June 25, 2012
Q&A with Philip Köster (G-44)
German teenage windsurfing sensation Philip Köster is already firmly established as one of the world’s best windsurfers. The 2011 Wave World Champion is registered for Red Bull Storm Chase and he's eager to be part of the competition.
Born and raised in the surfing paradise that is Vargas in Gran Canaria, Spain, Philip grew up just 100 m from the beach and had a free run at his parents' windsurfing school and used the naturally big surf stirred up by the Atlantic winds to develop a huge repertoire of spectacular jumps and intricate tricks.
Philip first reahed international attention when he won the Red Bull Big Days event in 2008 and was crowned PWA Pozo Wave Champion in 2009. That same year he was also named Rookie of the Year and won the German Champion wave.
In 2010 he ranked third overall in PWA Wave and followed that by becoming the 2011 Wave World Champion while still just 17 years old.
He wrapped up the title with three wins in the season and with a spectacular performance in the final. Climbing giant waves and producing colossal jumps, Philip scored 12 points with one ride that included a one-handed goiter and a taka. In his final ride, he launched into a wave 360 where he landed back in the wave and then he boosted straight into a huge double forward on the way out.
Find out why he's stoked for Red Bull Storm Chase to be back this year in our Q&A below the video.
Why are you motivated by this massive project?
I am highly motivated because it’s a new thing for me. It’s a truly extrem event and I really like tough conditions. It’s great to have the chance to be part of Red Bull Storm Chase. I have high hopes to be one of the 10 sailors who'll be voted by the public to compete in the 3 missions.
What are the biggest challenges genuine storms throw up?
Getting into the water with the gear can be very difficult. On the water it’s to control what you are doing and not to crash too much. It is more about surviving the crazy conditions than having pure fun on the water.
What’s your advice for performing at your best in true storm conditions?
Definitely have a couple of really small sails, 3.7 to 3.0 m2, and also a small board. 66 liters would be perfect for me, I think. Than you can try to go out. You have to be 100 percent sure that you can sail in those conditions. If you have doubts, you should not go out.
Is there a personal storm session you will never forget?
I had some really intense sessions here on Gran Canaria, where I had to sail with a 3.0 m2 sail. But I never really sailed in the eye of a true storm, like the one which happend during the last Red Bull Storm Chase event in 2006. I’m looking forward to getting the chance this year!
What’s special about a genuine storm compared to a „perfect“ day’s wavesailing?
You just can't really train for it. Genuine storm conditions are something that you have to deal with right away.
What might be your favorite destination for the event?
My favorite destinations would be Iceland, Ireland and Tasmania.
How do you prepare for the ultimate storm session?
I think the best way to train is a lot of sailing in strong wind conditions and to sail super overpowered in these strong winds. But to be honest: I don't really know how to prepare for storms like the ones that Red Bull Storm Chase will be happening at. One thing I’m sure about, is that I need a lot of power.
What gear does a true storm-chaser need in their boardbag?
Definitely 3.7 - 3.0 m2 sails and a 66 - 60 liter board.
What mindset does a true storm-chaser need?
The mindset that you will make it in any kind of conditions. Everyone who will compete in Red Bull Storm Chase should not worry too much, as there will surely be a lot of safety features by the organizers.
Why are you a genuine storm chaser?
Because I like the challenge to sail in a true storm. I really want to be part of the event. When I saw the Red Bull Storm Chase movie from 2006, it inspired me a lot.
What kind of moves are possible in true storm conditions?
Definitely very, very high straight jumps, backloops and stalled forwards. Maybe - if the wind is consistent - also doubles. But all moves are a lot harder to pull off in true storm chonditions.
Make sure to check out his brand new website at http://www.philipkoester.com/