Chris Hafer

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Chris Hafer

You possibly don’t know this guy but it’s very likely that you have seen his back quite a few times when he passed you way too fast und you were wondering if something is wrong with your sail and board or even your windsurfing abilities.This frustrating experience can happen at the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, Sardinia, Ireland, Scotland and even at far away places like Australia and South Africa you’re not safe.

Chris started with sailing, than took windsurfing with at the beginning a clear focus on racing and now chases solid waves. He loves travelling and there started too shoot very nice photos (check a selection at the end of the interview). So he’s a waterman with a pretty wide spectrum, only his surfing abilities are – at least now – very basic. But he’s only 35 and fore sure will get it wired soon.

Reason enough for us to find out more about him and we got him to answer a few questions. We started with a few basic questions:

datrip: Chris, where are you from?

Chris: I’m born in Duisburg and now live in Krefeld (Germany, about 3 hours away from the North Sea).

datrip: Tell us a bit about your sailing career and how you got to windsurfing.

Chris: When I was young (ed: ha ha ha....)I was sailing extensively in Olympic boat classes as 470 and came around quite a bit. One day I won the German championships and most time managed to get back to firm land without help. After the world championship 2000 I had to make a decision between doing it professionally or not being able to fulfil my own expectations. The professional thing didn’t work which meant that it was better to stop sailing competitions. Friends from my sailing club hat taken me windsurfing one day (and even brought me back to terra firma) so taking up windsurfing competition seemed to be a good idea. Formula windsurf boards are almost sailing boats, tactics are similar so the start was quite easy. And I started my competitive career in windsurfing in a team ´cause this way one has more success and with the right team mates it’s so much more fun.

datrip: Are you practicing other board sports too?

Chris: Snowboarding in winter, but I often get mistaken as an avalanche.

datrip: Any other sports?

Chris: Still sailing, once in a while at a race, mountain biking and cycling, swimming (very important with my surfing skills ;-)

datrip: Which one of the windsurfing categories race, freestyle and wave pleases you most?

Chris: Freestyle is so complex nowadays, that people barely understand what the pros are doing. Wave sailing I love most, down the line sailing in clean waves but racing also pleases me as you learn a lot about equipment, trim and yourself…

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