Matt Pritchard is a key player in the windsurfing world, from being a stand out sailor on the PWA tour to developing equipment, managing teams and now being part of the AWT tour.
In this news series, moving on from the successful ‘Industry Kids’, Adam Lewis The centre manager and sail designer, Sam Ross The Pro Coach, Paul Zeper The Intern, Jay Haysey The Photographer, Jamie Drummond
Boardseeker now learns more about the path to success of some of the most influential and well recognised figures in windsurfing.
Name: Matt Pritchard
Company: Pritchard Windsurfing, Aloha Windsurfing Clinics, Gaastra/Tabou, AWT
Role: I just make whatever needs to happen, happen!
First job in windsurfing: I have never considered windsurfing a job. I love it and have fun with it everyday!
Your next career step: Not sure…. just going with the flow living a dream life. I plan to keep teaching and running the Aloha Windsurfing Clinics with Shawna Cropas, expanding Pritchard Windsurfing into more of a "Go To" online source for buying the right gear either new or used. I have also thought about coaching or mentoring some of the guys that are looking for that extra edge in competition. I can see who has talent and what they need to do to put it into competition and help them get championships. I have also been helping out the American Windsurfing Tour (AWT) making the contests run smoothly. I am the head judge or the guy that makes sure everything is working efficiently. We have a great team and have pulled off some incredible events.
How did you make it into the role you have today: It all happened very naturally. I saw some of my friends have a tough time once they got into retirement stage. I told myself that I am gonna stop doing the PWA Tour when I was ready to and do it on my own terms! I transitioned into managing the Gaastra/Tabou International Team a couple years before I stopped competing and pretty much have been involved in some of the ongoings that happen there for the past five years. I teach windsurfing because I LOVE it and get a lot of satisfaction out of teaching people something they have been working on for a while. Each person I am teaching is a challenge and I am always striving for success, now it is through others success that makes my day!
I start my day before the sun comes up, lately my routine has been up at 5am and do an hour or two of computer email catch-up. For Gaastra/Tabou a lot of things to deal with come in first thing in my morning so I can focus on getting all that taken care of as a lot of this stuff is time sensitive. I do the distribution in the US for both the brands and that has been a challenge to say the least during the times! I work with the International team guys who are always asking about new product, figuring out the best way to get them their new stuff and coordinating with the guys that ship it all out. This time of year is crunch time for catalogues and all the brochures so I am writing all the text for that and making sure everything is correct with regard to the board shapes and new designs. Once I have my desk clear of the urgent stuff, I go for a bike ride to get in some cardio and keep fit. I get back for some food around 7:45 or so and hang with the family while mixing in some email correspondence here and there as time permits.
Teaching Cassie how to get low and HANG from the boom!
I don't waste time drinking coffee or any of that crap. All my energy comes from being motivated. If we are doing an Aloha Windsurfing Clinic, things kick off around 9:30 and I'm out the door and back by 10pm! On a normal day around 9am I'm getting all my gear ready for the day, sometimes I have gear renters that I need to get set up so I'm constantly managing inventory and keeping organized. I have just under 60 boards and over 80 sails at my place at any given time!
My helmet cam- keeps my students learning!!!
At 11:30 I have a family lunch and get ready to move out around 12 or 12:30. Lately I have had a ton of lessons going on and am pretty booked out from 1-5. I'm on the water teaching.
My favorite moves are still a fat Aerial 360 and a Goiter . thanks Mark Angulo for this!
On my off days for lessons, if it is good for wavesailing, I will hit Hookipa and try to keep in form so that I can practice what I preach. I like to keep myself in shape to be ready to compete if something comes up. I probably get more water time than a lot of traveling pro's! If the conditions are lame and I don't want to sail, I don't! I would rather play with my kid or go do something different to keep a good balance.
Backyard track- Pic by John Carter
Even though I broke both my ankles riding dirt bikes a couple years ago, I still get to the track and put in some good laps. It keeps me on my toes and I love it! Some people wonder what I am thinking there, but it has been in my blood ever since I was a kid! And speaking of kids, we have an almost three year old who is charging it on his bike, my mom says he is just like me - so that could be trouble!
My little dude helping me mow the lawn! He is proud of his Shaka..
After a long hard day at the office in the pacific, I come home from the beach and it’s play time! I have a backyard mini-moto track that I have been teaching my kid how to ride and I love working the dirt and caring for the plants and making a nice environment to surround my family and I.
My Office has clean windows
Dinner is around 6:30 or 7 then get the little man to sleep by 8:30pm and after that it all depends on how many emails come in! I cruise with the wife for a movie or something that peaks our interest and nestle in to an awesome bed that makes me feel like a KING! I love being at home…. After 20 something years of travel, I really appreciate that!
What keeps me ticking? Adrenaline - I'm kinda nuts like that. I live for it. I had grown up on that edge of always being challenged by the unknown. I guess that is why I have had some good injuries. I go hard until I break! Between windsurfing and motocross, I get my fill! No need for any drugs…