Matthew Pryor, the international press officer at the PWA KIA Cold Hawaii event 2013, had a chat with 2 times PWA wave world champion and current tour leader about the triple Forward Loop. Philip lands the double Forwards with so much control like nobody else. His dream is to land the triple. There are not many contenders, who will land the move before Köster has done it. Read more below.


Philip's trademark moves, big, stalled and double rotated


“I’m 80-85% of the way there to the triple Forward,” Köster says matter-of-factly. “I think I’ve got the height and also the rotation, now I just need to do it. I’ve tried it. I just need the right conditions. It will happen in Gran Canaria. Last year I was at 50-60%. I’ve been doing a lot of doubles and some really high stalled ones and I think now I’m controlling them. I feel safe.”

Köster is redefining the art of the possible. The g-force he will be experiencing 30ft up in the air rotating at that speed is the same as a fighter pilot. If he makes the triple he will start ascending into the company of the greats: a Usain Bolt, a Nadia Comaneci, a Bob Beamon, a Greg Louganis, a Robby Naish. 

What’s the difference between a double and a triple in feeling safe? “It’s trying it, it’s just a mind thing. Just doing one forward (loop) is really hard, with your mind, doing the rotation and then you know also that you can hurt yourself.”


Philip with a powerful turn on the warmup day

Philip with a powerful turn on the warmup day


Has he hurt himself trying to do it? “Not really, just my back hitting the water hard,” he says. “I think I hurt my back once, my vertebrae, I was twisted and I couldn’t breathe properly. I waited two days and I thought it would be alright, but it was hurting when surfing, I think I should have been waiting longer, like two weeks.”

That was the week before the PWA World Cup event in Tenerfie  in August, so it was still hurting when he won.

He is intent on retaining his world championship title. “I don’t want to give it away,” he says, “I want to win it again and it gets tougher to win each time. I love this competition in Klitmoller, I love being here and I always want to win. You can get perfect waves sometimes, it’s pretty nice. We’ve had a lot of luck with the conditions before so I hope on Saturday or Sunday is still a possibility to finish the competition.”


But the quest for the triple is what is keeping him motivated as he trains at home in Gran Canaria. Does he worry anyone will beat him there, Ricardo Campello, the flying Brazilian perhaps? 

“I think Ricardo is crazy enough,” he says laughing. “He’s definitely one that could do it.” But when does this end, is there a 12-year-old who is going to do a quadruple in ten years? 


Well, you never know. Not so many years ago a forward was like the craziest thing. Things improve, so maybe in five years.” 


Has Philip  done specific physical training for it?  “No, no special preparation. Normally I eat a pizza before I try.”


The gear is prepared

The gear is prepared


Philip Köster is one of those naturals often misunderstood by the rest of the world. Journalists and windsurfers looking for advice cannot fathom him – they are looking in the wrong depths. “People come and ask about the moves, but I normally don’t know how to explain them, because I don’t think about it, I don’t think about how I do it,” he says. “People don’t really believe that it’s true that I don’t think about it.” 

Köster is not arrogant, he is more a shy teenager still and would prefer to be out on the water than on the Cold Hawaii sofa – though he is not ungracious. Last year after becoming world champion in Klitmoller he said: “I can make time slow down,” by way of explanation. It was not said at a boast, it was a fact. 


©Matthew Pryor, PWA/Carter 2013