Antoine Albert and the freestyle windsurfing
Antoine joined the Saint Jacques family few weeks ago. It's composed of passionate waterman for who performance and style do not suffer antagonism.
Hi Antoine, how are you ?
So, can you introduce you for our followers ? how old are you ? Where are you grow up and what’s your spot ?
Hi the family, I’m 24 and I come from New-Caledonia, a little french island in the pacific located to the EAST of Australia and NORTH of New-Zeland.
My home spot is Sainte-Marie Bay in Nouméa.
How are you discover the windsurf and how are you fell in love of this sport ?
It was my father who introduced me to windsurfing when I was 6 years old, at first I don’t found it really fun. But with perseverance, I started to do my first ride at the planing then my 1st jumps and that's when it started to be cool !!
In windsurfing we really have this feeling of freedom and gliding that on another sport
and that's what's great.
It's not difficult to get out of the island and adapt to new (more rotten) conditions ?
I love moving, already in New Caledonia I lived 10 years on a boat and each
week end or school holidays we went for a walk in the lagoon with my family, so I had
the opportunity to get used to navigate on a lot of different types of water.
Our conditions are top in New Caledonia, but are not necessarily better than elsewhere. There are hundred of spots as well see even better all over the world, so for me apart from the fact that I would like to be more often at home, I love to travel all over the world, that's what makes progress.
Why freestyle windsurfing ?
In NC we have by far the most beautiful waves in the world !! But it's very complicated to reach them because it takes a motor boat, time and a lot of energy because of the remoteness of the reef by relationship to the land and the state of the lagoon when there is wind ... So, when you have nothing at all and you're young in NC, either you do slalom, or you do freestyle. How bored are I doing ride straight for more than 15 min, I started to attempt tricks and so I started the freestyle.
Can you tell us a little more about this discipline? It looks like super technical and physical?
Whatever the sport of sliding or expression like dance, freestyle is always what we do more extreme in the sport. It takes a lot of work and feeling in order to acquire and refine the technical execution. Physical level, it requires a lot of tone, explosiveness and not especially pure force.
Is it a confidential sport ?
Yes it’s a small environment because of the technical precondition, which does not require
grow, become better known and acquire a little more merit for what it is and what it
asks for preparation and training upstream.
Do you need specific conditions like flat water and strong wind ?
Not necessarily, it's really the strength of this discipline, we can do it anywhere in
any type of conditions. The figures will be adapted to the body of water on which we are
Do you brake lot of materials ?
Not so much because I am a small size, I break a little more when I surf in wave.
What do you think about tow in windsurfing to overcome the lack of wind ?
I think it's very good for shows and figure out windsurfing to the public because we
do some crazy stuff right in front of the beach while the conditions are perfect for sunbathing without being blasted or cold because of the wind. However, I do not really like this during the competitions because the receptions are still random and we have the obligation to ride dry ankles to score well, which does not push us too much to try new tricks.
Your trick of the moment ?
My favorite trick is called kabikutchi air. It's a kind of half twist in a sense that is made
stop in the air before making a half turn flat this time if and so to leave in the same
sense that the impulse. All without touching the water from the beginning to the end of the tricks. Sensation is great, you take G in the descent with the rotation.
Is it the same material as in wave or slalom ?
Not the material is specific to each discipline and very different, whether wave, freestyle
or slalom. Just like cycling, we can not imagine doing a BMX tour of France or mountain biking for the road.
Frankly, is it not hard to travel with windsurfing stuff ?
Of course it is !! It is also expensive because of the excess luggage loaded by the flight companies, but we have not much choice ...
At what point did you know that this passion will become more than a hobbie but your job ?
I always had the dream and ambition to windsurf at the professional level, but this
that really propelled me is my entry into the Goya Windsurfing Team. They started with
give me some material and then more recently financial aid that allows me to travel. I can train me on different spot and participate at international competitions. Without them I would not be there today.
What are the different tours and competitions ?
In freestyle we have two main laps which are the PWA lap (Professional Windsurfing Association) who awards the official title of world champion and the EFPT round (European
Freestyle Pro Tour) which give the official title of European Champion award. Then there is in some country of the national championships.
What is your record ?
My prize list 2017 is 7th worldwide (overall PWA) and 5th European (overall EFPT).
