After 9 years on Maui Sails one of, if not, THE most all rounded windsurfers in the world, Taty Frans, joins his brother and cousin on Ga Sails. Well that looks like a serious force to be reckoned with come the 2015 season.
We caught up with the technical, powerful and extremely diverse PWA super star for all the gossip.
Use your left/right arrow key (or the left/right buttons) to scroll through our interview with the man himself.
Photos by getwindsurfing.com
Ok, so a big change for you, it's been almost 10 years with Maui Sails, can you tell us why the move?
It was not an easy decision but I had to move on and look for other opportunities as Mauisails was not in a really healthy situation as I made my decision. Truth is I didn't want to leave but as time was going by, I had a fast approaching deadline for the other brands, I made the choice to leave mauisails and secure my future, well mostly, for the 2015 season.
Yes it's been almost ten years with Mauisails, it will always be good memories and I never will regret those years I have been with them, I learned a lot and I am proud to have been with such team and learned a lot throughout those years. The Team has been supportive and I am for ever grateful. Barry, Art, Caroline are just amazing people, and Phil as the guy that knows so much and more I couldn't ask for more.
It wasn't that easy making that decision to leave Mauisails, I had many sleepless night, thoughts, etc, emailing back and forth but was getting poor information and not the correct answers and as time was flying by and the deadline for other deals was closing I had to make an decision to secure my 2015 season.
The good things is that Mauisails as a company and I as an athlete understand and we move on from each other on a good path. and that alone to me is a good feeling.
As I had several other sail company approaching me, it was only one company that got my attention, and that one was GA, after testing the Vapor in Fuerteventura from Ethan Westra I was surprised how easy and fast these sails were, so I put my main goal on that main company and got a deal that is suitable to go for the 2015 season.
And I am confident about the Pure as I know my brother Tonky Frans is doing a really great job on these sails and having Kiri Thode as the 2013 freestyle World Champion on them I believe my move will be fairly easy as it won't be the sails that need tuning, just me.
Not Just GA-Sails
As a result of this move you branched out and looked for a technical accessories brand - Powerex, can you tell us how this came about and your future with them, have you discussed any exciting new products?
Powerex: I just remember a day going through my Facebook page and someone mailed me and said POWEREX is looking for a team riders to represent the brand in freestyle and the guy asked me first, so I was like OKAY I am up for that. So just like that we started mailing and got in a 3 year agreement.Funny thing is for now I don't know if the masts will work for the Gaastra sails because when I made the order I made the order for the Mauisails not knowing that I will change to Gaastra, but the future is bright. So any adjustment is possible, I will get some mast to test soon.
In The Family
You are now on GA-Sails, as you said it's now in the family, it looks like you guys will be a serious threat come the first event of the 2015 season, have you trained much on them already and what are your thoughts on the sails?
This is my first week on the sails, since 1st of January 2015. I am getting more and more confident each day with the sails, it will take a bit more time to get fully dialled into the freestyle sails but I will have enough time before the first freestyle event.
As far as differences go, the loco pro has more back hand power whereas the pure is a much more balanced sail, but to be fair they are both great freestyle sails, each sail has their own good and bad sides but for now I just have to adjust myself to the PURE and truth is I like them.
As far the Vapor, the slalom sail, it is amazingly light, fast, easy to control and I already got the 2015 7.9 prototype and I really can't wait to get the final version in my hands.
Can you tell us your plans for 2015? You will obviously enter slalom and freestyle again, the full tour? What about waves, do you ever consider doing that and do you think they should bring back the PWA Overall Title for all the disciplines?
I am pretty much looking forward to the PWA slalom season. My main focus and most of my contracts are based on me doing slalom but of course I am glad that my sponsor are still supporting me for freestyle, I would hate to just do only one discipline. I love windsurfing and as long as my mind and body can do it all I will do both discipline. I love wave sailing I have been spending more time in the waves ever since I got the GA freestyle PURE sails, I think that was my objective to get used to the PURE sails faster. Maybe that's my opinion or way of thinking but it did help.
It would be cool to have the PWA do that overall title again I think by then WE could see more guys doing more then just one discipline and that could be more cool for the sport and also to see who is a better athlete. I think there are a lot of guys that are holding back and it shouldn't be that way.
Not Just On The Water
You talk about your mind and body being fit for windsurfing, you look in better shape then ever, do you feel fitter than ever for windsurfing?
Haha, I knew you would ask that, yes I do feel stronger, I am fitter, I have become more confident and I don't doubt myself easily any more. My coach at the gym taught me well and we work together more on making the mind stronger and focused, mentally I am fitter.
Last one, you talked about the come back of the overall world title, what about Super-X, there's some talk about it at the moment, loads of people want to see it and now the live stream is capable of handling it do you think it's time to bring back this incredible discipline?
Super-X, yes it's the right time for sure, the livestream would be great for it now and like slalom it is a race so it is easy to follow but also super exciting and the equipment is very well made now that we wouldn't need special boards/sails.
The one thing is the locations should be Fuerteventura and POZO!