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Artikel: Interview med Jason Diffin


Interview med Jason Diffin

Jason Diffin har en imponerende windsurf-historie bag sig både som udøver og som designer. Han er uddannet som designer på en meget ”hands on” facon, hvor han fra start har haft fingrene ”nede i dejen”, når det kom til designopgaver, udvikling af koncept-sejl og masseproduktion. Som teenager startede Jason sin race-karriere samtidig med, at han arbejdede for et stort sejlfirma i Florida. Han flyttede til Maui i 1989 for at forfølge sin drøm om at surfe professionelt og lave sejl til den sport, han elsker så højt. David Ezzy (Ezzy var chefdesigner for North Sails dengang) tog den unge surfer under sine vinger, og Jason arbejde som David Ezzys højre hånd i 9 år og håndlavede og testede i den periode over 1000 prototyper. Hos North Sails lærte han alt om industriel masseproduktion, hånddesign og til sidst var han med til at starte Ezzy Sails Lanka fabrikkerne. I 2000 forlod Jason Diffin sin trygge læreplads for at springe ud som chefdesigner for Simmer Style Maui. Han har haft 7 rigtig gode år med Simmer teamet, men er nu klar til at rykke videre. Næste stop for Diffin er Goya Sails, hvor han er opsat på at bruge sin erfaring og entusiasme til at skabe sine bedste sejl til dato sammen med det talentfulde Goya team.

Would you be so kind as to tell us a little about you approach to designing sails?
My approach is based on experience and first hand on the water testing. I’ve been windsurfing since I was 14 years old, and sail making since age 16. Maui has been my home since age 17. I’ve been windsurfing and wave sailing non stop for over 20 years, and I’m getting more time on the water now than ever before. I have the pleasure and honor of riding with guys like Keith Teboul and Francisco Goya and Levi Siver and so many others here on a daily basis. We love what we do, we have so much fun doing it, and we push each other as sailors and as designers on a daily basis. My approach to designing is to get on the water, sail, and then go to the loft and create the sails that will take us where we want to go.

Would it be possible for you to share with us the news you are planning for the next line of sails. Lighter, stronger, faster, easier to control. The design goals don’t change much really. When we improve any one of these characteristics everyone benefits- the pro level riders for sure, but the weekender and enthusiasts as well- probably more so.

How would the new team member Levi Siver influence the new sails?
I can tell you a boring predictable thing about how hard he rips, or how awesome he is, and that would all be true, but to me the most important thing Levi is his overall stoke with windsurfing. Levi comes in to my loft with a dreamy expression on his face just thinking about what he wants to do next on the water, or what he wants to do next with his gear. He’s just pure stoke. He’s like a 12 year old who’s gotten really stoked on skateboarding or something. I love it. We can talk for hours about the most minute details of curve or trim or whatever, and he can never get enough. We are closely matched in that regard, and that energy breeds creativity and in the end improved product for our riders and customer worldwide. They will get on the gear we develop together and feel that stoke that we feel developing it.

How is it working for a brand who designs both boards and sails – compared to working for dedicated sail brand – do you see some synergies?
The truth is that I’ve been working very closely with Keith Teboul for 20 years regardless of what brand we were riding or designing for for. The Synergy has always been there, and it is critical. Making sure the sails match the market, performance envelope and board evolution is one of the most interesting parts of my job. Now, working closely with Francisco on the GOYA project I have my best opportunity yet to design the best gear possible- when we develop products, we look at the complete package- it goes beyond sails and boards- it’s also masts and rig hardware, plus heavy collaboration with Pio Marasco of Maui Fin Company on fin design. Each component feeds the development of the other parts. With Goya we have a platform to deliver an exceptional complete rig package. Also, the way the company and production are set up, our products can evolve very quickly- that’s a benefit to working with a tight crew and team, and that’s super exciting for me.

Are you planning on participating on the PWA tour 09?

What’s your favorite board/sails setup this year?
74 liter custom Keith Teboul twin fin, GURU 4.7. A close second would be my 72 liter custom Keith Teboul Gorge Board (I spend the summers in The Gorge) and FXR sail size 4.9.

There is a small trend in Quad/twin fins right now – do you use it?
Twins definitely. You can’t beat the full rail, accelerating turns a twin provides. Quads- So far I’ve only ridden one (yesterday) it was Teboul’s personal board, and it was so small that I only went sideways on it. I went down for a bottom turn and did a sliding 360 before I knew what happened. Very loose board.

What is your opinuion on pro et contra for twinfins?
Twin fins are great when the conditions warrant it. You have to have turning as a main focal point of your session. If you are just trying to get planing, generate lift and point and shoot, there is nothing better than a good vertical flat rockered single fin for that.

How do you stay in shape? – Other that windsurfing?
Chase my kids around the yard and beach and chase my wife around the house.

In search of the perfect wave you get some nasty wipeouts – do you have a WORST-EVER-WIPEOUT you could share with us?
Sometimes the wipeout is the best part of the session. It wakes you up, gets your attention, and reminds you what you’re really dealing with out there. Fully relinquishing or having control taken from you is a situation that not may people experience willingly, never mind seek out. I don’t like to obsess on the event, but rather try to relax and embrace the experience every time. Resistance and tension can quickly turn the situations we face riding open ocean waves in to a life or death situation. That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

What is the best windsurf moment you can remember?
Too many to count. Watching other people have a great time on sails I’ve poured my heart in to is the topper.

What are you doing 5 years from now?
Same thing.

Jason Diffin
Hjemby: Makawao, Hawaii

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