My name is Justyna Sniady and I am an action sports maniac with windsurfing being on top of the list. I travel the world in search of good conditions or to compete on the World, British, Polish and Australian Tours.
What is the reason you committed your life to windsurfing?
After I got planning for the first time I could not imagine windsurfing missing from my life. No other sport came close to windsurfing for me (and I've done a lot) - it was much more challenging, difficult and at the same time rewarding when you got it right. Just a unique feeling I couldn't get enough of I guess. It naturally became a mission of me to spend as much time on the water as possible. To do so I obviously had to travel the world a lot, sometime with only a few bucks in my pocket which lead to many interesting survivor stories haha.. Windsurfing and everything that came with it turned out to be a lifestyle I really enjoy. It's easy to commit to doing something you just love doing so the choice wasn't hard. Some people struggle to find the thing that makes them as happy so I consider myself lucky:)
What is your biggest achievement in your sport?
I am Poland's first Woman Wave Champion in history (not loosing a heat since 2003 when I first competed), 2 times BWA Tour Winner and I just got my best results on the Word tour this year (5th in Gran Canaria, 2nd in Indoor Poland, 1st PWA Super Session Tenerife) and also am the first Polish Woman to land forwards, push loops and backloops as well as first polish windsurfer to break into the top 5 on the wave tour ever (man included). But my biggest achievement to date must be coming back from a very serious foot injury that was suppose to stop me from windsurfing forever and since then improving and landing some big moves:)
"Since I faced a possibility of never windsurfing again I appreciate each minute on the water even more."
What are you doing to push yourself everyday?
Being from Poland you can’t be too picky about the conditions as we get the wind and waves quite rarely (and even then it's not world class). And if the wind and waves come - you just go! And you go for as long as you can despite it being 4*C sometimes, and despite having to travel 8h for one session sometimes as well. You try to squeeze in as much time on the water anytime a storm passes through. Naturally you don't have time to loose and if you want to learn things you have to push yourself.. quickly! So, I always pushed myself for as long as I can remember - I have that mentality even when I am in more consistent wind places. I must say though, that since I faced a possibility of never windsurfing again I appreciate each minute on the water even more. If I do one run without going for a move (because the wave didn't come up or someone was in the way) I already get frustrated haha. I enjoy pushing myself. When I had many hours on the water and feel tired I do like to crack open a cold can of Red Bull to give me that extra kick:)
What is your vision on what direction the sport should go?
Windsurfing is growing in numbers again. Actually there is much more people sailing on each of the spots I go to then when I started. The very positive thing for me is there are more and more girls windsurfing and windsurfing on a high level too. Woman windsurfing is growing faster then ever-in history.
I think the fact that windsurfing gear these days is so much lighter and easier to manoeuvre even for smaller riders is playing a big role in getting the numbers up again. I see so many kids windsurfing - it's just great. But I think it's not the numbers of actual windsurfers we need to focus on anymore. I think it is time for windsurfing to be brought back to the public eye and closer to general public. I would compare it to MotoX. If you go to events like Red Bull XFighters - 90% of the audience actually never sat on a bike before. They come to see a show, and they fallow the tour because it is exciting. I think this is what windsurfing should be aiming for - to remain this extreme, hard to master sport that is amazing to watch for anyone, photogenic and exciting. I think the come back of the Indoor Windsurfing in Poland last year with ca. 50000 spectators watching the world's best windsurfers in the football stadium was a step towards marketing windsurfing in such way. In Poland we had a 2-part TV program made from that event that run on the public TV. I think the more interest for windsurfing in general media, the more the sport will be able to grow, the more sponsors will be interested and the bigger and stronger the tour will get. With the live scoring and live streaming introduced just a few years back we've seen a massive increase in the amount of people following the tour. I think it is going in the right direction and just have to continue with the good initiatives.