German Mag interview with Graham Ezzy
(here is a very rough english translation)
Hello Graham. This year started very well for you. You won the supersession on the Worldcup Cabo Verde 2009. Cabo Verde offers the biggest waves on the tour. Was it your first Worldcup participation?
This was my first time to Cabo Verde…ever. I showed up the day before the contest straight from Princeton without windsurfing for a month. That wave is so long, so powerful, so smooth, but it took me a few days to learn it, so only by the supersession did I feel comfortable on the wave.
Riding big waves is business as usual for you. You were born in Maui on Hawaii. But how did you come to windsurfing?
My father taught be to windsurf when I was around 10, and I started sailing Hookipa in less than a year because my dad did not want to sail anywhere else. In fact, I was sailing mast-high Hookipa before I could jibe- not because I wanted to, but because it was the only place my dad would drive me!
Your father is the owner of Ezzy Sails and a former Windsurfpro. Is he still a big role model for you?
David is a large role model for my life. He has always followed his passions (skiing, windsurfing, sail designing), dedicating himself fully. I want to have the same motivation, focus, and discipline in my life.
How does it work father and son in a brand and the family as your sponsor? Are there sometimes troubles?
No, not really. We have a relationship more like friends.
So it works. Are you involved in the sail development?
Sail designing is my father’s passion, not mine. I am really interested in business and economics though, so I might run Ezzy Sails one day, and I try to give my dad good ideas.
Windsurfing is a big part of your life. But on the other side you graduated high school in May of 2007. What goes first studying or windsurfing?
Both! I am trying to compete at the highest level academically and athletically. But I still skip a lot of school to go windsurfing…
As I heard you are studying at Princeton University. It is a renowned university. Why did you choose Princeton?
I chose Princeton because it is the best university in America. I decided that if I was going to take time off from windsurfing to get a degree, I should go to the best school. I’m studying economics at the best department in the world; I love it.
Wouldn´t it be easier for you to stay on Maui and focus on your windsurfing-career?! Why did you choose the east coast?
I have never devoted a whole year to windsurfing! I’ve always been in school. The East Coast is really new for me, but it’s great to spend time in cities, wake up to snow on the ground, and do some mental work.
Princeton is famous in the world. But how does “a day of Graham Ezzy on the campus” look like?
I have classes in the mornings and early afternoon (economics, math, more economics, physics, and poetry), then I row with the Princeton Lightweight Crew team (one of the best in the country). After rowing, I eat dinner, do some studying, and write a bit. Then I either go to sleep or party! All the parties here take place in mansions we call Eating Clubs. Dancing, girls, and intellectual conversations about philosophy! Sometimes I stand back and laugh at how funny and different my life here is.
For outstanding people your life may appear unmanageable and overwhelming? How do you keep the balance?
It’s incredibly overwhelming! But that’s what I love about it. I love waking up in the morning and having a million things that I have to do, and not knowing if I’ll be able to do them. Such an adrenaline rush.
Does Princeton support Windsurfer and are there any other famous athletes on campus?
I’m trying to convince Princeton to support a Princeton Windsurfing Team. I’m not the only professional athlete here. Joey Cheek is also in my class; he has an Olympic gold, silver, and bronze in speed skating. I also have some friends who are some of the best rowers in the world. The best part of Princeton is that everyone is amazing at what they do.
Is there a good spot around New Jersey and how often do you go there?
A couple months ago, I had a perfect mast-high waves a 30-minutes drive from New York City. When it’s good it’s good! But it’s a secret spot, so I can’t tell you where it is.
How often during a season do you have the chance to train on Maui?
I go back to Maui for about 4 weeks per year to train and do some photos. I’m never home; It’s like I’m a tourist now!
On the island of Maui you are on the water with the world´s best windsurfers. Who is your favorite and why?
I grew at Hookipa watching the windsurfers, so I have many favorites. Polakow throws down the best turn even to this day. Teritehau was doing triple forwards before Ricardo was doing spocks. Levi Siver, Alex Mussolini, and Florian Jung are my favorite to surf with. It is so much fun to be pushing each other to try new moves, ride bigger waves, and do higher jumps. Flo is a great training partner; he’s always motivated, happy, and fun to be with.
You won the supersession on Cabo Verde with a taka on the wave. How much freestyle-elements are good for Waveriding in the future?
It is good to combine freestyle and waveriding, but that’s not my style. I am a surfer. The tricks that I do in the waves (the 360s, takas, goiters) are surf moves, not freestyle ones just put on top of the wave. I place the moves into the line of the wave. Not many people do that. Surf-style is a lot harder and has a lot more flow.
Thank you for answering the questions.
thanks to www.windsurfersmag.de