Seeing top windsurfers do their thing like magic will really take your breath away. Even more impressive is when you see “Young Guns” do it.
At the age 17, Lennart Neubauer (GRE-734) is already a Windsurfing Superstar sponsored by the biggest. He loves to promote windsurfing and was happy to let us see inside his “Wind World”.
How did windsurfing start for you?
I was kind of lucky, when I was 9 years old, my mother had a birthday and the local windsurfing club “Flisvos Sportclub” here in Naxos gave her as a present a voucher of 6 lessons windsurfing. Since my mom was working a lot and had no time, she passed the voucher over to me.
Unfortunately, when I went to the windsurfclub, they saw me and asked how many kg I am, my answer was 27kg.
They told me to come back when I am 30kg. So I ate a lot all winter long and when they opened the club the following spring I was 30kg and I went again.
From that day on, I was addicted to this sport.
You are super young (17) and already a pro rider. How did you become a pro?
So I started to windsurf at 10 years old. When I was 11 I went to a Junior EFPT (European Freestyle Pro Tour) event in Croatia. I won in the category U13 (Under 13 years old). I was so stoked.
I loved to compete from the first event on. The adrenalin, the vibes and the best is that you learn so much when you are together in the water with the “big guys”. The Junior EFPT events were always at the same time like the main EFPT competitions.
My mom tried to bring me to as many competitions as possible, you know, as money and school would allow. My results became better and better also in the men’s fleet. Currently my ranking in the men’s fleet is 5th place and European Champion u18
On your FB page your have 3 titles - World Champion Windsurfing Freestyle U15, World Champion Windsurfing Wave U15 and European Champion Winds. Wow,... that's insane,... tell me about that.
In 2018 I won the World title in Wave U15 (Under 15 years old) at the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association) competitions in Almerimare and Gran Canaria.
That same year I won the same title at the PWA Freestyle event in Fuerteventura.
This year I won the title of European Champion in Rhodos.
I see you're German, but riding under Greece?
I was born in Germany but raised in Greece, in Naxos. Here is my homespot and here I train whenever it’s windy. I feel a big support from the Greek windsurfing community and since I enjoy and live in Greece, I decided to race for the Greek flag..
Tell me about your "Wind Park".
My Wind Park was a huge project with Red Bull. Basically Red Bull asked me, if they would fulfill one wish for me for free,… what would it be?
Well, at another spot at Laguna Beach Park there is already one wooden Ramp which Stamatis Promponas, the owner of that spot, built a couple of years ago. So my dream was to have more than one ramp in the water and higher ramps.
Red Bull gave us a budget and together with Stamatis and Yiannis Maritsis, my board-shaper, we built 5 ramps with different heights.
We made this all ready at Christmas time last year but we wanted to wait till the weather was better. We tested the ramps around Easter time. At the beginning I had big respect, especially for the highest ramp which is like 2.5 m out of the water. After the first few jumps I fell in love with that feeling and I hardly could wait till May when the whole Red Bull team came to Naxos in order to produce the Film about the ramp park.
Finally they came with 7 camera guys, they stayed a whole week and we were filming everyday for many hours. It was so much fun… check out the video below:
What sponsors do you have,... tell me a little bit about how all this sponsor stuff works in windsurfing?
My sponsors are:
- Marlow Navigation (a shipping company)
- Red Bull
- Maui Ultra Fins
- Quiksilver Greece
- Koutelieris Supermarket
- Blue Star Ferries
- Hilx Sunglasses
As a Pro windsurfer you are like a one man company, you are your own marketing company, travel agency etc. You have to organize everything by yourself.
Not like when you are a football player and everything is organized for you.
I am very thankful to have these sponsors. Without them it would not be possible to travel to so many competitions and to have lots of time for training.
I have to point out one specific sponsor - Red Bull. We all know Red Bull is only after the best. So that tells a lot about you. How did that happen? How does it feel,... and how does it work when you are sponsored by Red Bull?
Red Bull is a big support for me. They are all young guys, fully motivated and always ready for any crazy idea or project.
I can’t tell you how it works in detail but I can tell you that they have lots of experience with athletes, they offer a great health covering if anything goes wrong, they check you up in their own athlete performance center and they work close together with the athletes in order to fulfill the goal of the athlete.
I am more than stoked that they want to have me in their team.
You are young and a pro already. So I see you are windsurfing “all the time”. How does that work with your land life?
Generally I train whenever it’s windy. I get up early in the morning (at 6) and study for school. After school I grab something healthy to eat and go straight with my bike to my homespot – it’s just a 5 min ride from school.
After training I eat, chill a bit and sleep early in order to be fit for the next day. This is my final year at school. In June I have to take my exams and then I am free. It’s not easy, the combination of school and lots of training. But if you really want it, it’s possible.
If it’s not windy you’ll find me out in nature with my mountain bike or road bike. One of my good friends here, Manolis Orfanos, showed me the sickest trails on our island. If you ever come to Naxos make sure that you rent a bike and go for a round. The nature here takes your breath away. On the bike you can sweat like crazy and give all your energy.
My biggest trip on one day was 211km in one go. Took me 10 hours….
I see you also windsurf on a foil? How do you like that and how does that compare to windsurfing on a regular windsurfing board?
Windfoiling is great if the wind is lighter.
I love also Windfoiling Freestyle. Many of the tricks that I do on my normal (windsurfing) freestyle board I can also do with the foil. Actually it looks more difficult than it is.
I also have Wing Foiling equipment from starboard, this I use in even lighter wind. It’s fun and I like it also.
In generell, if you Windsurf in the water or at land like Windskate which I also like a lot, you have to be one with the energy of the wind. It’s amazing how it works when you decide to be in harmony with the wind. I see so many beginners who look like they are fighting with the wind. That’s a mistake.The wind is your friend, that’s for sure.
Any last words for people that love windsurfing and other wind sports?
I hope windsurfing becomes BIG again. From my side I’ll do everything possible to make this sport big again because it’s the best sport in the world.
Photos credit: https://www.redbullcontentpool.com/