For those of you who weren't able to log on to America Online last
Thursday, May 11th for
the Wind Tracks' Center Stage live forum with Robby Naish- the first ***
session was a real honker of a good time. For the sailors who tuned in and
Wind Tracks would like to say- "Thanks!".
Wind Tracks will host an AOL Center Stage event every month on the 11th at
West Coast time, 10:00 pm Eastern. Next month Australia's Jessica Crisp
'95 overall World Windsurfing Champion will be June's guest host, linking
up from her
home country of Australia. She's hot, she's single and she'll coach you
forward-endo wishes and table top dreams.
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Jim & Clay
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OnlineHost: Your emcee tonight is LisaYV.
OnlineHost: Welcome to a first in the windsurfing world, a live
with Robby Naish, the biggest name in our nearly 30-year old sport.
Tonight we break
ground and begin Wind Tracks series of computalks with notable
international "talk radio," if you will.
OnlineHost: Any windsurfer who's seen Robby Naish for the first time
they were and what was happening. For Clay Feeter, that day was in the
summer of 1979.
He was working in Park City, Utah. Hired by a local sports bar to
videotape a "big
windsurfing deal" at nearby Deer Creek Reservoir, he jumped into a boat
and arrived mid-
point in the final race of the Windsurfer North America Championships.
OnlineHost: Winds were light. The press boat putted along as he shot a
clump of ooching
competitors trying to gain a lead. "Pretty close matchup we've got here,"
he said to the
OnlineHost: "Not even," he responded. He pointed way upwind: "There's the
Indeed, there in the distance was the champ, a skinny blond kid named
Robby Naish who
had grabbed his first world title three years before that summer day in
Utah, at the age of 1
OnlineHost: Now, Robby is 32. He has 23 various world titles under his
belt. As a
businessman, entrepreneur and president of his own sail company, Naish
Sails Hawaii and
still maintains a competitive rank having just won the first two PBA wave
events of 1995.
OnlineHost: Thank you for being with us Robby. We join Robby tonight from
where he will take your questions!
CSEmcee1: Welcome. Thank you for being with us tonight Robby.
NaishR: Hello! Nice to be here.
Question: How old were you when you started wind surfing? Christna2
NaishR: I was eleven.
Question: Robby: Is your last name pronounced Naish with a long "a" or
Nash with a short
"a"? As a resident of Madison, WI, described by Windsurfing Magazine as
like sailing in a
smaller San Fransisco, how'd you like to stop by? I'll cook ya' a BBQ
NaishR: Nash with a "short" a - silent i.
Question: Hi Robby, do you think windsurfing has gone too high tech and
as a result has
driven out some of the potential beginners to the sport? Do you think it's
important to get
new beginners to the sport or do you think it will always be a specialty
NaishR: No question the development has scared away at least some of the
market. But it's never to late to come back and concentrate on the entry
Question: What is your favorite beach to surf on?
NaishR: I've not got any one favorite.. but Diamond Head and North Shore
of Oahu and
Kailua together with a few spots on Maui are my favorites.
Question: Robby, what's the oldest board you sail and are old boards
risky or safe as a
NaishR: As a full time professional, I obviously go through a fair amount
which we're trying to improve... but I've got a couple of boards that are
up to 3 years old.
There's no risk in using a old board. New boards are riskier because their
often made so
Question: Robby, tell us the story behind you looping the longboard that
was featured in.
"Windsurfing" magazine. How many times did it take you to do it without
NaishR: Several. LOL
Question: The last ten years of windsurfing have been a total revolution.
What do you
think the next ten will hold?
NaishR: I've always been a bad judge, but I imagine continued refinement,
Question: Robby, How do you feel about indoor windsurfing and the
direction it is headed
(or not) in the U.S.?
NaishR: I don't think it would work in America. Windsurfing is just not a
big enough sport
and Americans are just not fanatic enough.
Question: Robby, sending from SF Bay Area, but an ex kailua sailor. What
favorite and least favorite thing about sailing in the SF Bay Area ??
NaishR: Favorite is the consistent conditions. Least is the cold.
Question: Will you have any participation in the Olympics? How do you
Windsurfing in the Olympics?
NaishR: No, I won't participate. I think windsurfing in the Olympics is
fantastic! It's a far
departure from the type of windsurfing I now do.
Question: How many days a year does US1111 sail and how long of sessions?
NaishR: Every chance I get and not as much as I'd like too. But a lot
more than most
Question: Robby. You just started a sailmaking name. It is going to be
successful for sure.
Previews about it?
NaishR: Well, we're working our butts off to make the best windsurfing
product that we
can. We're very happy with the way things are coming along. The results so
far, on the
water, have been great.
Question: Robby, do you see our sport getting less popular? what can be
done to improve
NaishR: That's a tough question. In some places it's becoming less
popular, in other
places, it's still growing. Bringing the performance level of the
equipment up would
definitely be a way to help it grow.
Question: Why did it take you this long to come out with your own sail
line and why did
you leave Gaastra?
NaishR: Times change. It took getting to this point for the timing to be
right. Both for
myself and the group of people that I work with. And up until recently, I
was quite happy
Question: Robby, what is the funniest thing that ever happened to you
while windsurfing ,
that you can tell us about ?
NaishR: I knocked my front teeth out.
Question: What size fin for Mistral stinger w 4.9 sail?
