The Fanatic „Winter Tales“ episodes feature our team rider’s adventures during the winter months, so you know what our boys and girls are up to before the season starts again next spring.
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 in Windsurfing and I can SUP whenever there is no wind, so there´s always something to do! There are not many spots, but 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. It was perfect for Windsurfing, so I did not get a chance to SUP there after all.
Next on the list is Maui again, since I have to be there in April for the annual Fanatic photoshoot, but I will go earlier to try to get some extra 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!
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 travelling, 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 to 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 few projects in mind. 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 J, 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 and have a good physical training to be ready for the season. This winter I have taken more conscience about being ready for bigger waves. Sometimes we go out in 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 Windsurfing 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 and hobbies are definitely 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 the trainings in land because I spend less hours in the water. When I am sailing or surfing more, my routine is different. This time I had the chance to make some tests to make sure everything is ok and to be able to optimize my training program.
Fanatic: What gear are you riding? How does your chosen gear suit your style?
MA: I love my ProWave 7’6 SUP as it turns easy and quick and feels fast and nice in medium wave. It is the smalle´st SUP I have ever used and it feels awesome! I am still getting used to the size, but once in the wave, it´s just perfect! During my trip to Tahiti I was using the ProWave 8’2 because I didn’t have the 7’6 at this stage. I thought that this board was going to be too big for me. However having a bit bigger board was a good thing not to fall off and so I was catching pretty much every wave I tried! So with the 8’2 I have some of the best ever SUP memories of my life! I also always carry an inflatable board for some kind of trips or just to cruise around and train at home. During my trip to Raiatea and Ibiza I had the Diamond Air Touring. Having this inflatable made the difference! I was able to paddle all along the lagoon, see the corals from above, visit caves, tour around and cross from island to island. I paddled all the way out to outer reefs, up rivers, hike to a lake and then SUP on the lake – how awesome is that? The inflatable SUP is the best vehicle for exploring and you can transport it in a backpack. In my opinion, it is one of the best inventions!
Fanatic: What would Fanatic customers like about your favourite board?
MA: My favourite is the ProWave LTD 7´6 because the way it can turn! But, as I said before… I love having an inflatable board and I think everyone would enjoy one of these Fly Airs that you can travel with in a backpack and use it for cruising, exploring, SUPYoga in the sunrise, exercising, or SUPsurfing, because these boards can also be used in waves! I really recommend the inflatable for adventurers J
Fanatic: Are you linking up with any of your Fanatic Team riders this winter?
MA: On Maui in December I had the chance to be on the water with top riders like Victor Fernandez at the same spot – how motivating is that!? Also, a lot of 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 or SUP together. I love smiling people in the water! Then, now at home I love sailing with my boyfriend Emilio Galindo, and we also train 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.
Fanatic: What has been your highlight of 2016?
MA: During 2016 I have been paddling probably the most beautiful place in this planet! Raiatea and Taha’a in French Polynesia is just unreal and having my SUP gave me the chance to live the experience the best way! Exploring around the coast, going from island to island and paddling back to the coast over the reefs with the full moon… Seen all colourful fishes from my board and cruising around surrounded by turtles and dolphins – this is so magic!
This year in Tahiti I have definitely surfed the biggest and most perfect waves of my life, no doubt! Sharing waves with friends in an outer reef we were just a few or just us… Everything was new to me and I loved it! Can’t wait to surf waves like that again!
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 Maria about windsurfing: http://www.fanatic.com/fanatic-winter-tales-maria-andres/