Briskby allows people who share the same hobbies to meet and connect, either through renting sports equipment or through in-person experiences.
Our community is made up of people who want to stay fit, be healthy, and live sustainably. Today we’re highlighting Briskby vendor and experience leader, Austin Zammit, of Surfing Malta who discusses his past, present and the future of windsurfing!
How did you get started with your passion for surfing?
It’s a long story. I was 20 years old
I was born into partying and a friend asked me to windsurf with him and try it out.
At first I was not so enthusiastic, but I went on and tried it.
At the time there were no teachers; the first time I did not like it much. The second time I started to get into it. Then I remember there was one particular day I managed to go and windsurfed; from then I think it got brilliant.
Why do you enjoy it so much?
Well it is a fantastic feeling when you are on the board and sail around and feel the sensation of freedom. And it is always challenging, because there is no one day like one other.
I have been windsurfing for 30 years and all days have been different; you are in contact with nature and it is quite challenging and I like challenges. For example, I love speed obviously, so when it is flat water and very high wind I go at very high speed. And then you have the challenges of waves, riding the waves and jumping on the waves.
What is surf culture like in Malta?
Windsurf culture is quite small in Malta. It was very popular in the 80s and early 90s. At the moment it is quite small, but new people are coming in now and I am working very hard to make windsurfing become popular here. Apart from that new equipment and new techniques and new schools are coming in; playing this sport is becoming increasingly easier thanks to that and basically anyone can windsurf easily now.
Who inspires you? And how do they inspire you?
One of the windsurfers I look to is Robby Naish. He is the king. He is well known all around the world and he is a legend. He is the best windsurfer I have ever met.
In what way does he inspire you?
Looking at what he has done, he was always there, he was winning races, building new equipment. Always looking for innovation for this sport. Also, when you see him riding waves, the way he does it is like writing poetry on the wave; you cannot describe in words, and that is why he is the legend. Now he is quite old but he still rocks! No one can imitate his style; he is a totally unique person.
Where is the most amazing place you’ve surfed? And one you want to visit?
I was lucky enough to go to Hawaii. I spent a month there and loved every minute. Hawaiian culture is built around sports; people live for sports. You get sports all over the place and get constant contact with nature and the oceans. I would love to live there.
How about places you have not been to?
There are plenty of very nice places: Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Gran Canaria. These are places which are perfect for windsurfing.
What advice can you give people wanting to try surfing for the first time?
Well the best advice I can give is to not do what I did. Back then, there were no schools but today there are a lot of schools which teach surfing which will save you a lot of time and pain. That is the best advice I can give to anyone. To take a lesson or two and take time to practice and make it a routine. Because practice makes you better.
What do you think the future of surfing looks like in the next 5 years? 10 years?
With this new equipment now more new people are coming in. It is now easier and more fun. For example wind foil boards don’t need as much wind and enable you to fly over the water and it is sensational. You are really flying a meter above the water. Somehow you experience the same feeling you get during takeoff on a place. It is exactly the same feeling. But again you have to start with the “normal windsurf” and then upgrade. It does not take much. With the new equipment my clients and students take just 2 hours and ready to go on foil boards.
How does Briskby fit into this future?
Briskby is a very good platform. It has a lot of info and it is easy. Three clicks and you are done! There is a lot of good information all over the website. Short and straight to the point in a few seconds. Something I really like! It is also helpful for people who come to Malta and want to try windsurfing. I tried the website as a customer and booked my own lesson. In just four clicks I was at the checkout!
Discover Austin’s shop on Beiskby: click here