You can easily lose track of Josh Angulo’s sail partners from the last years. Ezzy, Maui Sails, Gun Sails, NP, Point-7, S2 Maui and now his new partner is the Italian sail company Challenger Sails. The 43 year-old windsurfer is not getting tired of competition and tells us, that he still has some „unfinished business“ in the slalom.
The two times Wave World Champion (2003 & 2009), who lived with his family in the USA for the last years, decided to move to Portugal, to be closer to Cape Verde and the main windsurfing markets. He built up new motivation and is ready for another season. Thumbs up Josh and welcome back to Europe!
Read more in our interview below.
Interview with Josh Angulo
Continentseven: Hi Josh. You are living in Portugal now. How did Portugal welcome you and your family?
Josh Angulo: Portugal is a lot of fun for us. Big Cape Verdian community of which we are a part of, lots of business contacts for Cape Verde. Easy connection by flight to Cape Verde, Europe and the world and most importantly great people, sailing, waves, food and lifestyle, plus the wife is happy there, so happy wife… happy life! 🙂
Why did you decide to return to Europe?
A variety of reasons all came together all at once. We found ourselves living far from our reality, which is in big part Europe and European windsurf scene, Cape Verde and our life, family and business ventures there, as well as wanting to give our kids a bit more of the upbringing I had growing up in Hawaii. Clearly not the same as Hawaii, but there’s a thriving surf and water sports scene with world class conditions and proximity to Cape Verde. Additionally I’m concentrating to get full speed back to the roots of Angulo Hawaii of making the best performing and best quality windsurfing boards available. I spent some years very focused on other projects and although we’ve had some good products and representation last few years, I didn’t have the focus and geographic motivation to be at the top level. A goal of mine is to get back there and everything involved means a lot of time on the water and working close with good people as well as being open to different ideas and respect for other brands, but most importantly drawing from my and my family’s many years of experience.
You are 43 years-old and you are one of the oldest riders on tour with Antoine Albeau and Jimmy Diaz. Are you still in the autumn of your career or did you already arrive in the winter?
It’s safe to say I’m at the tail end of my career, one that has been solid. I’m still really enjoying it and will probably even more this year with how good my equipment feels at this point. I’m blessed to have many cool things in my life right now, so stepping away isn’t a problem, but I still have a little bit of “unfinished business” in the slalom and I’m willing to keep grinding to try and reach some personal goals.
What kind of “unfinished business”?
My goal is really to try and get as reasonably fit as possible because at my age having my body hold up through races. As I’m convinced that my skill set is solid and I’m just finding out how good my new boards and sails are working together so if I can get the missing link (Josh) to perform, it should be an interesting year.
In 2017 you made it into the top 24 in the Slalom, but skipped the final event. You as well showed what CV-1 still stands for: in Sylt you showed powerful turns in tricky onshore wave riding conditions. You qualified for the main event and made it through two rounds in the double. Still hungry to show your skills in waves?
I have fun wave sailing and I like ripping hard. My level here in Cabo Verde I consider to still be very high and in some points even better than back when I was winning events here. However on the competition side, I’m not needing to prove anything to myself in the waves. I’m more than satisfied. In saying that, however, for me Sylt is one of the funniest places to sail and compete so I often get sucked back into wave competition there. Hopefully this year my results will be high enough on slalom that I will only focus on that.
Watch a short clip of Josh riding waves in Sal
Wave riding in windsurfing is closely connected with the name Angulo. You, Mark and Ed influenced a whole generation of windsurfers. Does this fact give you an extra portion of self confidence?
It does give me confidence when I remember, but more so in board design, construction and the ins and outs of how things work in the industry. It also gives me confidence in any type of wave sailing scenario or free sailing seshs when it’s gnarly or all the hotshots are out. For sure, even in slalom, I pull some strength from the history of my families, however the reality is you are lining up against what potentially may be the strongest most closely competitive field of competitors I’ve ever seen in slalom. So, yeah it’s good to have some confidence, but there’s often some skinny kid from spot x in Europe that’s just fanging to roll guys and that’s the reality on the race course. So the main help is being prepared with body, equipment, mind and soul and then that extra resource of experience can be the difference maker, but not of those other things aren’t first taken care of.
Do you think that all “these kids” still know the name Angulo and its heritage?
Some, not many…. mostly older sailors. I’m happy to start revamping Angulo with some younger riders and although, Ed, Mark, and Josh (with the rest of our family) are the core behind the whole deal, it’s only logical that we breath energy into new blood and fresh upstarts. However, really my main focus is to get back to what my dad always grew the brand on …. best quality/ best shapes/ great looking boards.
You recently changed your sail sponsor. Why did you decide for the Italian brand Challenger Sails? Can you tell us a bit more about it. You already worked with Claudio Badiali when you were on Point-7.
Precisely, I worked with Claudio Badiali, who was the original Point-7 designer, when the sails got sick and he created the base, which, I believe the Point-7 is still very much based on. I remembered those sails allowing a lot of speed, grunt and drive … Matteo Iachino won a world title, basically on a Claudio Badiali sail (ooops, am I allowed to say that?). Anyways, I’m at the point in my career where I need the fastest gear NOW! I have only good things to say about S2 Maui who I was on last year and cool guys that I’ve worked with in the past, however, I just want to be able to go really fast and have the power around the course, with that boosting acceleration and having now ridden the sails I can tell you that my assumption was correct. I’m very happy with my decision, because the sails are flying and I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun slalom sailing.
What are your wishes for 2018?
To get fit enough so my confidence is up and I don’t feel pain and run out of breath…. If I do that, with the gear I have, I think it will be a really fun year!
We wish you a great year with fun, personal highlights and great moments.
Thanks to you Chris, Continentseven and all the very many people who have supported me through the years. I’ve had the honor to work with many great brands and people in the industry. And as you said earlier there’s fall, winter etc., as in sporting life there are seasons to be at different places with different situations…… For me NOW is the season to rock and roll!