This time we would like to feature watergirl María Andrés in our Winter Tales series. María just fits our Fanatic brand image from every angle as she windsurfs as good as she SUPs. No matter if flatwater or waves – she can do it all! She is always cheerful and accessible and it is very pleasant to watch her windsurfing or Stand Up Paddling on the water as she always will come back to the beach with a big smile on her face. Read further on what María is up to this winter!
Fanatic: What are you up to this winter?
MA: I’ve spent the beginning of the winter on Maui. Maui offers me all kind of conditions to enjoy and improve my waveriding level. There are not many spots, but spots enough to choose from. Another fact I love from Maui is to have the chance to sail surrounded by amazing riders to look at, keeps me motivated and I learn and push harder. During November, when all the best female windsurfs are there, it is super motivating and inspiring to see each other pushing, trying to encourage and learn from each other to make it better, and to ride bigger waves.
After Maui I went back home to Spain to be with my family. I have to say Cadiz’ winter can be very good for waveriding and SUPsurfing! Caños de Meca has been delivering few times in both tacks and the forecast looks again promising – fingers crossed!
Now I just came back from a little trip to Cape Verde. It wasn’t planned at all, but since the lack of wind during the last 2 weeks we were checking Windguru… We also checked other spots in Spain and the Canaries and CV looked so amazing and we just both a flight from one day to the other! We (12 friends!) just bought the ticket and we didn’t organize anything else! It was a mess in the beginning to solve car and accommodation but it all went pretty good, and we were waveriding every single day in nice waves – Sal Island treated us very nice!
Next on the list is Maui again, since I have to be there in April for the annual Fanatic photoshoot, I will go earlier to get some extra wave training! It is not the best season for the waves they say, but last spring we had some big ones, so hopefully it will be similar this year! I’d like to sail Ho’okipa as much as I can. I think Ho’okipa offers the best possible wave training since the conditions are changing every day, the wind is gusty and shifting, and the swell can be perfect, but also mixed and messy, so during the same session sometimes you sail in completely different conditions whatsoever and I am sure this makes you improve and getting more confident. Meanwhile at home, if the forecast looks amazing for the Canaries I might fly there for few days!
Fanatic: Which destinations will you be visiting?
MA: Like already mentioned, next on my list will be Maui and maybe Canaries before. For 2017 I have a few amazing places that I have never visited on my list. I am working to make it happen and I really hope I will! I love traveling, especially when the cultural shock is big, so I can see different landscapes and learn from different cultures, get to know people with other point of view and way of living and philosophy… I am happy to sit on my PC and point some places in the map, go to google and read about these places and see the option that these places offer to watersports activities. This year I will visit a big island with a rich culture and history and friendly people, a small archipelago with unreal water life and an ancient mysterious country with perfect peeling waves…
Fanatic: What are you goals?
MA: I have quite few projects in mind I would like to realize this year. Like already mentioned I am planning some SUP and Windsurf trips to very cool unknown destinations, which I am very excited to do. I plan to write articles about the trips and produce a clip to share the experience, show the place and the potential for watersports and make it easier for people to travel. Discover these new places for ocean explorers like us and give some tips to make the best out of your trip.
There are also some SUP and Windsurf Camps I am planning to do. A SUP Camp in Croatia in August, a SUP experience in Tarifa together with Sarah Hebert in June and some others I still can’t tell, but I will share it on Facebook soon! Re competitiond, I decided to stop Slalom competitions. After many years of racing in many different disciplines, I am not too motivated anymore for that, however I am more and more motivated for waveriding! I never saw myself competing in waves, since I have always thought that this is a discipline to enjoy in absolute freedom, with no rush, no chrono and no judgment… but well, now I wouldn’t mind to participate in some events… I am actually very motivated! Waves always was my favorite discipline, so I am happy to put all my sailing time and effort in this one discipline and try to improve as much as I can.
Fanatic: What keeps you motivated throughout the winter? What is your main move(s) you want to improve over the winter?
MA: It always starts to get hectic around April – a lot of trips, projects and some competitions, so for me the winter is when I can spend time with my family, enjoy sailing and have a good physical training to be ready for the season. This winter I have taken more conscience about being ready for windsurfing in bigger waves. Sometimes we go on bigger waves but then realize that maybe we were not really ready… You can wipe out, lose the gear and swim a lot… You need to stay calm and stay strong, both are things you can train and I decided to get more prepared in both. I took an Apnea course and I started a personal training to improve my endurance and also to get more explosive strength… So I think this will help me a lot to feel more confident in bigger waves and will let me sail longer sessions without getting tired. That´s my main mission for my trainings out of the water.
Fanatic: What other sports do you do? Do these sports help your riding and translate into your sport Windsurf/SUP? Can you tell us a bit about your fitness and nutrition program?
MA: My main sports are Windsurf and SUP, all other sports I do is just to train/prepare for them. I enjoy running, hiking, TRX, fitness or biking, but I just do it as training… My passion definitely is watersports.
When I´m training outside the water I am of course focused on improving my abilities on the water and also in keeping my body balanced and not to use the same muscles all the time to get a wrong body position to avoid injuries as well, So all exercises have a purpose and we try to think which movements could be important for Windsurfing or SUP.
