Tushingham sails, based in the UK, are known for their no frills and solid approach to windsurfing. They gradually change their sails and generally offer good value for money. They have previously made no pretensions about becoming names in freestyle or even on the world tour, so signing up a world class freestyler who is the UK\’s number one comes as a bit of surprise, maybe they are having a change of directions. We talk to Andy Chambers about his move..
Why the change when you were doing well under Gaastra and Tabou?
Because I didn\’t feel that I was moving forward enough within the team and also because Tushingham really want to get more involved in freestyle. Also Tushingham are heavily involved in the RYA T15 scheme which means we are going to see more freestyle involved in T15.
Is it too late to get freestyle into T15 (Team 15 is the UK initiative for pushing the sport to juniors, it is quite racing orientated)?
No not at all! Its the perfect time, with Super X being dropped by the PWA it has sparked up the freestyle tour again and this year we have more freestyle events both in the UK and on the PWA. I will be helping with the coaching a specific events, although I won\’t be able to get to them all.
How do you go about developing a freestyle sail, and how come Tushy are deciding to back freestyle?
Developing the sail mainly takes time on the water sailing in varied wind conditions and seeing which moves the sail works best/worst for and then getting it to work for all freestyle moves, basic and advanced. Tushingham are very passionate about windsurfing and spend a lot of time developing their sails so that they work the best for everyone. Freestyle is an area that they have never concentrated on as much as the rest of the range and with freestyle now on the increase it was time they concentrated a bit more of their time on developing their freestyle range.
Are Tushingham trying to change their image?
I don\’t think they are trying to change it just want to push the wedge a bit more as it is a silent area for them at the moment and they want to become associated with Freestyle more and appeal to the kids gettting into the sport.
The Tabou freestyle board is quite different to the Starboard one. What is the difference and how long does it take to learn how to sail a new board?
The new Tabou freestyle range seems to \’feel\’ quite a lot smaller compared to the Flares because they were thinner which makes them more controllable in choppy conditions, but lacks the pop on the flatter water. The Flare\’s are thicker so have better pop and also they are pretty narrow in the tail so they are great for carving, but then wide in the nose so better for sliding. It doesn\’t take long to get used to the board, it\’s the sail that takes more time to get used too and is more important.
Freestyle is now well developed with loads of new moves. If you were to get into it now, what move would you go for first?
I thought maybe flakas but if you can\’t pop over the board then you\’ve got no chance, so I would have to say it is still vulcans. They get you used to popping over the board which is the basis for all freestyle moves. Its also the natural progression for the rest of the moves to follow on from.