9 months after injury Philip Köster won the 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival. Philip wasn’t able to train much on the water during the last months and he only did his first Double Forward Loop a few days before the event. He did a lot of cycling and Stand Up Paddling and was sailing with a knee brace. Not only the spectators were impressed by his performance, also the judges.

Head judge Duncan Coombs stated: “We really see an improvement in Philip’s waveriding and I think maybe this injury even improved his wave riding. The jumping is still phenomenal.” 

We caught up with Philip to speak about his first victory after injury.


Interview with Philip Köster

Continentseven: 9 months after injury you won the 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival. Did you expect to win this event?

Philip Köster: This contest was one of my most exciting one and most emotional ones in my career, because after such a long injury and a long break off the water I didn’t really know where I am competitionwise. I haven’t really seen anybody sailing except the Pozo locals. So it was really tricky for me to get into it, but it was just amazing to pass a few heats and go step by step seeing that the knee holds up everything. Just landing doubles and not having pain in the knee was just perfect. That made me very confident and with the knee brace I was then really happy. It went on and on and then somehow I landed in the final against Victor. I did my best I could. Now I am really really happy to win the first contest of the year.


Winners Speech Philip Köster

Philip Köster wins 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival

Philip Köster wins 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival


Continentseven: Please describe the winners final against Victor? Was it a good heat or an average heat?

Philip Köster: I think it was a good heat jumping wise. I think in the wave riding I did all right. It was very tight in that heat. We had the re-sail of the semi final and this plus 15 extra minutes were a bit too much for me honestly. I felt really exhausted. But all in all it was a very good heat. We had good wind conditions, a few little waves, but there were still a lot of options to do stuff. I was really happy to be in that final and felt very confident not thinking about any injury.

Continentseven: Thinking back on that final day, what was your best move you did?

Philip Köster: I think the best move and my favorite one was a Push loop Forward in the final, but that one I crashed, because the feeling of that one was perfect. I think I did a bit of tweak in it, but I somehow lost the back hand and could not grab the boom anymore. I repeated that move and landed it.

Continentseven: The judges didn’t like it so much. They gave you 1,8 points for that crashed Push loop Forward.

Philip Köster: With the scores it is a bit tricky sometimes. I don’t know. I am not gonna say that much, but I think sometimes when I land a nice Stalled Double it is like 9 points and Victor does a Table Top Forward and gets 7.8 points. Just one point difference doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know. I really can’t change the scoring, but it’s how it is. (Philip smiles)

Video of Philip’s winning heat

Continentseven: Do you think the other riders are happy that you are back from injury?

Philip Köster: Everyone was looking, if I will be able to windsurf again normal like before my injury. Actually I think everyone was quite happy that I am back. They were happy that I could actually windsurf again, because I think that they know also that windsurfing means a lot to me. Injuries are really terrible. A lot of people also supported me. I received many messages if I am ok. That helped me a lot in my recovery process. There are a lot of friends on the tour. I am really happy to be back!


“It is a big honor for me to be with Philip in the final and to make it into the final for the 11th time in a row. I can’t ask for more and I am very happy for Philip, that he is back so well after a massive injury and won the event.” (Victor Fernandez)


Push loop into Forward loop by Philip Köster

Push loop into Forward loop by Philip Köster


Continentseven: A few words about your opponents. How is the current level in wave competition?

Philip Köster: Ohhh, the level was very high. Before the contest I watched  lot of videos from them and I was kind of scared to see everyone training every single day and doing so many moves perfectly. I was kind of scared to go into the contest. I thought I gonna lose in my first round and will stay on the beach being frustrated afterwards. But somehow it worked in my head and I did my best. The level was really really high.

Continentseven: Do you see competing a bit differently now, as you were off competitions a bit?

Philip Köster: Well, this year I see it relaxed. I am really happy to be back on tour and really motivated to do my best. I am still not sure if I am thinking about the title. It’s a good start already, but let’s se how it goes. This year is actually just a fun year. I am doing a few trips. I did a trip to Mauritius already in spring. Maybe I will attend one IWT event, maybe Peru, just some fun soft wave riding events. It would be very nice.

Continentseven: Did you follow the rest of the competition, too. We were pretty impressed by the juniors…

Philip Köster: Yes, I watched a lot of heats of the juniors. It was really cool to see them ripping. There were more than 30 competitors, what’s incredible. I didn’t think that our sport has such many juniors. I wasn’t aware of it. They came from almost everywhere. Pepe from Canada for instance or Jadhan from Brazil. They are all sailing really good and it’s fun to watch them. They do good wave riding and brilliant jumps. It’s like the time when I was very young competing here in Pozo for the first time. It brings up a lot of memories.

Continentseven: And a few words about the women.

Philip Köster: Daida and Iballa were amazing, like always. They are almost unbeatable here at Pozo. I think they will stay up there for a few more years. It’s a never ending story with them. But let’s see Sarah-Quita is doing more moves on the waves. She is the queen of freestyle, but it’s cool to see her now trying to charge in the waves, too.

Continentseven: Thanks for the interview. Good luck for the next events!