I don’t follow any nutrition program. I would actually love to have it. I just try to eat healthy and balanced. Not to get thinner, not to lose fat, not to show muscles… I do it to stay healthy and not get sick. During my trips sometimes it is not easy to eat healthy, sometimes I don’t have an own kitchen or the time to cook… So I just try to adapt my diet the best I can to the situation I am living. I am not too complicate to eat…
Fanatic: Does it change over the winter?
MA: Yeah, during winter maybe I can focus more on training on land because I spend less hours in the water. Then when I am sailing or surfing more, my routine is different, sailing is the priority 😉 This time I had the chance to make some tests to make sure everything is ok and to optimise my training program.
Fanatic: What gear are you riding? How does your chosen gear suit your style?
MA: For waveriding, what I use the most is the Quad 69 and 75. Sometimes I use the Stubby 77, that looks very wide on the tail but you’d be surprised of how good it turns! My favourite board for Maui is the Quad 69, I feel very good in it and I can use it in lightwind as well. I use the 75 when it is very light or when the wind is gusty, also when want to go for a more dynamic session and catch more waves I rather don’t risk to go on a smaller board. Somehow, I think I really did improve my waveriding during the last year and one reason for sure is that a have right equipment that allows me to perform and improve. Also in the meantime I know how to tune it to make it easier for me (like footstraps positions, mast base, fins, etc.)…
I don’t freestyle as often as I would like to. Since I spend most of the year travelling I can’t take all my gear with me, so I only freestyle at my home spot Sancti-Petri in Cadiz, which is a real freestyle paradise! I do love the Skate TE 86 in combination with the Idol 4.0.
Fanatic: What would Fanatic customers like about your favourite board?
MA: Hhmmm – hard to choose! I guess my favorite is the Quad TE 69. This board, if you are light and need performance for waveriding, it is the perfect board! It feels so in control even in choppy waves, and it turns really well, also in side/on conditions. Once you find your setting, this board is amazing! But I also liked some others boards I tried during the photoshoot, like the Blast LTD with the serial fin is amazing! I sailed it in a choppy place absolutely overpowered, and even then, the board felt so fast, smooth, in control, not hard in the knees. And in combination with the S-Type sail it was a killer combo!
Fanatic: Are you linking up with any of your Fanatic Team riders this winter?
MA: On Maui in December I had the chance to sail with top riders like Victor Fernandez in the same spot – how motivating is that!? Also, all the girls were around and as already mentioned, we had so much fun together. My team mate Alice Arutkin was also there. She is super talented and a happy girl and it is always fun to have her around and sail together. I love smiling people in the water! Then, now at home I love sailing with my boyfriend Emilio Galindo, and we also sail a lot with Nacho Rocha from Team Fanatic Spain. Both have an amazing level and it is so good for me to be in the water with them and learning from them. I can definitely say during the last years I have learn a lot just from sailing together with Emi.
Fanatic: What has been your highlight of 2016?
MA: During 2016 I had some experiences that made it special. I think it has been the year I have enjoyed sailing the most. Landing new things: I just got to freestyle a few days and I landed a new move straight away! It was only a Grubby, ok, but I don’t Freestyle often at all, that was epic for me since I think Freestyle is such an amazing and difficult discipline! Wavesailing for me has always been about waveriding. I have never been too much into jumping! Just many years ago when I used to go to Jeri I was trying Pushloops and Forwards like crazy till I damaged my ear, but then I stopped it. In 2016 I entered the PWA Tenerife, something I really did not plan before! But well, since every girl was jumping and jumps got high scores, I had to at least try to jump during the competition. Jumping port tack for my very first time trying Backloops and not getting injured motivated me so much, that after the event, 2 weeks after at home I was trying and trying and landed 3 portack Backloops in a row! (Then I got my eardrum damage again and had to compete in Denmark in Slalom completely deaf and so scared of falling, haha… but let’s forget about it!). So better late than never, I am very happy to be motivated again about jumping! About wave riding… I think it is endless, it is so different all the time and so difficult to make it right technically, stylish and be good at reading waves. But during 2016 I had the chance to try many different conditions both tacks and even though there is so much I can improve, I know I started understanding a lot more about it, and I am super stocked I started to land more aerials and it make my day! Also, I think I have probably sailed the biggest waves of my life, and even though I prefer going smaller to feel more confident and ride the wave better, it is so much fun! Pure adrenaline!
There have been amazing moments as well as spectator. I got to see Teahupo’o and Jaws and some other, not known but unbelievable waves, life from the closest you can see them. Watching this girls at the Peahi Challenge live just from a jet sky (thank you Mark!), feeling the power of this monster or seen the finals of the simple elimination of the girls during the Aloha Classic on massive waves at Hookipa is too impressive and inspiring! All girls were so proud of each other! The level is getting higher and this is encouraging all girls to get better and this is so great for our sports!
Thxs a lot María and enjoy the rest of your winter training!
More about María here: http://www.fanatic.com/de/team/maria-andres-3/
And María about SUP: http://www.fanatic.com/fanatic-winter-tales-maria-andres-2/