Kevin Pritchard (38) has been participating in the AWT (American Windsurfing Tour) since the beginning in 2011. We asked the former Wave World Champion about his impressions on the 2014 Pistol River Wave Bash, his performance and how he was able to keep off a few of the upcoming young generation windsurfers.
Kevin Pritchard: “I love destroying the young kids egos when they lose and making sure they still have some respect for the Pritch!” below.
Kevin Pritchard in an interview
Continentseven: Two of six events on the 2014 AWT tour are done. What’s your impression so far? You were able to keep Roediger and Noireux behind you.
Kevin Pritchard: The level is quite high. We had the current world champion, the current AWT champion and everyone is ripping. It is great. I am pretty stoked, I thought Morgan was going to win the thing, he has really been impressing me. The fleet was definitely world class.
Continentseven: Levi keeps on winning. What gives him the advantage over Brawzinho or Camille?
Kevin Pritchard: He pays the judges I guess. The judges seem to like his style. And he rips. What more can I say. Camille has the nicest “style” of anyone on tour in my opinion. Brawzinho is the best jumper in the world. I was actually surprised he didn’t win, but it is wave riding and jumping. It is hard to see what others are doing when you are out competing.
Continentseven: Has the level gone up in all the fleets? We saw the kids were ripping, too.
Kevin Pritchard: For sure. These kids are finally getting to compete 6 times a year. Sam Bittner has created a tour that they can compete on and show their level and guys like Cami, Morgan, Bernd, should all be grateful. I think it really shows in Cami’s competing. It will be interesting to see how he does on the PWA, but I think if all the PWA were competing on the AWT, he would still be the champ. If the AWT continues to grow and intertwine with the PWA, that would make a world champion in my opinion. Add Pozo to the AWT and you would get the most overall wave sailing champion.
Continentseven: Is the AWT still a Pro/Am tour or is it slowly slipping into a “Pro” focused circuit as more and more top names are in.
Kevin Pritchard: The Pro’s all want to compete in good spots, I think that is why they are coming to the events. It is still very much a Pro/Am tour. I love the Am’s coming to the events. That is what makes it so fun.
Continentseven: Are you still in the shape to win. We are sure you kept all your power for the Aloha Classic in fall.
Kevin Pritchard: You know, I never think I am anywhere close to the level of the Morgan, Levi, Cami, and then we get in a heat and I just rip. 🙂 just kidding, but somehow, I manage to get into the finals with these young kids that rip. It stokes me out. I think for the most part, these kids see me sail all day long everyday, and they are like, oh I got Pritch, easy heat. And bam, one foot back loop, one hand one foot back loop and some wave ripping and I managed to get to the finals. It is fun. I love destroying the young kids egos when they lose and making sure they still have some respect for the Pritch!
Continentseven: Who will win the AWT this season?
Kevin Pritchard: If “Cami” does all the events, probably him. No one can touch him on port tack down the line wave riding, so I would go with him. If he doesn’t do them all, I could come through with a surprise win… Bernd will be good too. He has a great port tack wave riding style. We will see.
Continentseven: Most of the riders are on 4 batten or 5 batten sails. You are on the new Taka, 3 batten design and looks like you have amazing drive! Do you feel the same?
Kevin Pritchard: Yeah they are amazing. I am very happy with the 3 batten Ezzy Taka’s. The control and power is amazing. I love the ability to depower the sail when I am going off the lip. Makes it so much easier for the riding.
Continentseven: Are you only using 3 batten sails at the moment with trifin or single fin, even in onshore or do you mix a bit in terms of batten depending on the conditions?
Kevin Pritchard: I have been using the 3 battens with the trifin all the time. The only time I have been going with my single fin option is when it gets big waves at Hookipa. Then there is nothing like it.
Continentseven: Sam announced that there is a chance to see an AWT event on Cape Verde in February 2015, spending the untouched price money from the this year’s Goya event at Waddell Creek.
Kevin Pritchard: Wow.. I heard a rumor but that sounds good to me. I have been going there the past 3 years on my own so I am not sure how I will like it with so many people. That place is a gem and I love it so much, so any time I can go, I am stoked.
Continentseven: Let’s hope for wind at the next tour stops and now, everybody should watch the event video by Maui Nerd Productions: VIDEO