25/04/2018 | Interview – Rider of the Week: Fiona Wylde

Fiona Wylde is a true water girl. She loves SUP races, SUP wave riding, windsurfing, foiling and surfing! She is young, talented and has a soul that will get you inspired to have fun on the water! Read the interview we had with our team rider. Enjoy!



How did you get introduced to windsurfing and SUP?

Windsurfing started very young for me. My earliest memories were playing in the sand while waiting on the beach for my parents to come in from sailing. My mom is the one who taught my dad, who then taught me. Before I could swim they were putting me on boards and playing with me in the water. For the longest time I remember it being way more fun sailing tandem with my dad, rather than by myself.

I learned to stand up paddle in my hometown of Hood River, Oregon. I was 14 at the time and Steve Gates, the owner of Big Winds somehow talked me and three other kids into learning to stand up paddle, which quickly morphed into race training at 6:30 in the morning twice a week! You could say it stuck…haha!


How was your 2017 season and what are your plans and goals for 2018?

2017 was a busy one! I got to relearn a whole new part of windsurfing. And that is foiling!! It’s so much fun learning something new in something you love so much. Above that, I got to sail in the Gorge Slalom Series and do the Aloha Classic at Hookipa last October. My season was incredibly busy with many stand up paddle races all over the world, but I love how both sports compliment each other. It keeps things fresh!

In 2018, I will be doing more of the same! Lots of SUP races along with foiling, wave sailing, and enjoying the water as much as I can.


What do you like about foiling?

Foiling really opens up a new door. Along with new challenges. It is really fun! I just love how quiet it is. Once you get up on the foil, everything goes silent. It’s a totally different experience from anything I’ve experienced in water sports.



Favorite discipline?

Above all, wave sailing is my favorite windsurf discipline. Learning to read the wind and the waves, timing a section right, it’s just simply amazing!


How does a week of training look like for you?

This winter I was living in Los Barriles, Mexico, so I could optimize my water time and training. Not to mention my family was there as well 🙂 A normal day of training would start with SUP race training in the morning at about 6:30 for about 2 hours. I’d follow this up with stretching, breakfast, and emails. It would be about time for lunch once I got done with all that, so I’d eat and head back to the beach! Depending on the wind, I would either go windsurfing foiling, bump n jump, kiting or down wind SUP for the rest of the afternoon. My stand up paddle workouts would differ throughout the week and so would the afternoon wind sport, but overall that was my outline. And I am really happy because I can honestly say that I loved it 🙂



Who is your biggest inspiration?

I get inspired by a lot of different things! It’s not just one thing or one person, but the one who is having the most fun and genuinely enjoying the water, motivates me to do the same! And appreciate the small things, which make me want to do bigger things.


Who do you sail most with?

I am lucky to have sailed with many incredible sailors in many incredible locations, however my most consistent sailing buddy is my dad. We have way too much fun!


How do you prepare for a day full of races?

Lots of hydration, good food and positive attitude. So many things can happen in a full day of racing, but if I focus on the things that I can control, me, and know that things are going to happen outside of my control, you learn to adjust and adapt. That’s just how competition goes.



Favorite board and sail?

The Starboard UltraKode 72 liter and 4.0 Sailworks Gyro! Without a doubt my favorite wave sailing combination!


Favorite spots in the world?

For wave sailing, Hookipa and San Carlos hands down. For foiling, Hood River and Los Barriles.


Other hobbies?

Enjoy outdoors! I love where I live in Hood River and there were so many fun things to do! I’m not home very much, so when I am I make the most out of it with my dog and my friends.



Favorite car?

I just upgraded from a 15 passenger van to a Subaru and I´m extremely excited about the gas mileage situation!


Favorite food?

Hmmm.. Oh I love food! But right now some Tostada’s sound pretty good!


Music you listen to before sailing/SUP?

Haha… Ask anyone who as scrolled through my music library and they will most likely not know how to answer this question either. I listen to pretty much everything under the sun, so it depends where I am and what I feel like!


Best advise to get more people into windsurfing?

I think the best way to get other into a sport is to introduce them first hand. If you have a friend who wants to learn, take them out for a half an hour, or an hour. Don’t get all caught up in the technical details, but just have fun! Play around, sail together, and enjoy the water!



What do you like about the Starboard boards?

Versatility. It doesn’t matter which board you choose, there is something for everyone and within each model. Starboard puts so much time and energy to making sure the boards do exactly what they are designed to do, and it shows in the way they ride. I am very proud to be on Starboard for both windsurfing and stand up paddling!

Photos by: Fish Bowl Diaries