Which riders have influenced or influenced you ?
The rider who has influenced me the most in freestyle is Kiri THODE (Bonairien). He has a very fluid style and easy that I love. If not, in wave I'm inspired by a bit of every top riders who all have a little something to them. I also watch a lot of surf and skate videos that inspire me a lot.
What is a typical day for you ?
I do not have too much day type. It depends on where I am and the conditions. But the top
it's at home, on the Ténia island on the family’s catamaran. I get up early in the morning (the bottom all the mornings until 10-11am is the absolute glassy), I take a light breakfast, I'm going to surf until 10am, around 11:30. We raise the ink to go to the pass navigate in wave (15min boat of the island), then return to the island around 14h for a good freestyle session, beer at sunset and grilled fish the evening.
How many times did you go around the world ?
Officially only once, because when I go from France to NC I go through Japan (so to the east). In November I went to Maui from France via the NC and this month I returned from France but through the USA (so by the west). I make a complete world tour by adding up these two trips. But if not in distance, I think I had to do a lot of time around the world ... [Laugh]
What is your favorite spot ?
Whoever is one of my favorite spots:
Le grand bac
Passe de Saint-Vincent
The one and only.
The spot that haunts your nights ?
Puertito in Fuerteventura, it's a wave that only works when the swell is huge and it
fart right in front of a cliff. If you do washer you have a chance on two to die, drowning in a
rock hole, bursting into the cliff or carry off by a very strong current.
So in truth, it's a dream life ?
It's like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages, but you're passionate about windsurfing, travel and you can live with very little budget, so yes it's a dream life.
What are you most proud of in your young career for now ?
To be where I am today after going a long way.
Where do you find inspiration when you run out of energy or when you do not feel good ?
I watch videos of action windsurfing if possible on the spot on which I find myself to
to say that I must at least be able to see better.
Do you often hurt yourself ?
Fortunately no, I just sprained my ankle this winter in South Africa.
What inspires you ?
Other freestylers, surfers and skaters.
Your future projects ?
I want to defend my place in the world's top 10, continue the development of my equipment
and always have fun on the water.
What do you plan to do after this life of rider ?
I do not really know right now, I'm not there yet but I already have two diplomas in my pocket (a thermal and energy DUT and a mechanical physics license). We will see following opportunities that arise.
Are you also fans of rowing surf and rowing windsurfing. It's also a passion or a complement your activity ?
Yes I surf a lot, especially in NC where the waves are perfect, or otherwise when there are conditions. I always have my surf with me wherever I go, it's a second passion that also complements windsurfing.
Shortboard or longboard?
What other sports do you practice ?
I do a little bit of skateboarding but other than that I do not have much opportunity to do anything else.
Which sports would you like to do that you do not practice ?
I would like to go mountain biking but it is expensive and I have no place to bring it in my bags.
What do the windsurfers of the kiters think ?
It depends, the problem of the kite is that it is very accessible at once a bit anyone who has not never set foot in the sea can know how to make kite ride after one to two weeks, we is then with those people who are the majority, who know nothing about the weather and the ocean, who think they control but not at all and so it quickly becomes dangerous for the people around (whether it's windsurfers, kiters, swimmers or beachgoers), that's what makes this sport is not very well seen by other beach users. Otherwise I have no problem with the good guys, we have a bit of the same life in the end.
Choose a surfer, an artist and a musician who inspires you and tell us why ?
In surfing I love Jordy Smith because he has a very fluid and powerful style, he knows how to do well big tunes like wicked turns or huge barrels. I would like to surf windsurfing like him surfing.
I do not have too many artists or musicians who inspire me especially because they have a little bit successful in their field thanks to their passion and determination.
What's your best songs before a session ?
Before a session, I'm going to say Nirvana, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Devo, Hole, Sonic Youth, The Saints, Sex Pistols ...
What is the piece of Saint Jacques Wetsuits that you could not do without ?
Without hesitation : top néoprène Saint Jacques Wetsuits Noé.
Short John ou Shorty long sleeve ?
Shorty long sleeve.
Victor ou Stan ?
Victor wetsuit, i love the style.
A tip for young people who want to do as you ?
Being very passionate, sailing a lot even when there is no wind and not too much
take the lead.
Where to follow you on social networks ?
Facebook: Antoine Albert NC21