NaishR: If it's a vertical fin - anywhere from 25 to 30 cm - probably 30.
Fins are too varied
Question: Do you have a favorite spot in the Caribbean?
NaishR: My experience has been limited to World Cup venues and I think
I've missed the
very best places. Having never sailed there, I imagine my favorite spot
Question: What is your favorite board?
NaishR: A 8' 3" Thruster wave board.
Question: Do you still get out and just sail for the fun of it?
Question: What are your views on racing politics, and sponsoring
NaishR: Mixed - I'm both a sponsored rider and a sponsor. It's a very
business. Basically, sailors need to realize that they're being paid for a
reason. The reason
is the sale/promotion of products. Some often forget that.
Question: What is your current relationship with Mistral, and how do you
handled that whole "no-nose" deal.
NaishR: I thought we handled it very well. I'm still a sponsored rider as
well as a partner of
the Hawaii Research and Development group that designs all of the Mistral
Question: How light is too light?
NaishR: Too light - that's a ***e. I guess it depends on how much
money you've got
and how often you can afford to replace your boards.
Question: Who is your new young team? Francisco was a definite asset,
are you going to
NaishR: Absolutely - slowly but surely. And very carefully.
Question: Hi Robby, how long do you intend to compete?
NaishR: That's a very good question. If I knew, I probably wouldn't tell
you. (I still don't
know). Hopefully, for awhile.
Question: Robby, now that you've been part of developing your own sail
line; is there
anything in the works about boards with the Naish name?
NaishR: We've had boards with the Naish name for almost 15 years.
Naish-Hawaii is our
family business that produces custom boards.
Question: Robby, you were my initial inspiration in Windsurfing, when I
saw you sail at
Maalaea Beach at the Schweitzer speed trials in 1980--do you still speed
sail? --Scott Parsons
NaishR: Not competitively. In fact that was the only speed trial - 1979 I
ever did. I love to
speed sail for fun.
Question: How many knots is the wind during the indoor events?
NaishR: It's very irregular... anywhere from 12 to 25 knots. It depends
on how close to the
fans you are.
Question: Do you approve of the new lower wind minimums on the PBA
NaishR: Yes and no. We needed to make a change to race more often. But
equipment and loss of a true course racing and true slalom discipline is a
bummer. I don't
like combining the two disciplines into one as they have done.
Question: Do you plan to sail the Gorge anytime in the near future?
NaishR: I hope so! I haven't sailed there in a while.
Question: Robby have you ever thought about quitting sailing? For
example, have the
politics ever gotten really bad, worse than at the Aloha?
NaishR: I've considered quitting competition - but never sailing.
Competition is a small
part of the sport for me.
Question: Windsurfing gives out an incredible high. How do you explain it
to your friends
who have never windsurfed. I wish everyone could know how it feels to hook
in and hang
NaishR: I tell them to go give it a try. If every body knew how much fun
this was, it would
be crowded. So we're the lucky few.
Question: I hear the Olympics will be changing to short and long boards,
consider it then?
NaishR: Probably not. But you never know. It would have to happen pretty
Question: How do you feel about the new category of "Racing"? How will
that affect the
current results? (i.e., you excel at everything, Territahau is slalom,
NaishR: It's hard to say this early in the season, but at the moment I'd
say I don't really
like the rule change much. But we'll have to see as the year progresses.
Question: Why pink sails?
NaishR: Well. I wanted a color that photographed well. When I was very
young, my sails were all orange or yellow. But then everybody else got
those colors too. A friend suggested pink. I laughed at first, but tried
it and it's been my trademark ever since.
Question: Does your sail company have any team riders other than
NaishR: Yes. Cabrinha, Francisco Goya, Richard Foster, Scott Carvelle,
Rienhard Elischka and others.
Question: What is the future for equipment - any new technical
innovations you see by 2000?
NaishR: I would say gradual and continued improvement but not major
innovations. Although I've been wrong before.
Question: Will your daughter join the windsurfing tour in the future?
NaishR: You never know. But definitely not any time soon.
Question: How many times have you felt "near death" in Windsurfing
Question: What do you tell beginners who say the sport is too expensive?
NaishR: I would sadly have to agree for many people, it is too expensive.
It's our one big drawback. But that's what used equipment is for.
Question: Robby , is your brother going to be working with you in your
NaishR: At this point, he's in Naish Hawaii - making boards. But you
Question: Will the restriction in beach access kill this sport? What can
we do about it?
NaishR: It definitely doesn't help. It's something we all have to work
together to protect.
CSEmcee1: We have time for one last question.
Question: How important do you think light wind gear is in expanding the
our sport? (I just bought a used Pro Tech 9'10" and found it worked great
in 10 mph --
even with a full 6.0!!)
NaishR: Very important! And fortunately, light wind equipment has
just in the last year or two and is getting better all the time. Sorry we
couldn't get to more
questions. We'll have to do it again.
CSEmcee1: Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
NaishR: Send your questions to the magazine and maybe they'll send them
to me. I'll try
to answer them there. Or, come to Hawaii and ask me on the beach!
OnlineHost: Thank you for joining Wind Tracks Magazine and their special
Naish. We hope you'll be back to computalk with women's world champion
July 11, 10pm ET. For a transcript of this event, be sure to stop back
within 24 hours using keyword: "CENTER STAGE". Thank you and good night!
OnlineHost: Copyright 1995 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wind Tracks Magazine