Tonky Frans is one of the most famous names in freestyle windsurfing. He has been competing in freestyle since 2001 and he is without doubt one of the influencers of the new school freestyle era. He is a show man and we remember our first meeting with him: Lake Garda, King of the Lake 2001. We will never forget his perfect spin loop without wind right in front of the Shaka Windsurfing Center (former Conca D’oro) or the stylish one handed Spocks. Despite his age of 32, Tonky is still motivated: “I never lost the hope to crone myself with a freestyle world champion title. Maybe it will take me more than 10 years but I still believe that I can get the title.” Maybe his new equipment partners will give him the little extra to fulfill his dream?
We talked with Tonky about his latest “move”, his move to Patrik and Sailloft Hamburg. Read more below.
Tonky Frans – Pic: PWA/John Carter
Interview with Tonky Frans
Continentseven: Tonky, how are you doing and how is your freestyle going? Motivated for 2016?
Tonky Frans: Hi there … Yes I am still performing freestyle on a good level and hell yeah still motivated for some freestyle as it has always been my favorite discipline in windsurfing.
Continentseven: After many years with Gaastra/Tabout, you changed your sponsors. How did that happen?
Tonky Frans: Well not easy to say but after soooo many years on Gaastra off course it hurts a bit to leave the team Gaastra, but I wanted to try something different. I just want to say also that Gaastra was always very very good to me, the gear was amazing and also the support of the whole Gaastra team. I met Olaf from Sailloft Hamburg in Germany and after a long talk we agreed on a very good deal where, I could also work on my own freestyle sail. After that conversation I returned to Lanzarote, thought about it and in the end I decided to try it with a new brand.
Continentseven: You were on Gaastra since the start of your career and on Tabou since 2011, right?
Tonky Frans: I was on Gaastra since I can remember back in the years in between 1999 to 2001. It was when Barry Spanier started to work for Gaastra. My first Gaastra I got because I helped Berry, a Dutch who was working for Jibe city, to repair boards. The owner of jibe city, Ernesto van Vliet these days, brought me a sail in the afternoon and it was a Gaastra Puls Pro 5.7, a brand new sail and on that sail I learnt most of my freestyle.
Continentseven: What was your personal career highlight so far?
Tonky Frans: What can I say I have seen many places around the world. I have invented some new moves in windsurfing, I have done a lot of tricks and still can do a lot of them. Now we look to the future…still more to come…
Continentseven: After so many years on the tour with the same gear, was it time for a change?
Tonky Frans: Well maybe, but I would not say straight away yes. But it is a new beginning and it gives me motivation. It’s like the feeling when you discover something for the first time and there is something new in your windsurfing day and you can’t wait to try it again on the next day.
Tonky Frans on his new gear
Continentseven: Sailloft is new territory for you, but Patrik not really as he was shaping the F2 Chili board, which was one of the most successful freestyle boards?
Tonky Frans: I have tried the production one and it is already ripping. I like the 93l freestyle board Partrik offers, but we will work on a perfect board for freestyle. I don’t wanna say what direction we are going but we will have a sick freestyle board coming soon!! As I remember my best results were, when Patrik was shaping my boards.
Continentseven: Does the gear now fit your freestyle or do you need to change something?
Tonky Frans: I have tested the gear already and did some good power moves with the combo of Sailloft and Patrik boards. I feel already very comfortable with the board. The pop of the board is amazing and it fits my style of sailing a lot. I already have made some changes on the new Quad of Sailloft and soon I will have the perfect sail. The whole team is looking forward to it and we are working very hard on this to have it ready for the first PWA freestyle event.
Continentseven: What models are you using?
Tonky Frans: I used the QUAD so far. It is the wave sail of Sailloft, but we are working on a pure freestyle sail.
Continentseven: What fins will you use in the Patrik?
Tonky Frans: I am now sponsored by LSD FINS. It’s the same fin brand Amado and Taty are using. I was thinking about the 17/18 cm.
Continentseven: You often mentioned that you would like to start in Slalom and perhaps in waves, too, but you were limited in gear. How is it now? Sailloft has a new racing sail and wave sails and Patrik has all the boards for you?
Tonky Frans: Yes, I would like to do some slaloms in the future as I see the example of my brother Taty ripping in slalom. I know it will take me some years to catch up, but I especially like conditions like Fuerteventura. It looks like good fun and adrenaline. So yeah, I know Patrik has some good slalom boards so I guess I will do some events in 2016.
Continentseven: What are your plans for the upcoming weeks?
Tonky Frans: I will fly to Bonaire beginning of February for one month and a half to test my new gear, to get used to the equipment and train a lot for this coming season.
Continentseven: What’s your dream for the 2016 season?
Tonky Frans: My dream will always be winning the title of course, but if I will have some podiums this year at some point, I would be the happiest man. So I have to work hard that I can make it. Honestly I never lost the hope to crone myself with a freestyle world champion title. Maybe it will take me more than 10 years, but I still believe that I can get the title.
Continentseven: Thank you Tonky, good luck and everything can be possible…
Tonky: Thank you Continentseven best update in windsurfing media.
Continentseven: Thanks Tonky, but let’s keep this quiet.