If you lived on Maui, had a Dad who made windsurfing sails, had been windsurfing since you could walk and were super talented at the sport...wouldn’t you just become a professional windsurfer? Well that wasn’t the choice of this young man. He’s super bright, writes amazing poetry and is studying at one of the best Universities in the world (oh, and he won the Super Session at the PWA Cape Verde event with a perfect taka). Meet Graham Ezzy…..
Why did you choose to go to Uni and not go down the obvious route of becoming a Pro windsurfer?
I need mental stimulation to keep me happy. Plus, I want to make an impact on history. Hopefully, Uni will give me the connections and the tools to conquer the world…literally.
What are you studying at Princeton and why?
My plan is to major in economics and minor in finance and creative writing. Economics offers a way to quantify and analyze how people make choices, so it’s perfect for my interest in human behavior. Writing is my second passion after windsurfing, so I write short stories and lots of poems. I find that my creative process is rather explosive (powerful but short lived), so the poem is the best medium.
Everyone thinks it’s very hard to get into Princeton and you have to be very intelligent. Is this true?!
Princeton is the best undergraduate university in the United States, and one of the most selective universities in the world. When I was accepted to Princeton, I was completely elated; it was an opportunity I could not give up (even if I do really miss windsurfing).
So how much ‘time on the water’ are you getting now and is the university allowing you time off to go to the 2009 PWA events?
I pretty much don’t windsurf at all! There are four months in the whole year where I am able to sail. Amazingly though, I am improving at a rate faster than ever before. I can suddenly do new moves (like the taka that I used to win the PWA Cabo Verde Super Session). My secret is rigorous physical training combined with the hard mental training of Princeton classes and I am more than happy to skip school for a few weeks to go to a World Cup event. For Cabo Verde, I didn’t even tell anyone; I just left.
Who are your buddies on the PWA Tour?
I travel to all the world cups with Florian Jung. He is super smart and funny, so we always have a good time together. At the same time, he is really motivated so he makes a perfect training partner. Other than Flo, I hang out mainly with Levi Siver and Alex Mussolini. I’ve known both of them since I was a little kid, and it’s amazing to now be sailing alongside them.
Other than back at Ho’okipa, what beach would you like to see a PWA wave event happen?
There is a world of possible PWA events, but San Carlos, Baja is high on my list of locations. The wave there is incredibly long and fun.
PWA Cape Verde 2009: you came last in the main event but WON the Super Session. Explain that?!
I arrived in Cabo Verde the day before the contest, so my first heat was also my first day sailing Punta Preta (and my first day sailing in two months). But once I figured out the wave, I won the Super Session. Next year, I’ll already know the wave. So watch out!
Having Dave Ezzy as a Dad – what are the advantages and are there any disadvantages?
David is an amazing person, and one of my role models. He is the most dedicated and passionate person I know in life whether he is cross-training, designing sails or windsurfing. He lives for designing windsurfing sails, so I have the advantage of knowing that I have the best equipment on the water. Also, he has been an instrumental part of Ho’okipa windsurfing and windsurfing in general for the last 30 years, so I benefit from his experience. But at the same time, I have a lot to live up to. He does not push me at all, so I make my own choices and carve my own path, but at the same time I know that I want to prove my worth to him.
Do you help with the R&D and testing of Ezzy sails?
I ride the prototypes and give my feedback as to how they feel. But sail designing is not my passion, so I will not get more into the design process.
Where does your future lie – in the windsurfing industry or outside of it?
I love windsurfing more than anything else in my life, so I will never stop. Windsurfing is the most amazing sport in the world, and I want everyone to experience it so I will always be involved in the industry.
What was growing up on Maui like?
The beaches on Maui are great for windsurfing and the environment is beautiful. But frankly, there is not much to do on the island other than water sports. I’m enjoying my time at Princeton because I’m able to experience something different. I go into New York City often and love just spending time in the hustle and bustle of the city.
Other than Maui, which is your favourite windsurfing destination and why?
I went to Cabo Verde for the first time for the World Cup this year; it is amazing. The waves on the island are long, paper smooth, and shaped into perfect barrels. They are the best waves I’ve ever windsurfed.
You came to England last summer. What did you honestly, and we mean honestly, think of the UK?
I’ve never actually sailed in the UK, so I’m not sure I believe that it ever gets windy there! But for everything other than windsurfing, I’ve had tons of fun (i.e. wakeboarding, parties, etc). It’s great to be in England for two reasons: everyone is a windsurfing fanatic and everyone speaks English!
Why do you wear a helmet to windsurf?
I wear a helmet because it’s cool! I also wear one off the water for the protection of myself and others.
Finally, what’s your word of advice for US President Barack Obama?
Learn to windsurf and ride waves unlike John Kerry who embarrassed the sport with his formula BS.