Thomas Traversa has just capped off an exceptional year by taking his very first world title! Our sister publication Boards have a full feature with Thomas in the current issue of the magazine (of which Thomas is on the cover too!).
Here's a sneak peak inside the mind of TT...
You don’t know if you are scared, excited, or both; you do know it is serious out there but you also want to perform; you don’t feel comfortable, but you know that no one would and should. Only you can decide how high you want to set the bar.
"Talking about stories, the Red Bull Storm Chase was a funny one. It really brought the core of windsurf exploration into mainstream, and showed the world that the ultimate journey is waiting around the corner! There were few who thought of Cornwall as the home of some of the most extreme windsurfing, but it surely was.
"This is the beauty of our sport; the challenge can always be found in your backyard, and this is probably why I keep traveling so much in Europe.
"As with any other winter trip, this final mission in Cornwall was nothing shiny, just real and strong. Standing on the cliff, freezing, looking at this cute little bay transformed into a natural arena with this huge swell on offer, some of the world’s best windsurfers at my side, ready (or not?) to battle for this coveted Storm Chase title. It was a per fect moment to ‘surprise yourself ’, as I tried to explain it earlier. And I guess this is one of the reasons why I did well and took the win: you don’t know if you are scared, excited, or both; you do know it is serious out there but you also want to perform; you don’t feel comfortable, but you know that no one would and should. Only you can decide how high you want to set the bar."
"I have a funny relationship with Maui, as I didn't like it that much when I first went there. I thought it was too crowded, and I felt like the local windsurfers were a bit grumpy, as if it was never good enough for them. Where I come from, people are always excited to go sailing, simply because you can have weeks without having a chance to get in the water.
"I now realise that Maui locals actually love every little bit of their island, they just don't show it in the same way as we French people do. And they are probably tired of seeing strangers landing on Maui to ride ‘ their ’ waves...
"Between the age of 15 and 27 I’ve ‘only’ been to Maui five times, but now I love to go more and more... I windsurf, surf and enjoy the beautiful nature and the island in general. It is also great to spend time with my friends who live there, like Francisco and Rudy, Manu and Carine, and get to see some more friends like Kai, Camille, Boujmaa, Keith... What I like most about Hookipa is the power and the speed of the wave, and getting the chance to sail with guys like Camille, Levi and Kauli who are my local favourites.
"Even just watching them sailing is pretty amazing! More than anything else what I’ve learnt in Maui is to remain humble with my own sailing because there is always someone much better than you in the water!"