The King of British freestyle does it again; Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers takes the UK freestyle titled for another year. Rising star Oscar Carmichael was hot on his trail, but Bubble produced the goods event after event to secure the win. Boards catches up with Bubble to find out more about his training, how he made it from his first competition to becoming champion and plans for 2013.
Name: Andy Bubble Chambers
Sail number: K540
Years competing: 14
Best previous results: 5th PWA Sylt, 9th PWA Aruba, 3rd BWA Waves 2011, 2nd Tiree Wave classic 2011, Multiple British Freestyle Champion
Title you have won this year: British Freestyle Champion 2012
Why and when did you first start competing?
I first started competing in Cyprus when I was pretty young. My parents were living there for a while and our local club had a weekly series and annual championships. I started doing it because everyone else did! It was the natural thing to do, back then everyone used to get involved. It was so much fun to take part and the more events you do the more you want do as well.
As a kid did you dream of becoming a champion?
Definitely!! Surely it's every kids dream! I used to watch and read all the mags and videos and could see myself doing the same thing.
Did you love competition straight away?
It was super fun, which is why I liked it; it also helps if you do well though!
What has helped you progress from learning how to compete to winning a title?
I think theres a very important mindset that you get from doing any kind of competition for a long time. You learn what you need to do to win. You learn to be prepared and be in the right place at the right time and concentrate on what you are doing and not the other person.
What equipment have you used on the UK tour this year?
I have been using the new Neil Pryde Wizard freestyle sails and the new JP Freestyle boards with the K4 Bubble Freestyle fins. The combo of the new gear, the sails in particular have really helped me to be able to do all the new power freestyle moves with confidence.
Why do you use this equipment?
Obviously I am sponsored by them but I have also had a small hand in the development, so I know exactly how it all feels and what sizes to use depending on conditions. It's really important to feel comfortable and happy with your gear and I do with JP/Pryde and K4, therefore it's the best gear for me to use (and everyone else!).
What is it about your set up in particular that you like?
It's all like an extension of your body really! I feel like it does whatever I want it to do. I can duck the sail when I want and how I want knowing that the board will come with me too. You almost don't have to think about popping the board, it's just attached to your feet. The super light K4 freestyle fin makes things a lot easier as well.
Who else would you recommend a set up like this?
Anyone wanting to either learn freestyle or get better at it from total beginner all the way through to the most advanced freestyler. It makes it a whole lot easier trust me! I can do things now that I didn't think I would be able to do before. Usually you get worse at learning new things as you get older and I had that for a couple of years, but now I'm getting better!! It's epic!
How and where have you trained for the series this year?
My winter off season training is always in Cape Town, it has everything you need; like a skate park basically!! Choppy warm water lake, flat water, small waves, big waves, side off, side, side on etc etc what more could you want! It's a great place to improve your overall sailing skills, waves, jumping and freestyle. During the summer when i'm not at events i am usually out in Club Vass which combines great freestyle conditions with a great atmosphere on and off the water. I have also been spending more time around the UK and realising that it too ofers some great allround freestyle spots, West Wittering trench is unreal for flat water!! Also the Esso gargarge at Hayling and Weymouth.
Have you just trained on the water, or what do you do off the water too?
To be fair, I spend a lot of time on the water and usually in windy places so there's not much time for off the water activities. This summer I have been doing circuit training with my sister Amy (Army) Chambers!! In the morning before working at Club Vass. I would like to do more gym stuff though and hopefully next year I will be spending more time in the UK and settling a bit so I can join one! Any recommendations??
What are your plans for winter? Sailing here in the UK? Or heading abroad anywhere?
I have literally just booked my flights to Cape Town again!! Happy days!! £523!! Epic! I will be there until mid feb and then back to the UK for a bit before starting the photoshoots for JP/Pryde in Dahab and Maui. I am trying to get some winter UK sailing in though!! In fact as I am writing this it is windy, so I'm typing fast!
What are you aims for competitions in 2013? UK and international events?
In 2013 I really want to get inside the top 10 for PWA freestyle, maybe even higher but the level is going nuts! Also, I would love to win the UK wave title, keep my UK freestyle title and have a go at the PWA Waves. Possibly some European freestyle events as well.
Follow more on the UK freestyle competition right here on Boards, and for more news and features on Andy Bubble Chambers click right here!
Check out the other Champions of 2012 features: