Dan Ellis: Sensationally Speedy
Dan Ellis is a professional windsurfer, who has been a strong contender on the PWA racing circuit aswell as taking many British titles over the last decade (or two!). Never shy of the mirror, and just about retaining a cockney twang, Ellis makes an impact, both on and off the water. FLOW asks about plans for the future, the women in his life and a few more cheeky questions for good measure!
Name: Dan Ellis
Date of Birth: 24th Jan 1978
Years windsurfing: 22
Windsurfing level: should be pretty high after 22 years!
Home town: London/ Pukalani Maui
Current Location: Costa Brava Spain
Hi Dan, how is life treating you?
Very good thank you, living in Maui with the amazing wife and back to racing on the PWA World Tour, so no complaints from me!
So a bit of background information, when and where did you start windsurfing?
I started windsurfing when I was 10 in Devon, England with my Brother, Sister, Mum and Dad we all took a lesson in the Easter school holidays and loved it ever since, my mum was better than all of us. Apart from my brother the rest of the family still windsurf all the time, my sister is a super instructor in Vass and my parent’s race longboards!
I see you are a London boy, not exactly the windsurfing Mecca Maui is, where did you windsurf when you were still on these shores?
I started in Devon, we used to go there every holiday and some weekends, we have a little beach shack on a river that was a really popular windsurfing spot. I then started racing on the coast all over the country and in the lakes and reservoirs around London.
You have competed internationally for a good few years now, can you give us a rundown of your most memorable achievements?
Well my highest achievements are: being the IFCA World Slalom Champion, winning the Asian Windsurfing Tour and being ranked in the top 10 of the PWA World Tour, as well as a few years in the top 10 of the Speed World Ranking. I was also the British Champion a number of times in racing and slalom and speed.
What does the next year or so entail for you?
I’m getting back into racing after taking a year off in 2009, getting married and relocating to Maui. I've been to one PWA event already and it’s going to be tough, the level has really gone up, but I’m up for the challenge, it’s just good to be back racing, it’s in my blood.
Why do you love windsurfing? And why do you think more women should get into the sport?
Windsurfing is just an amazing sport on so many levels, I can spend hours blasting back and forward trying to go faster than my mates and never get bored, there is a freedom you get on the sea that you just can’t get on land. And then wave sailing is just another level of excitement especially when it starts to get big, it’s addictive! I think more women should get into it because they don’t they will miss out on all the fun!
What valuable lessons have you learnt from the women in your life (windsurfing related or otherwise)?
Too many to remember them all! I think the most important I learned through watching my mum and sister not conforming to stereotypes and doing more extreme sports than most men.
You must be surrounded by some very talented windsurfers, what women have you seen out there recently that were really ripping?
Sarah Quita is my hero! She seems to have bottomless talent and appears to love every minute of life. Her freestyle is amazing and now she’s starting to rip in the slalom as well, I’m glad I’m not a girl competing against her!
Tell us a bit more about where you’re living now, are there many girls out there that windsurf? Well as I said, I relocated to Maui, not sure if I need to explain too much about it, it really is the windsurfing Mecca it’s made out to be, always windy and paradise like! There are a good number of girls out windsurfing every time I go to the beach, from kids all the way up to grandma’s and some very talented sailors among them. The Butterfly Effect had an event on Maui a month or so back with hundreds of girls doing a downwinder, windsurfing and SUPing, it was great to see.
What other sports are you and the Maui locals into when the wind doesn’t blow?
Surfing is the main one especially in the winter. Lot’s of people SUP but I prefer to surf. There is also great mountain biking, though I've only been once! It’s normally just too good windsurfing to do anything else!
Guys might be stronger than girls, but girls are...... better at getting their own way!
One thing you will never understand about women.....I wish there was just one thing!
When you realise the person who almost out gybed you at the last mark was a woman you think...... well it hasn’t happened yet, but if Sarah Quita keeps getting better it might!
Would you rather have endless wealth but nobody to share it with, or be head over heels in love and totally broke? In love and broke a thousand times over, having a board and sail too would be nice!
Which of the following would you give up if you had to, drinking, sex or windsurfing? Drinking…..
If a girl asked you for some help rigging up her kit would you:
a)jump at the chance and have the kit tuned up and ready to go before she can get her wetsuit on
b)give her a helping hand, while chatting to her about windsurfing
c)be talked into it with the promise of copius amounts of beer
d)ask her to stop winding you up as you know she is more than capable of rigging up herself
B or sometimes D!
The last month has been windless, flat and raining, Saturday is fast approaching and the forecast is looking awesome, windy, perfect swell, and sunshine, but then your computer calendar pops up reminding you there is a very important family gathering on the same day. What do you do?
a)give windsurfing a miss, family are the most important thing
b)get up ridiculously early, go for a sunrise windsurf and make it just in time
c)get a decent windsurf session in, but cut it a bit short, turn up fashionably late, your family know you well enough to understand
d)call up on Saturday morning, put on your best ‘I’m really sick’ voice, while hoping they haven’t checked the weather forecast
C (I even got a quick windsurfing session in at hookipa on the morning of my wedding!!)
Windsurfing girls rock because.... windsurfing makes us all rock!!
LINKS keep up to date with everything Ellis at www.dan-ellis.com
Thanks alot Ellis and good luck for the rest of the season!