That’s the latest news: two times wave World Champion Josh Angulo left S2 Maui and joined the Italian brand Challenger Sails for the first time in his career. Both are dinosaurs in the windsurfing business. It’s an interesting partnership. Josh returned to Europe – he now lives in Portugal – and will have a strong influence on the R&D of the Challenger products.
Lina Erpenstein, the number 4 in wave World ranking 2017, leaves Patrik and will ride on Severne boards from now on: “After sailing on Severne Sails for the last two years, I am very excited to join the boards program as well. The team is very passionate and creative, always looking for the best windsurfing solutions possible and I am proud to be part of it. I already had the chance to try my new Nano on the Baltic Sea this week and I am very happy how the board adapts to my sailing and the special conditions. I am looking forward to much more sailing with the new setup and to what the 2018 season is going to bring!” Lina Erpenstein
13 years old freestyle hot shot Lennart Neubauer, who is on Starboard, will sail for Severne in 2018, too. The young German, who was born in Germany and now lives with his mum on the Greek island of Naxos, not only changed his sail sponsor. He as well changed from a Greek to a German sail number, from GRE-734 to GER-734.
2011 PWA Freestyle World Champion Steven van Broeckhoven joins GUNSAILS: ”I’m excited to start a new chapter in my professional windsurfing career. I was looking for a new, long-term partnership and I strongly believe that with GUNSAILS, I have made the right choice. GUNSAILS is an experienced sail maker with a 30 year history and a game-changing selling system. They are very much “the future” and I’m happy to be part of it. They have come out with a great freestyle sail, the YEAH, and I’m looking forward to work with their sail designer Renato Morlotti to push the limits. But I’m also keen to invest more time in foiling, which is a new adventure for me. I know that Renato and Pieter Bijl are working on a project as well and it is challenging me to contribute to this project. I will spend the next 10 weeks in Tarifa with training and testing and I can’t wait to get on the water again after my injury.”
If you want to know more about Steven’s status quo and his reason to leave NP read more in our interview >here
Balz Müller swapped his Patrik boards and is now windsurfing on MB-Boards. Balz: “Since the first step on the new MB boards I love the smooth and nice riding sensation. They fit perfectly with my style and I feel how my level is developing. I really appreciate to work together with MB’s and get the opportunity to create my very special freestyle weapons. Testing goes wild and already now we’re stoked on the results. With the wide tail, the board generates a huge kick on takeoffs and with the compact size it is brilliant during air-rotation, so perfect for the newschool freestyle with all it’s latest crazy moves! But also while sliding moves the boards support you amazingly well, it almost fells like the „support wheels of a children’s bike“ the volume is just brilliantly balanced. Further, the NDO „natural drive outline“ provides great carving-abilities either during jibes, bottom turns or takeoffcarves for moves. Last but not least, the boards ride very calm so they make me brave enough to try new things… Summed up the mb-boards are perfect for my progress and certainly also for yours.”
Balz seems to be pretty proud on his new boards and introduces his boards in this video. Not really sure if it was meant as a spoof of the classic promovids but actually we really hope so.
Young French racer Basile Jaquin, who lives in New Caledonia will not ride on Starboard anymore in 2018. The 2017 PWA youth Slalom World Champion joined RRD in 2018 and continues with Point-7.
The rumors were right Pascal Toselli signed a 2 year-contract with JP -Australia. “I am very proud to join the JP team! Like many other PWA riders, I have noticed a very nice evolution of the JP slalom boards in recent years. JP did a great job which shows me that the brand is very motivated about Slalom and takes the product development very serious. I was able to test the boards which helped me a lot in my decisions. I also have a very good feeling with Martin Brandner and Werner Gnigler the JP shaper. We already started working on the development of future slalom boards which rises my big motivation even more and I see very nice things to come. Just super happy to be part of this great team!!”
3 times Aloha Classic winner Morgan Noireaux leaves Hot Sails Maui and joins S2 Maui: “I’m super excited to working with S2 Maui for 2018! I’ve spoken to Art in years prior but it never quite worked out. This year everything aligned correctly and I’m really happy about my decision. I’ve had the chance to try most of the wave line these past few days and all of the sails have felt great. They each have their own unique characteristics and I’m excited to help develop them further
For this season I’m planning on competing on both the PWA and IWT. I’m looking at doing four events of the IWT and three PWA. In addition I’m working on a movie with my good friends Antoine Martin and Olaf Crato. It will be great to try my new sails in different conditions and I’m looking forward to a great season!”
Dutch racer Esther de Geus left JP-Australia/Point-7 and is Fanatic/NorthSails (International Race Team) team rider in 2018.
Italian freestyler Mattia Fabrizi, who was on Sailloft Hamburg, joins Challenger Sails, but will stay on Patrik boards: “Let’s begin a new adventure. For 2018 I’ll join the Challenger Sails team and I’ll work on the new freestyle sails together with Nico Akgazciyan!! Really happy to be part of an Italian brand and represent it around the world. I’m Italian so working for an Italian brand is always good. They have a really nice project for the future and the sails are really good. I will work with Nico on the new freestyle sails for 2019. Next week I will fly to Cape Town to test everything and get ready for the next season.”
Polish windsurfing pro Maciek Rutkowski left Gaastra/Tabou and joined Challenger Sails and NoveNove for 2018: “In 2018 I will not limit my challenges. I will challenge my limits! That’s why it was time to join Challenger Sails. Of course I had Challenger on my radar since a long time as every rider that went there instantly did great results which is always the best measurement of performance. This year I had the unbelievable opportunity to choose between 3 different sail brands and after trying all of them in Tarifa last week my choice is the Italian stallion! I’m not only looking forward to doing great results thanks to those sails, but also working on new projects and improving the current ones with Claudio Badiali, the master sailmaker! Man, 2018 is gonna be a lot of fun!!!”
After 10 years Antoine Martin left JP Australia.
Dario Ojeda left Challenger Sails and will ride under the flag of Flight Sails.
Kai Lenny splits up with Naish after 16 years. Kai Lenny: “Words cannot begin to express the amount of gratitude I have towards Robby Naish and his company Naish for the incredible support I have experienced over the past 16 years. Naish was my first major sponsor and has been with me through thick and thin, the good times and the bad, as well as being there throughout my journey of fulfilling childhood dreams of becoming a world champion athlete. It is with a heavy heart that I will no longer be a team rider for Naish. This has been one of the toughest decisions I have had to make thus far in my career, but I am excited for the road ahead as I stay committed to becoming the best athlete and person I can be.” Rumors say he might found his own company.
The rumors were right. Italian slalom sailor Matteo Iachino leaves Point7 and joins Severne Sails. Matteo Iachino: “I’m really happy to be joining the Severne team. It’s never easy to leave the old way for the new. But after I had the chance to try the new sails I felt convinced with their performance and see them being the next winning step forward. Having talked with Ben Severne for the first time I could feel he really wants to build the fastest sails and he really wants to work hard towards this goal. Having a whole team fully focused on developing something different to win is probably the best feeling you could have when you’re racing at a World Cup level. I’ve already been working with Gonzalo Costa Hoevel a lot during the board testing for starboard and I’m happy to start working with him on the sails as well. All of these factors together pushed me toward the decision of joining this team for the upcoming races. I’m confident we will have a special season ahead! “
Ben van der Steen left Patrik and joined NoveNove: “I tried a few runs on Finian’s (e.n.: Maynard) boards and noticed how easy it was and on top it seemed to be a great match with my sails. My first impressions on the WCSL 2018 are very good, extreme comfort with good top speed and some really nice gybing. My goal for 2018 is to challenge for the podium places and race at the top off my game”.
Dieter van der Eyken leaves Starboard after 15 years and will be fully on Severne. Dieter van der Eyken: “Special thanks to Starboard Windsurfing for the support over the past 15 years (national and international). Some good memories have been made together with my dream of getting world champion in 2015 being the highlight. I am now fully on Severne and will also work as a team manager. It is a new step in life.”
Dany Bruch will not ride and work for Starboard anymore: “7 awesome years working for Starboard in the R&D department for their wave boards have come to an end!”
Croatian slalom sailor Enrico Marotti left RRD boards.
French wave rider & video producer Justin Denel from Wissant left Simmerstyle after two years of collaboration and now joined the JP-Australia/NeilPryde Team.
NorthSails International has confirmed that Malte Reuscher will be part of their International Slalom team. He as well will ride for Fanatic in 2018. Malte Reuscher (Ger-7777) left JP-Australia/NeilPryde after three seasons: “The Falcons are performing very well and that´s most important when you do competitions. I also quite like the team, it´s a good spirit and they act like a real little family. Another reason is that the R&D between product manager Daniel Aeberli and the riders is working very well and I am looking forward to be part of this.”
Italian Freestyler Giovanni Passani will be part of the international Tabou/Gaastra team.
Young talented German freestyle windsurfer Niclas Nebelung will ride on 99NoveNove. He was on Starboard before. He left Severne, too and joined the German sail brand GunSails.
German wave rider and surfer Steffi Wahl left Patrik Boards after a collaboration of almost 12 years with Patrik Diethelm (first F2, then Patrik) and will use the German custom brand Windflüchter from Rostock. Steffi: “After all those years on boards shaped by Patrik Diethelm I had a closer eye on the boards my boyfriend Dominik and my good friend Frithjof are using. As I spent a lot of time windsurfing with those two here in the north of Europe from Denmark to the Baltic Sea coastline I took the chance to ride their custom boards from Lutz Graichen from Windflüchter Surfboards. I realized quickly that I like the shapes and it has always been a dream to me to get a custom board which is hand-built and only shaped for my needs. I really like the fact that Lutz’s workshop is just around the corner in Rostock and he does excellent work, besides that he is a very nice guy with a lot of talent. Exciting!!!”
Danish wave sailor Mads Björna left Simmer Sails and joined NorthSails. Mads: “After thirteen good years with Simmer it was a big thing for me to change sail sponsor, but we made a good deal with NorthSails. They have some super light and powerful sails that I really enjoy and a full junior sails series for my son Tobias. He is eleven years and weighs only 40 kg. It was really difficult to get small sails for him, but NorthSails makes a real wave sail series call NOW.”
Italian wave rider Greta Benvenuti, who lives most of the year in El Medano, Tenerife, joined the Challenger Sails team in September 2017. Greta: “It was a difficult year for me with a lot of change in my personal life. I decided at the last moment to participate at the PWA tour and after a good start with a 7th place in Pozo and Tenerife I got a good opportunity to become a new member of Challenger Sails. I know Claudio Badiali the owner of Challenger Sail for several years and I always had a good relation with him. I am Italian and it’s an Italian brand and they work so hard for development and technologies and I recognized myself in the Challenger philosophy and I would like to help to grow the brand.
Italian racer Massimiliano Brunetti left Challenger Sails and is on North Sails now.
Former freestyle PWA World Champion Kiri Thode is actually using JP-Australia boards since the World Cup in Sylt 2017 but we aren’t sure if he will be part of the international JP-Australia team in 2018. But he is definitely not in the Starboard team anymore.