Weâ€™d never had the chance before now to interview Robby Naish for WJâ€¦ So his brief stay at this yearâ€™s Mondial du Vent was in fact a dream opportunity to meet â€˜the Bossâ€™. Recently become a father, more passionate and enthusiastic about his windsurfing than ever, the â€˜Godfatherâ€™ of our international version of Windsurfjournal.com told it like it is ! Hereâ€™s our exclusive interviewâ€¦
Windsurfjournal.com : Can you tell us a little bit about late January, when Maui experienced some memorable Kona wind sessions ?
Robby Naish : It was exceptional. Generally on Maui in winter you might get one big day like that, this time it was 3 or 4 days running. Not at all the usual conditions, with winds up to 50 knots… I sailed a lot on 4.7m2 and 4.5m2 but the wind was too much most of the day so we sailed mostly early morning and end of the afternoon. They were really magic conditions, there were never very many of us on the water, lots of people were finishing their session on the rocks after just one run ! It was one of the best ever sessions at Lanes, really great conditions…
WJ : You recently competed at the Ocean Games which mixed lots of disciplines at one event… What do you think of this kind of event ?
RN : It was a great event, lots of great atmosphere on the beach and out on the water… We had the good fortune to have perfect conditions for each discipline. There was just stand up paddle where the wind was a bit strong. It gave me a lot of pleasure to participate in the event. Kai Lenny and I were the only two to make all 5 disciplines, the youngest and the oldest ones there ! I finished 3rd but if all 5 disciplines had counted instead of the three best scores I would definitely have won. I think there’s a future for this kind of event and I could see it being developed all round the world in the years to come…
WJ : What do you think about the internet and its growing influence world wide ?
RN : It’s an impressive tool… It’s my main source of information for anything I want to research. It’s completely changing the way people learn about the world and what goes on in it. But to be honest I already liked the more ‘classic’ style before it. From now on the world’s going to get even smaller and most of all it has a big effect on business. Some things move much faster while others, for example the process of developing a new board, demand a certain procedure which requires more time. But as regards the information about a product, its availability and the length of its ‘life’, that’s all happening much quicker now. It’s making us adopt a new timing for releasing products and they have a much shorter life. It’s a new parameter to take into account and a new challenge. There are also the discussion forums which are very interesting and people talk a lot… It’s good that everyone can say what they think but often there are people speaking about things they know nothing about. Like everything that’s a bit new there’s good things and less good things about the internet…
WJ : After the early years of this decade when you were really investing time and effort in kitesurfing, I get the impression that you’re coming back more and more regularly to your windsurfing, is that right ?
RN : For me it’s really a question of balance… They are two sports that are totally complementary, depending on the conditions and the spot I’m at, I decide whether to windsurf or kitesurf according to those two parameters. At Kailua, on Oahu, I do lots of kitesurfing, whereas I mainly windsurf as soon as I’m back on Maui… At that time kitesurf needed a heavier promotion, the sport had barely got going so it was important to be there, to support the sport and help it develop. It was important for Naish Kiteboarding too, it had recently started up and was developing very fast.
WJ : We understand that you’ve recently become a father ?
RN : Yes, my wife Katie and I had been waiting for this moment for a long time and Christina was finally born 4 weeks ago. Everything’s going fine, she sleeps well and never cries… With my job I’ve only been able to see her in the first two weeks because I was due over in Europe straight away afterwards. It’s a fantastic thing for us and another new challenge, learning how to juggle my time between her and my work from now on. I can’t just stop what I’ve been doing for so many years, sailing, travelling, working and promoting my company, that’s part of who I am but at the same time I’d like to be able to devote more time to my new responsibilities !