Nik Baker is unquestionably the most successful UK windsurfer ever and must rank in the top 5 in the world too. With numerous titles spanning 2 decades and a wealth of knowledge, Nik has been one of the most influential windsurfers ever.
However the end of a professional windsurfers career is always an interesting one and Nik is now transitioning into the next stage of his windsurfing career. Nik will start working with Surf Centre as an agent for the windsurfing side of the Boards & More brands, which will include Mistral, Fanatic, North and Ion. His job will now be to take care of orders, queries, warranties and even team management.
So will this be the end of his competition career?? We thought we would ask him some questions….
Why the change?
I have been travelling for 20 years now, only spending a few months a year at home in the uk. This last year I came home in july and have been here pretty much since then. I have had a great time sailing in spots I have not sailed in in 15 years. I have a family now with my son being 3 and another on the way so I wanted to make sure I could live back here and wanted to live back here before I made any major decisions. I will say I am loving it. I think 20 years on the road was enough. This said I have often thought about getting involved with this side of the industry after being a team rider, then product manager and now initially as an agent in the uk for the windsurfing brands and ion in the windsurf shops as well as Fanatic snowboards. I feel I have a fair amount I owe to uk windsurfing and maybe this is a way I can pay something back and hopefully help support windsurfing in the uk.
What are looking forward to the most about this change?
Mixing with the local uk windsurfers and really finding out about uk windsurfing. Sailing more uk spots and trying to help promote my brands to every windsurfer in the uk.
Are you looking forward to spending less time travelling now?
Oh yes, I will still do the PWA wave events but this is only about 4 weeks a year so not a big deal. Its already been so nice not to keep packing my bags and carrying 200 kg\’s of gear every 10 days onto a plane. Also I can actually make some basic plans to meet friends do things with my family and stuff like this that I have not been able to do for 20 years!!!
Are you planning to retire from contests or will you still compete?
Still compete for sure. I still love it and still do ok so why not I say.
If you are how will it work with contests and selling?
As above but I will say if there is a busy time or something more important that needs to be done in the UK, my contests will become 2nd priority for sure.
Will you still be riding for Mistral or will you now use Fanatic stuff as well?
I will be riding boards from both brads now which is something a bit different for me but also very exciting to be able to do this. I need to have a good understanding of both brands products to sell them and give as much good information to customers.
Will you be building a new team of riders within the UK or will we be seeing you competing at UK events again?
This is something up for discussion, I will probably enter some UKWA wave events this year but I am sure I will do more and more as time goes on. Hopefully they have a master\’s division as I think I could do well in that! I will have my brother Antony to compete in some of the uk slalom series as well as Mat Pearch so i hope this will increase the image of that series too.