- 21 February 2008 | Windsurfing
Two-time World Champion Wavesailor Kauli Seadi finally pens deals with both JP Australia and NeilPryde Sails. Seadi signed a three-year contract with both NeilPryde and sister-company JP Australia to cover the complete package of sails, rigs and boards.
In his characteristic Brazilian style, Kauli, 25, gave us a detailed and considered explanation for his decision to switch equipment brands.
'I believe in life there are certain times when you need to take chances and seek-out new opportunities. Up to this point in my career I’ve really been developing my skills as a sailor and I think I’ve proved that I can compete at the highest levels.
What excites me about working with NeilPryde and JP is the ability to push my performance even further with the development of my equipment. NeilPryde offer, an extensive R&D programme and have talented and experience design guys like Robert [Stroj] and Pieter [Bijl].
Here I can play a much bigger part in the Design Process, and work on really specific areas of equipment performance. The Pryde Design Team are able to give me exactly what I’m looking for in terms of handling and feel. It’s just really exciting to think where this could lead us in terms of product development and where it can take me in what I’m able to do out on the water.’
For almost two months ahead of the formal signing, work has been underway at the NeilPryde Design Centre in Maui on the development of a new Signature Wavesail designed specifically around Kauli’s unique sailing style.
The new sail, codenamed The Fly, will be launched in Summer 2008, and Kauli will be sailing the latest prototypes of The Fly at the next PWA Event in Cabo Verde in March. Robert Stroj, Head of Design at the NeilPryde Design Centre, is particularly excited at the prospect of developing products with Kauli.
'From the first time we met here on Maui, it was clear that Kauli brings a lot more to the process than just his sailing skills. Right from the start he’s been very involved in the design process. He’s sailed every one of our wave and freestyle sails in a variety of conditions and has given us very detailed and specific feedback about his likes and dislikes.
With this level of involvement from him, there’s no doubt in my mind that The Fly will be something truly new and unique, a really accurate reflection of Kauli’s specific wants and needs as a sailor.
We get to work with some very talented and capable sailors here at the Design Centre, but Kauli brings a fresh perspective and a real intensity to the process. He’s been very open-minded in his approach, he’s obviously got a well-developed feel for what he likes, but at the same time he’s been very willing to explore new aspects of performance and handling.
It’s been interesting to see him evaluating the various sail and rig set-ups he’s tried and then commenting on characteristics that have pleasantly surprised him. As designers we’ve already learned a lot from the process and I’m certain that Kauli is going to have quite an impact on, not only The Fly, but other sails we have under development too.
I think everyone here in the Design Centre including the Pro Sailors on the Test Team have all picked-up on the raw energy and enthusiasm that he’s brought with him. He’s a huge talent and now that I’ve worked closely with him and seen him in-action, I’m just wondering if the windsurfing world is really ready for Kauli Seadi!'
Kauli’s latest teammate Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) was similarly stoked about their new acquisition to his namesake’s brand.
‘For me Kauli is clearly the most talented wave sailor today. In real wave riding none of the other young guys are even close to him and on top of that he is able to add in his freestyle ability. I basically initiated the talks with him, as I really wanted him on our team, so I’m super happy that it finally worked out.'
Kauli was on his way to become a tennis professional when he first tried windsurfing at the age of 12. Already a good surfer, he was immediately hooked on windsurfing and gave up on tennis, and was very fortunate to have grown up at the PWA contest site in Ibiraquera, and its fantastic wave sailing conditions.
Aged just 16, he started going to Maui to prepare for the PWA world tour.
He also has a lot in common with Jason Polakow. When he arrived on Maui, just like Jason did in the 80s, he immediately impressed people with his fluent wave sailing style and was one of the very first riders who started experimenting with Twin Fin Wave Boards - just like Jason used pintail wave boards while at that time everybody else on Maui was using asymmetrical shapes.
Kauli has continued to work on the Twinser concept and has basically initiated the biggest new trend in wave boards since the re-birth of pintail boards in the early nineties. As well as both being childhood champions at other sports, Kauli and Jason each have two wave sailing world titles under their belts.
'I’ve been in touch with the management of JP for quite a while', commented Seadi, 'And have now finally decided to make this move, and I’m really stoked about it.
I’m convinced that with their international connections and network we will be able to promote and push windsurfing to a new level, and especially show the youngsters what a cool and wonderful sport windsurfing is. I have also always been impressed by the professionalism of the JP organization.
I think my Brazilian roots and way of seeing things and their management skills will be a perfect combination. Right now we're working on my own wave board line within the JP program. It'll be a twin fin line and it will come to the market this summer.
Apart from that I'll keep enjoying windsurfing as if any day was my first day of wave sailing...that's my motivation...titles are a great bonus, but my goals are having fun and focusing on reaching my best performance!’
Source: PWA World Tour