Whilst in Cape Town Boardseeker managed a brief catch up with Graham Ezzy who told us of his move to Tabou boards. A comment he mentioned so casually we almost brushed right by it until we realised that this was his modesty revealing it's colours, colours which don't really reflect his actions once he steps on his windsurf gear. Showing the opposite, he throws down some of the most radical takas we've ever witnessed and constantly combines this with a healthy dose of progression, not always new moves but often some mind bending twist on something that already exists. So will his transfer to Tabou boards be that one extra step in the right direction for a PWA World Tour podium spot? Let's wait and see, until then have a read of our interview with this highly articulated young man.
Simply tap the right arrow on your keyboard to scroll through the questions.
Photo - One handed taka, pic by JC.
BS: You are known well for your fluid rail to rail lines and your ability to pull off takas in almost any situation, have you had a chance to test the Tabou boards and do you think they will push you into even more radical places?
Radical places? Well, the boards aren't going to get me into Tokyo biker bars. But they will give me a big leg up in the European waves. Fabien is a European shaper but he learned how to shape on Maui, so even though he shapes for Europe, his boards are fundamentally Hawaiian. Who better to make my Hawaiian style work in European waters?
Photo: Heading to a bikers bar?
Freestyle In Waves
BS: Talking of radical, what’s your thoughts on how freestyle windsurfing is impacting wave sailing and where is the limit of all these moves within waves? What we mean is that in surfing the aerial game is stepping up, but those true to wave riding are strongly opposing this, however it appears to be that the general public appreciate a 6ft air off the lip than a perfect drawn out carve by Mick Fanning, what’s your thoughts on all this and how it could, and should, apply to windsurfing?
I love turns. And I love tricks too. For me the distinction is not turns vs airs, but a matter of flow. A wave is not a skateboard ramp. A wave is so much more. How ugly is it to waste a whole wave searching for the section to bust a trick (or turn)? The beauty I see in a wave ride is the riders ability to react spontaneously to what the wave offers.
But your first question was about freestyle in the waves: I love it. Let's see some the off the lip version of those crazy backwind airs the freestyle kids do.
Photo - One foot pushloop by Fish Bowl Diaries
BS: The move to Tabou sees you joining a very high level team across all the disciplines, does it motivate you even more to join a brand with such calibre riders?
I've always had legends for teammates: Josh Angulo, Levi Siver, Kevin Pritchard. That's why I'm so humble.
Photo - 13yr old Graham on Angulo Boards
BS: We take it you will be taking your experience and knowledge to the R&D table, have you had discussions how you can be involved in this part at all and is it too early for us to ask if you can reveal any future impact you may have on the Tabou boards?
I wanted to design the graphics but I don't think they'll let me this year. Rather, I will work with Fabien on the larger wave boards (80+L). The Tabou wave team up till now has been pretty skinny. I think Thomas weighs 63kg. And I weigh 85. That extra 22kg makes a difference for how a board feels. I love R&D and innovation, so I hope to be as involved as possible.
Career or Windsurfing
BS: On a different note, you finished your studies not so long ago, do you see yourself using your higher education in a career sense or is your focus back into windsurfing?
I didn't go to university to get a career. University for me was a place to further develop as a person, and the plan was always to return to windsurfing. Plus, I concentrated in English Literature, so technically I'm using my degree right now as I answer these questions.
BS: In our view it looks to be the latter as you seem to be taking a different route to many of the other Hawaiian windsurfers by training hard on port tack. With this in mind do you train port tack because you think the tour is more port tack biased?
Maui's winds blow from the Northeast, creating starboard tack conditions. Most of the European beaches on the PWA world tour are predominately port tack. So, for Maui guys like me to train for the world tour, we have to travel.
BS: It’s sad to see La Torche missing from the PWA Tour this year, have you heard any ‘rumours’ about other potential stops?
A contest at La Torche every year creates too high an environmental impact on the beaches, so, the plan is to do an event every second year. Fingers crossed the event will reappear for us in 2016. Otherwise, no rumors. Just the grunts from the struggle to make the current world cup stops happen. Seriously, every single world tour stop is a challenge to make happen.
Photo - Fish Bowl Diaries
BS: You mentioned to us that you are in Europe right now, what are your plans there?
Busy busy. I flew to Marseille to work with Fabien on a new quiver of boards. Then Amsterdam sorting footage with my filmer for an upcoming film project. This was probably the lamest weekend any tourist has spent in Amsterdam. Except for meals, the whole trip was spent behind monitors. And now I'm in Hamburg working on finishing that film project. Then, Canary Islands for some port tack training before going back to Hawaii.
BS: One last stab in the dark question, any plans to take part in any other disciplines in windsurfing?
I actually fantasize about competing in both freestyle and racing. And hey, now at least my board sponsor makes more than wave boards.
Photo - Graham riding a Greene hawaii Asy board, pic by JC.