Erik Hakman (27) is an incredibly passionate and dedicated freestyle windsurfer. He was born at the Swedish West Coast and got hooked on windsurfing at the age of 19. Almost 10 years later he is breathing windsurfing every day: “Windsurfing has taken me laps around the world and given me the opportunity to make great friends and to do things I always dreamed of!”
He also fell in love with Bonaire and has been visiting the island for the last couple of years. Together with Kuma Movie he produced a new clip called “GOAT be Chillin’ Part II”. Erik lands great Konos, Burner variations, Shakas, double Spocks, Skopus and many more. A real firework of new school freestyle action. It’s incredible what’s possible when spending some time at the right spot. Erik improved his skills a lot during his time in the Caribbean and imagine, Erik started windsurfing at the age of 19. Additional to the video we hooked up with the Erik to speak about Bonaire and freestyle windsurfing.
Erik Hakman shows newschool freestyle windsurfing on Bonaire
Interview with Erik Hakman
Continentseven: Cool video Erik. How many hours did you film with Kuma Movie to get all the tricks recorded?
Erik Hakman: Thanks! We were pretty much riding together every day the last month of my stay, but the actual video content was recorded in 5 sessions. That should be about 5 hours, give or take. Most of the other clips went into the “Kuma In Bonaire” video series together with a bunch of other fun stuff. Make sure to check that out on Youtube!
Continentseven: How much time did you spend on Bonaire this year?
Erik Hakman: A few days short of two months, March through April.
Continentseven: The right decision?
Erik Hakman: No doubt! In my opinion that’s the best time of the year to visit Bonaire – right after the rain season is over and just about when the wind starts to get solid.
Continentseven: What’s special about the Caribbean island?
Erik Hakman: Wow, that’s a good question. There is so much about the island that I like. First and foremost, the locals are great. I’ve made so many good friends there over the years. For windsurfing in particular I would say it’s the spot and the island culture in particular that makes the Bonaire special.
Continentseven: A place to live?
Erik Hakman: Definitely! First time I visited the island was in 2008, and I’ve just kept coming back ever since. That should speak for itself right?
Continentseven: How often did you make it on the water during your stay?
Erik Hakman: I usually get on the water about twice every day. You can get planing on any given day, but the wind gets pretty light from time to time. Out of the two months about 3 weeks were properly windy. However, there’s no place like Bonaire for playing around with slide moves and non-planing, sail flipping stuff. After all, it is where Kiri invented the Gecko!
“What inspires me the most, on the other hand, is to see how all these awesome young kids enjoy themselves so much and progress so fast.”
Continentseven: Is Bonaire just perfect for freestyle windsurfing?
Erik Hakman: That’s a given. You get predictable wind, flat water and chop, all in one place. And then there’s the mangroves; probably the easiest and funniest freestyle spot in the world.
Continentseven: What was your most used gear combo?
Erik Hakman: My weight is around 77 kg, and I always ride the same set up: Starboard Flare 93, Avanti Sails Echo ME 4.8 and the Kiristyle 17.5. With most of the guys riding 5.2’s on an average day I guess I’m usually on slightly smaller gear than the rest. I’ve found that sticking to the same size regardless of the conditions really builds your technique.
Continentseven: What did you learn during your stay?
Erik Hakman: I usually go into every new season with a few tricks in mind. I mainly focus on power moves, but since the wind was fairly light this year I put more work into technical slide moves such as the Chachoo and various Flaka variations (Voquech, Clew-First Flaka, Switch Doubles). I’m really happy with the outcome, locking down the Air-Bob was undoubtedly the high point of the season!
Continentseven: Any trick you still can’t land as it’s so hard to learn?
Erik Hakman: To me, learning new moves is just a question of how you approach the learning situation. You need the right conditions and you need to put the time in. Right now I want to get my loop game up, that’s definitely the next step in my training. I want the Bongka and the Push Loop. Guess that calls for some waves…
Continentseven: Is it inspiring to windsurf with so many pros: Taty, Kiri, Amado, Youp…
Erik Hakman: For sure, I’ve had so many great sessions with each one of those guys over the years and this year was no different. It makes for such a great vibe when everyone’s out ripping. What inspires me the most, on the other hand, is to see how all these awesome young kids enjoy themselves so much and progress so fast. There’s this gang of kids being supported by Jibe City and Bonaire Windsurf Place right now, and they’re all out riding together every day after school.
Continentseven: Who impresses you the most?
Erik Hakman: Kiri’s perfect technique and feeling for the sail still blows my mind. Every time we ride together I pick up on new details that I need to apply to my own technique. Taty’s consistency is also very impressive. He has such variety to his riding and all his moves are so dialed in. Although, the best thing about these guys is that we always have a blast together, on and off the water.
Continentseven: What are your plans for the summer? Traveling, working or competitions?
Erik Hakman: As I’m writing this I’m about to wrap up the last few sets of grades for the year 4 through 9 physical education end of term report card submission at the school where I teach. As soon as school is out it’ll be time to open up Straight Outta Fiskeback (my clinics & camps business) for the season; I’ll be travelling around Sweden to visit and ride together with the next generation of Swedish freestylers.
Continentseven: Will you return to Bonaire next winter?
Erik Hakman: Can’t wait! Looking forward to see all the guys again!
Continentseven: Do you want to add anything?
Erik Hakman: Yeah, shoutouts to Kuma Movie for the great camera work, Becholize for the perfect soundtrack, Starboard and Avanti for the support, Taty for the new wardrobe, Kiri for the magic fins, and the whole Team Dig Deep fam for the good times!