The New Generation series focuses on the up and coming talent in the world of windsurfing, first Boardseeker caught up with Oahu ripper
Kimo Brown and then the Hawaiian making a big impact on the AWT, Bernd Roediger Now we stay a little closer to home and catch up with 10 year old Dan Couchman, who after only a couple of years windsurfing is already showing he will be one to watch in the future.
Name: Daniel Couchman Date of birth:27/4/2002 Born in: South Coast of Cornwall. Currently living in: South Coast, Cornwall. Years windsurfing: 2 Years competing: 1 Favourite discipline: Freeride/freestyle but now I’m edging towards waves as I get bigger and my dad knows I’ll be okay to go out in waves safely. Latest move you learnt: Heli-Tack What you are learning now: Carve Gybing, Chop Hops and Water Starting Sponsors: The Polkerris Beach Company and Tushingham.
How Did You Get Into Windsurfing
I got into windsurfing thanks to my brother and sister who always go to our local beach where we got to know the guys from the Polkerris Beach Company. They are super cool, pro windsurfers who with my Dad made windsurfing really fun.
Now, I ask my Dad nearly every day if I can go windsurfing, even if it’s after school and during the summer season I also go to Team 15 once a week. My dad bought some big kit for my sister and I to learn new tricks on but now I just take his smallest kit if I'm allowed or if it’s free!
I have sailed in Dahab and Lanzarote whilst on family holidays and it was awesome! I like sailing when the adults are out as it helps me improve as I can copy what they do and most of the time people are surprised my dad even thinks about taking me out in such difficult conditions and locations. He always tells me where I can and can’t go, but then leaves me to it whilst keeping an eye on me from a distance. This is really good as it means I can usually work my way out to where everyone else is once I’ve proved to him I can handle the conditions.
Have You Made It To Any Competitions
Yes, the Team 15 inter-club events.
My first competition was at St.Mawes, near Falmouth in a T15 event where I had a great day in the sun and I earned the nick name Dan The Dominator’ so must have done alright! During the day we had to sail around a variety of different courses as the tide changed during the day and then finish with a sprint up the beach, good job I’m like running too! I'm hoping to compete in the National Windsurf Festival and the next T15 event at Polkerris soon.
What Are Your Long Term Aims In Windsurfing
I would like to become a professional one day but if that doesn’t go to plan; just travel and windsurf all over the world in loads of different places and countries making cool movies like Kai Lenny.
Where Is Your Favourite Place To Windsurf
My favourite place to sail is Daymer Bay on the North coast of Cornwall, it's only half an hour away and I love the mixed conditions you can get there. Depending on the wind direction and sea state you can get either waves or flat water blasting or even both! Plus I have seen dolphins playing right in front of me there which is cool!!
What Is Your Local Spot And Why Do You Like It
My local place to sail is Polkerris Beach on the South coast of Cornwall, which is awesome as it’s just down the road and I spend a lot of time there with my friends and family. It is a brilliant spot for everything and I’m always on the water windsurfing, skimboarding, paddleboarding, dinghy sailing or just jumping off the pier, plus the ice creams are pretty nice too! It’s really good for flat water blasting and freestyle in a N/W, whereas in a S/W it gets some big waves, however you have to clear the rocks and cliffs on the right first. The beach gets really busy in the summer so it’s nice to get out on the water with the only crowds out there being the occasional basking shark!!
If You Could Go Windsurfing Anywhere, Where Would It Be
I would love to go Ho’okipa, but apparently I have to take my Dad!!
Who Do You Look Up To In Windsurfing
I look up to the guys who sail professionally who have seen me windsurf or even sailed with me in Cornwall like George Shillito, Ric Cleworth and Adam Lewis. Plus, I owe a lot to my Dad and his windsurf mates who are always out somewhere ripping it up.
Who Has Inspired You
Locally: My Dad and George Shillito. They have helped encourage me to have the guts to go bigger and better. Also, someone who’s not with us anymore, my Grandad who I never actually saw windsurf but apparently he started windsurfing in the early Eighties and didn't stop until he was in his seventies and that inspires me!
Internationally: Kai Lenny because he is so young and achieved so much, I’d love to be able to do that!