The UK has a bright windsurfing future, nurtured by Team15 and then tested by the rigours (on and off the water) of the SWA events, the next generation is coming through thick and fast.
Hidden Talents is a series of interviews, by SWA media man and Boards columnist Will Jones, uncovering both UK born riders, and those talented youngsters that now reside here. Originally, this series was on our sister site www.boardseeker.com now on Boards, we will use the series to showcase the best of British.
Our June Hidden Talent is Tom Bennett-Lloyd, the 2011 BWA Youth champion, who is really stepping up his wave riding and busting out big jumps, proving he can really mix it with the best.
Check out the Hidden Talent from May – Nic Hibdige.
Name: Tom Bennett-Lloyd
Years windsurfing? Maybe like 8 or 9 I think. I properly first started when I was about 10. I’d maybe had a few goes before then.
Favourite discipline? Waves.
Local spot? East Runton, in Norfolk.
Occupation? I finished school last year and next year I’m going to start Ocean Science at Bangor University. At the moment I am just travelling, seeing some more of the world.
Sponsors? I’ve joined the PuraVida team, which is cool! I’m going be in Wales where they are based and Jim is really positive about getting people windsurfing.
How did you get into windsurfing? My Dad was really into his surfing when he was younger, but then he was living in Wales. When he moved to Norfolk he learnt to windsurf, living in Norfolk there’s not much surf so he got more into windsurfing and then got me into it.
Tell us a bit about where you live and your local spots? Yeah it’s really good. There’s so many spots like Hunstanton which is really good for freestyle and slalom, then there’s Wells which is good for freestyle with a bit of a wave. Also Brancaster is quite good for waves but we don’t go there that often because if it’s good there, it’s probably better to go to East Runton. That’s probably my favourite spot nearby.
If you go even further east there’s Lowestoft and Southwold, which can both be good. There are quite a few good spots near me, all facing different directions, so whatever the wind there is normally somewhere pretty decent to sail.
When did you start getting into wavesailing?
Once I got planning really, it was the first thing I wanted to do. Dad took me down to East Runton. I remember it being about shoulder high, which I guess that would be about waist high now! I couldn’t waterstart then so was still on my 100litre board, but I loved it and it was all I wanted to do. It made me determined to learn to waterstart and get back out there on a smaller board, which I did pretty soon after. I went to one of those wave camps Trevor Funnell used to run, where I learnt a lot and soon after that went to my first UKWA event in Rhosneigr, which was awesome. I’m really looking forward to being at uni right next to Rhossy pretty soon!
Where have you been over the winter? Tell us about your travels…
More from Tom on page two…