Not many Princeton alumni can claim the title of “professional windsurfer.” In fact, as far as we can tell, there’s only one: Graham Ezzy ’11.
Ezzy, the son of a well-known sail designer, was raised in Maui and competed as a pro before he came to college, specializing in wave sailing, the more extreme and creative form of the sport.
While wave sailing has gained popularity in Europe and Asia, Ezzy said that the sport is not as well known in the United States, where most people seem to see windsurfing as a leisurely sailing pursuit. On the waves, it’s more like half-pipe snowboarding. Competitors use the combined power of wind and waves to make physics-defying leaps and turn breathtaking tricks. At its best, Ezzy said, it’s “almost supernatural.”
With no waves to be found on Lake Carnegie, Ezzy put the sport on hold for much of his time at Princeton. Concentrating on coursework had its perks. “Taking the time off allowed me to break bad habits,” he says, noting that he won a pro event in Cabo Verde, off the western coast of Africa, during intercession of his sophomore year.
As a student, Ezzy managed to seek out other recreation on the water, surfing with Princeton’s club team and training with the lightweight crew. Since graduation, he has competed on the American Windsurfing Tour, tested new equipment for his sponsors, and starred in action sports videos, including “Take 1” (see below), a new short by filmmaker and windsurfing champion Kevin Pritchard.
In a recent blog post, Ezzy said Pritchard’s feel for the sport helped him capture the footage used in the film. He compared the experience to “a dance to an unfamiliar song with a familiar partner.”
Read more: Graham Ezzy ’11’s blog, surf-matic.com
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