miércoles, 25 de mayo de 2011

StandUpLatino Exclusive Interview of Robin Johnston (english version)

Some days ago we published our exclusive interview of Robin Johnston in Spanish.
As we also have many followers that do not speak Spanish, here comes the original version of the ITW in English of the current World’s nb 2 of Stand Up Paddle surfing, Robin Jonhston, the only person to come close to beating Kai Lenny in a heat so far in 2011.

Hi Robin!
Your age, height & weight?
41, 5’9’’ and 152 lbs

Birth place and home town?

My mother is part Hawaiian, my father was from the US. My mother married my father, moved to the states, I was born, and then she left my father to come back to Hawaii with me before I was one years old.

Girl, …girls, …or wife and kids?

I love girls, but I'm married and really love my wife!

No kids yet? Any plan to have one soon?
No kids, got married a year ago, will probably have one in a year or two.

Road to SUP?

I saw a friend ripping, made one for myself, then struggled on it for two weeks, started to improve, met another friend ripping on SUP. This other friend is named Kainoa Beaupre. Kainoa was the THE most progressive SUPper in the world at the time. He and I started KU HOE together. Kainoa had me making him boards as small as 6'5"!!!!

Do you train a lot together with Kainoa?
Kainoa hasn't been SUP surfing, just regular surfing and SUP racing. So I don't see him much.

Years in the waves?
I've been surfing since age 5. Taught by mother on Northeast Oahu. She still surfs almost everyday.

What is the think you most enjoy of Oahu?...And the one you most dislike of it?

Oahu is amazing. everything can be found here. The city, the country side. Night life and incredibly beautiful nature. Perfect waves around the island that are easy to access. Incredible food. Beautiful people…especially the women.
Dislikes are few; traffic, corruption, misuse of money

If not SUPing or shaping, what is RJ doing?
Shortboarding, SUP, shaping, and cross-training to prepare for the events takes up most of my time. I also manage rental homes and do most of the maintenance and yard work on them. I also sell Acai, a local brand named Tambour.

Acai? Do you mean the fruit? Do you produce it?

A friend from Kauai imports Acai from the Amazon in Brazil. Best quality and highest grade.

Your best and worst moment in SUP?
Best moment: Almost beating Kai Lenny at Sunset!
Worst moment: Losing to Kai Lenny at Sunset by 0.1 and having people tell me I should have won.

Your favorite SUP spot?

I'm still looking for my favorite SUP spot. I have one semi secret spot but would rather not say. Sorry!

Not even a clue about it? Northern or Southern hemisphere? Is it on Earth?
Haha, yes, the spot is on the North Shore.

So you are now the new face for Mistral SUP surfing. You are not exactly from a windsurfing background so how did that all happened?
I was introduced to Anders Bringdal of Mistral by a French SUP Magazine owner, Franck from GET UP Magazine.
Mistral is building SUP boards with the knowledge and technology that they have from all the years of Windsurfing development and research. Anders was one of the world’s best windsurfers for many years. He is also very knowledgeable in board design and construction.

What will be your role exactly? Will you take care of the shapes?

I will begin to assist in the designing of the boards and testing the prototypes. Combining our knowledge and experience our goal is to create the best SUP boards available.

We have seen some kind of a Mistral's rebirth in term of SUP. Is the intention to come and fight with the big brands like Naish and Starboard?

Mistral will be competitive for sure. Fighting with the other companies is not our objective as much as providing SUP enthusiasts with quality, tested and proven equipment.

You did a great start of season on the SUWT, will you be present on all the events?
With Mistral behind me I am definitely doing all the events.

You are now in second position tied to Leco Salazar, what is your objective for the season?
My objective for 2011 is to win. I plan to rival Kai. He is tough to beat but not impossible. Leco and Antoine are also contenders. My plan is to focus on my goal of training hard and winning.

Which is your favorite stop of the tour?

Favorite stops are Tahiti and Hawaii. I look forward to Chile next year!

Last year Kai did not do too well in Sapinus, do you think it is the best opportunity to catch back on him?
Kai is an amazing surfer and will probably be more prepared for Tahiti this year. I predict we will be seeing each other in later rounds and it will be interesting.

Do you speak Spanish?

I speak some French, Japanese but unfortunately no Spanish. Fortunately my wife speaks Spanish and she is fluent in Portuguese.

Do you take your wife with you on the tour? Her language skills could be useful in Brasil and Chile.
My wife is a full time Veterinarian so is finding it hard to make the non local events. I hope she can make a few overseas this year

What is your next freeriding destination?
I will be going to Tahiti one week before the event. My objective is to train for the Sapinus event and get some photos.

Anything else?
I love every kind of surfing. Riding waves is a unique phenomenon and SUP has added a whole new aspect to this phenomena. I look forward to the development of the sport and am excited to see what others contribute to its progression. I would like to remind the newcomers to SUP surfing that sharing waves is an etiquette of respect that is our duty to follow in the line up.
Mahalo nui loa/thank you very much.

Muchas gracias a ti Robin, y suerte en Tahiti!

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