Apr 26, 2010
Last Friday (April 23, 2010) we decided to hit up Patrick Bergeron with 10 quick questions to see what is going on in his life and what is going on right now on Maui. Well...we got more than we could ever bargin for! Thanks Patrick!
1. Where are you reading these questions from right now?
From the comfort of my bed as I am waking up to yet another beautiful sunny and windy day on Maui…
2. What is the #1 place you would like to be right now?
Right now, right where I’m at! It’s not too bad with the birds chirping and the wind making a nice hissing sound as it brushes over the corrugated metal roof …a good Aloha Friday ahead!
3. Do you have any trips planned for the near future?
I do plan on spending most of the summer on the mainland... probably starting in early June. This will be a change for me as I’m more used to split it between Maui with short stints in Canada and the Gorge. But this time, it should be all mainland… and I do have my ticket to the U2 show with friends in July... I can’t miss that. I also have a couple of SUP boards I intend to use, hang out with friends, family and maybe a couple of road trips, work on personal projects, etc… It should make for a fun summer with a little bit of everything!
4. Is dropping in on someone allowed/tolerated during photoshoot season on Maui?
To be or not to be? HA...HA...HA! When the heli is spinning overhead at upward of $1,000 an hour, everyone understands that there are little slips here or there, especially if the conditions are not ideal. If there are no helis, then it’s a different story, especially for the large teams who can overtake a spot with more than a dozen or more top riders. Ideally, companies try to manage their time at Hookipa based on the conditions and time of day.
5. Have you dropped in on anyone lately (maybe by accident)?
I never do …or at least, in my interpretation of the “rules of the road”, I always try not to get in anyone’s way.
6. Who’s dropped in on you and have you forgiven them?
If you go to the beach and talk story with the people, you’ll find out real quickly who the usual suspects are. As for how it makes one feel, you can’t change the past, but you can change the future... so as much as it can be annoying or frustrating when it happens (especially when it’s blatant) you’ve got to move on. Then again, if you catch one on the outside and then someone jumps on it as it’s about to break... you’re willing to share it, and after you let them through they block you or ride you on the flats... let’s just say it’s harder to forget. Down-the-line, there are ways to let someone know without getting into a pissing match. Otherwise, I tend to see people for who they are and how they act, not their sailing abilities. So snaking goes a long way in getting to “know” people. Most Maui “regulars” are very respectful. It’s a small place and the gain of a few waves is not worth the bad rap that comes along with it. The culprits are typically the off-islanders who come here thinking they will become the next Robby Naish in the course of two or four weeks. Egos run high at certain spots, but they should understand they are not really doing themselves a favor, and that such stardom is built first with rare natural skills, and second with a lot of time.
Speaking of which, I could say that guys like Mark Angulo, John Skye, Manu Bouvet and so many more are first-class! Even Robby himself never uses his star status to drop in on anyone, which probably explains why to this day he is and remains Mr Windsurfing. There are a few guys who should take notes.
7. Who has impressed you the most with there sailing this winter?
Philip Koster was one to watch for pure improvements. He was no stand-out, but he was definitely “most improved” in my book. Being a Gran Canaria guy, starboard tack was (and appeared!) quite foreign for him when he first arrived this year. But shortly after, he was going after it and gaining confidence and skills every wave of the way. The kid is massive, surely the German roots, but he’s a natural and after his 2009 win in Pozo, he could rapidly become a household name for many years to come.
For skills, Levi [Siver] is always putting on a great show of style and skills. Kauli [Seadi] follows right besides him. In the air department, Kauli’s got those push-forwards down, but Boujmaa is still “king of the insane”, somewhat crash and burn, but definitely innovative and the most fun to watch! He’s got his trademark Black Shot (a Crazy Pete into switch stance forward) as well as the push-forward. I very much view him as the new modern-day Robert Teritehau …interestingly; I believe he stays at Robert’s place when he comes to Maui, go figure!?
Mark Angulo with his experience, flair and innovative style also spends more time on the water than anyone every single day. Look out for more from him in the future I am sure.
