Last October Jason Polakow set out to windsurf Cloudbreak, one of the most famous left-handers south of Tavarua island on Fiji. It was the biggest Cloudbreak Jason has ever windsurfed and we thought, this was a reason to talk to Jason about this session.  

Jason Polakow - Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool

Jason Polakow – Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool


Jason Polakow – Interview about Cloudbreak


Continentseven: Are you 100% fit again, after your shoulder surgery?
Jason Polakow: I’m almost back to normal, but the muscles have quiet a bit of atrophy. So over the next 2 months I will be building up the shoulder muscles to ensure good strength and stability so if I have a wipeout I can ensure that the shoulder will hold up the the impacts you get underwater.


Continentseven: The conditions in your latest video from Fiji are impressive. Was that the biggest Cloudbreak you’ve ever sailed?
Jason Polakow: I think it was. A few bomb sets came through that day. That were very impressive and actually I got mowed down by one of them as I was too far inside.     


Continentseven: How does it feel to ride such big waves?
Jason Polakow: This spot is amazing as it has such a long wall. When you are dropping in you think there is no way you are going to make the section, but as the wave bends around the reef it pushes in on itself making the wave stand up and basically sit there waiting for you to unleash a big cut back. I love this spot as it’s a high performance wave even when it’s really big.

Jason Polakow - Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool

Jason Polakow – Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool


Continentseven: All your gear survived?
Jason Polakow: I destroyed all my gear that day. 3 sails, 3 masts, 2 booms and 1 board. The inside reef on low tide is so shallow that it’s like putting your gear through a cheese grater.   


Continentseven: You have a lot of experience in big waves. Is Cloudbreak a very difficult wave if you compare it with other big wave spots?
Jason Polakow: It’s such a perfect wave. It’s easy to sail, but if you want to get really critical you have to be ready to go deep. Sometimes you do get unlucky and the wave will close out and basically ending your session as it’s really hard to out run a big wave there.


Continentseven: How do you approach riding such a wave?
Jason Polakow: I know the wave so well as i have been riding there for many years now. The biggest thing for me is getting the forecast right. If the surf is too south then its not that fun. My first time at Cloudbreak was when I was a kid around 20 years old. We went up to Cloudbrak to windsurf but the wind was super light so my friend towed me in with the windsurfer so that I could get on the wave. I think it was the first time I had towed in on a windsurfer.


Jason Polakow - Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool

Jason Polakow – Pic: Beau Pilgrim|Red Bull Content Pool


Continentseven: Of course, every experience helps to make us better, but do you think your tow-in experience helps to ride such big waves better?
Jason Polakow: I think any sort of big wave experience weather it be on a towing in, sailing on a windsurfer or kite, it all gives you experience and knowledge. I always say the best training for big waves is to chase big waves around the world. Don’t get me wrong all types of cardio, underwater training all help for sure but not as much as just getting out there and experiencing the power of a real wave.


Continentseven: You were the only windsurfer out there. During your last trip you got joined by Scotty and Philip. Why did you decide to go on a solo trip this time?
Jason Polakow: I saw the maps and just knew it could be good. All direct flights were booked out so I knew not too many people from Hawaii would fly to Australia to get to Fiji. Most of my trips are solo so I don’t mind going on my own especially if conditions are going to be epic.


Continentseven: How do you feel after a five hour long session in such wild, but perfect conditions?
Jason Polakow: I was tired for sure as I was working really hard to get waves as there was almost no wind most of the time. Standing on your rig and sinking up to your waist 70% of the time is hard work. I also got caught inside a number of times and had to hold onto my gear while I was getting ponded. That also is a energy drainer big time.


Continentseven: What gear did you use?
Jason Polakow: I was on a 84l


Continentseven: Your next trip?
Jason Polakow: I think I would like to get to South Africa and try and sail Dungeons, which is a big wave surfing spot. Tasmania, Australia or Indonesia could also be on the cards around July/August as the south swells are pumping at that time. I will just check the maps and wherever it looks the biggest then that’s where I will be.


Continentseven: Thanks for the interview and good luck for your next missions!

© 2015