You’ve done a lot of GKA events in the past where you’ve had to ride backside, but in Cape Verde you were on your front hand. Does that make a difference?
We’ve had a few frontside events, but somewhere like Ponta is where it really gives you an advantage. Firstly, when the wind is really offshore it’s difficult to drop in on a wave while staying upwind and, secondly, edging out far enough in front of the wave to do a bottom turn is really hard. Being frontside makes it much easier to push on your edge with your heels, giving you room to do a more top to bottom turn.
You were in the fight for the title last season, but an injury threw you off. What happened there and how did you recover?
Unfortunately I hurt myself at home after the third event last year. I was pumping on the hydrofoil and threw my back out. It was really a bummer being in the lead for the tour and then having to give it up for an injury. It was a hard decision to stay home instead of doing the next event, but I had to let my body heal and not make the injury worse by pushing myself. I ended up being out of the water for three months with a disk issue, doing everything from physical therapy, foam rolling, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment to gentle exercises to slowly build my strength back up. I’m still recovering from it, but with a little bit of care I’m able to kite and surf again like normal.