriding you missed some points! Are you ready to score big in waveriding at Klitmøller?
Christopher Friis: Jumping has always been my strong side and I am feeling very comfortable with my level so far. My waveriding has not been super strong, but I am slowly getting there! I have been training very targeted on my Wave 360’s and I am finally starting to get consistent in them. I actually managed to pull off 10 of them in one session in Klitmøller last week.
C7: You started windsurfing in 2006! That´s not a long period and you had your PWA debut in 2011 at Pozo. Looks like you´ve picked up the sport really quick! After 6 years you are able to tweak crazy Pushloops and to rotate through double Forwards. How is it possible to get this level in such a short period of time?
Christopher Friis: No, I guess it is not that long compared to other windsurfers competing on the tour. I think it has to do with my approach to the sport and the way I keep myself motivated. I am very comitted to my training on the water and when I say to myself that I have to learn a specific move, I keep training it till I can do it every time. I don’t give up half way through or go on to train something else if I don’t succed the first time. I am driven by progression and I think I have been able to block out a lot of the fear that comes with trying a new move because I have a background in skating. Water is a lot softer than concrete. I have also been sailing a lot with Kenneth Danielsen the past few years and we have been pushing each other a lot! He has been kind of a mentor and trainings partner for me.
C7: Where did you start windsurfing and what was the reason for that?
Christopher Friis: I had my first go with windsurfing on a family vacation to Club La Santa on Lanzarote, but it was not until I went to a boarding school in Denmark called Oure Sports & Performance that I really picked up the sport and got hooked!
C7: What was the hardest in the beginning for you?
Christopher Friis: I think one of the hardest things I had to learn was jibing. I learned to do planing forwards before I got consistent in my jibing, haha.
C7: Where did you sail most since you have started windsurfing?
Christopher Friis: I have trained a lot in Cape Town, South Africa and on the Canary Islands. They are sort of my second home now. I have actually not been home for more than 3 weeks this year. I love Cape Town for it’s diverse conditions, the beautiful nature and the city, but I also love the Canary Islands for it’s relentless wind and consistency. It is great to have the opportunity to go to these places every year and I would never have improved as much as I have without going there.
C7: At which spot did you improve the most and where did you have the most of fun?
Christopher Friis: I think I have improved a lot this summer in Tenerife! Not so much with my jumping, but my waveriding has improved a lot there and I am much more confident in onshore waveriding now. Cape Town this winter was so much fun! So many good friends were there and even though the conditions did not really kick in like they did last year, there was never a dull moment as Cape Town has so much to offer.
C7: “For me windsurfing is about constantly setting out to challenge myself and push myself as far as I can. I don’t windsurf because I’m chasing a dream or an ideal, I do it to progress and develop.” That was your message, when you applied for a place in the this year´s Red Bull Storm Chase. A really intense message. Looks like windsurfing is a challenging game in between you and the nature. Explain a bit what windsurfing means to you!
Christopher Friis: The quote pretty much speaks for itself. I think it covers my motivation for the sport very well. It didn’t get me a spot in the Storm Chase though. Haha. I never really had any expectations of reaching the level that I have, I have basically just been doing my own thing on the water and having fun. I windsurf because I feel a basic need to challenge myself and windsurfing has proven to be the perfect sport for me to do that with. Windsurfing takes up a fair bit of my time as I am very passionate about the sport and therefore I have comitted myself to organizing the Danish Wave/Freestyle tour, lately we have really been putting some energy into motivating the youth to start doing competitions and it is cool to see the new generation giving it all they’ve got.
C7: “Don´t talk the talk if you can´t walk the walk…” that´s also a sentence from you. Sounds like you are not one of these guys, who are talking much about windsurfing or are we wrong?
Christopher Friis: Haha don’t get me wrong, I can talk about windsurfing all day long, but some times I just need a break from everything and stop talking windsurfing. After 4 months in Tenerife and non-stop windsurfing talk it is nice to get back home and get some distance to everything. The quote is more of an encouragement for people to just be themselves and not talk about things they can’t back up.
C7: You are jumping very high. Did you already hurt yourself while sailing?
Christopher Friis: Luckily I have not really hurt myself badly, just a few bumps here and there. There is always some risk involved in going for the big moves, but I find that if you go for it with full commitment you are less likely to hurt yourself – so that is what I do.
C7: Are you only wavesailing or are you on Freestyle, Freeride or even Racing board sometimes?
Christopher Friis: I have only been doing wavesailing since I first got into the waves. I have never really done any freestyling or racing.
C7: Let´s come back to the competition. How is the level in the PWA wavesailing dicipline and is there a chance for you to make it in the top ranking soon?
Christopher Friis: I think the level in the top of the fleet is insane! It will be very hard to get my foot inside there, but I am confident that I have the motivation and potential to do well in the future. I just signed to Simmers International team so I am finally getting the right support with some of the best windsurfing gear out there! No excuses from now on
C7: Good luck for the event from continentseven!
Christopher Friis: Thank you very much. I am really looking forward to the event. If you want to follow my windsurfing closer you are very welcome to add me on facebook here
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