8. What is the most impressive thing you have seen on the water recently?
The most noticeable thing this year is how far the limits of wavesailing and jumping are being challenged. Most notables are first Mark Angulo’s mutants or wave 360’s. He spends the bigger part of his day and his waves chasing those two moves, and he has them down and more stylish than anyone out there. His timing is always spot-on, sometimes it’s ridiculous how it almost seems like the water gods will make a lip wait for him if he seems a little late, I think there is definitely collusion between him and the Hookipa gods.
Then, just yesterday, Brawzinho (Marcillio Browne) threw the first double air taka (that I’ve ever seen or heard of…) which he landed clean, but just behind the wave. At this juncture, it’s only a matter of hours before he sticks that trick back on the wave. Boujmaa was reported throwing a tweaked aerial which he then tried to convert in to a double forward …we’re talking over the lip of large Hookipa waves with the ensuing consequences, this deserves some attention and respect!
9. Who will win all the PWA titles this year?
Well, with the world cup still being held in places that are sometimes more jump-oriented or port tack, it’s never a bad idea to put your dollar on all-around guys like Kauli Seadi or Victor Fernandez. If it were pure wave events, guys like Levi, Josh Angulo and Kevin Pritchard would probably get their share of attention. Brawzinho can’t be forgotten either and Ricardo is focusing on waves this year. Should be an interesting year.
Same comment applies here, and the Moreno twins are typically right at home in their Pozo backyard. Then again, we see more and more women pushing the envelope of windsurfing and their level is rising every year. Nayra Alonso is one that’s charging bigger and bigger all the time!
You can “arguably” bet the ranch on King Tony! Antoine Albeau has been so dominating; it’s great to see this someone at the top with everyone chasing after him. Sort of gives a Tiger’esque dimension to the sport.
The European girls do quite well in this department. It seems like every year there are more and more girls competing at the international level which I think is great.
I take great fun seeing all the incredible things the top guys can do, particularly the amount of amazing moves they can pack in such a short amount of time. But quite honestly, the sport has progressed so much, it’s almost difficult to watch in a contest format because even as a decent sailor, I don’t know what is really going on or what is the most difficult maneuver for those guys. Plus, most freestylers don’t really spend much time on Maui, so I really don’t know who’s on top these days… But still amazing to watch the stuff they do when they come for the photoshoots. It’s also great to see new videoclips of new tricks pop up on Facebook and other websites every week. Then I guess Gollito is probably king for a reason.
Sara-Quita Offringa has been giving the Moreno twins a run for their money in the discipline. Her attitude is second to none and she’s always smiling, so that’s enough for me to vote for her! Her 2009 championship hints at an easy pick as well.
10. What is your favorite gear combo right now?
Like most, I’ve been dabbling with quad setups for waveriding at Hookipa. Works great in that department. Not that I would ever be the guy to redefine the bottom turn, or any wavesailing maneuver for that matter, but it’s interesting to experiment with new lines on the wave-face. The board also grips like there is no tomorrow in the bottom yet you can slide the top turn if you push it right. Then again, for planning, going upwind or even jumping, quads (or twins or thrusters) are really not the ultimate option. So I still go out on a single from time-to-time, especially if I’m not riding at Hookipa. Jumps are still one of my favorite aspects of the sport and nothing beats a single there …better release off the wave, lighter board in the air, earlier planning between waves, etc… RRD is coming with the new boards for the photoshoot next week. I’ve heard of some new rocker lines which I can’t wait to try!
For sails, the Sailworks Revo 4.6 is my favorite sail. That particular size in the Revo’s packs some serious punch while remaining very maneuverable. Many times I prefer to head out to Hookipa on the Revo 5.0 as it’s a bit too light for the 4.6 more often than not …I somewhat prefer power to maneuverability, probably comes from spending 18 endless summers in the Gorge. It’s also easier to get waves that way.
(For photo credits and captions hover mouse pointer over photo!)