Watch Felix Volkhardt’s (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) latest video titled “LIFE.”. The german freestyler, who won his first national event in 2023, celebrated his win in California together with Alex Mertens (Duotone). After a summer of filming and sailing, the put together a 15 min clip with his reflections on what windsurfing means to him. We caught up with Felix in an interview below, make sure to check it out right after watching the very well produced clip.
FPT: Can you give us a quick synopsis of „LIFE.“? What’s the feeling you want to convey?
Felix: This movie was something I had going through my mind already quite some time. The main topic of the movie I would say, is, what is going on in my life right now and was going on over the last couple of years. It is about me traveling the world and windsurfing at the most amazing places with good friends and good vibes. But even this dream lifestyle has some cons to it. I often had the feeling of being „lost“, of not knowing whats gonna come next and if its the right choice to do what we do. Me questioning if I am doing the right thing. I guess you could sum it up with me somehow growing up and wondering where life is gonna take me next. I feel like this is something a lot of people in our age are dealing with, doesn’t matter if you are a „professional“ windsurfer or not.
FPT: Tell us a bit more about your trip to California, when did the idea arise? What did you go to do there?
Felix: Alright, so the idea was there already for a couple years, I was actually supposed to go visit Alex last year already, but there were some difficulties which didn’t allow me to go (broke into car at the airport and stole backpack with all camera gear & passport), so we had to postpone the whole idea for another year. Since Alex is pretty much my best friend since we met a couple years ago at Brouwersdam when we both were competing at the DAM-X event, we always try to visit each other and go for some windsurf trips together and since Alex has mostly been to Europe over the last couple of years, it was my turn to go visit him. Also he was always telling me about how good California is for windsurfing, so I had to go check it out by myself and see if this is actually the case. We went windsurfing, surfing and traveled around the bay area / down the coast to San Diego to visit my uncle who is living there.
FPT: How is California for windsurfing and freestyle specifically?
Felix: California is absolutely insane! One of the coolest places I have been to yet I would say. I stayed at Alex’s place in San Jose which is really close to San Francisco. There are a ton of different spots around the San Francisco Bay Area. You will find spots from almost flat water to nice big chop and even some good waves if you go sail outside of the bay. If you are willing to drive around a bit you will find a place to windsurf on 4.4 every single day. And one thing I really enjoyed about California is that its starboard tack jumping, unfortunately there are not many spots like that around Europe, so I was finally able to train my Pasko’s and also managed to land some.
FPT: You sailed a lot with Alex Mertens, how was that?
Felix: It was really nice to finally be able to share a session again with Alex. I think the last time we sailed together must have been before Covid hit, so quite some time ago. He is a really motivational guy and is always bringing good vibes to the session so we had a lot of fun windsurfing and surfing around California.
FPT: You are both videographers hence we’ve seen lots of amazing footage. Any more collaborations between you two in the future?
Felix: First, thank you! And yes, Alex is actually the one who got me started with picking up the camera when we were in Brazil in 2017. He was already in the game for a while and told me to take some photos and videos of him, since we wanted to make a little action clip of the trip. This was the moment where the whole thing started off for me. Since then he has always been pushing and helping me to improve so without him I wouldn’t be where I am now. He already knows it but again, a huge thank you to you Alex! And of course there is gonna be more collaborations between us two in the future. Unfortunately we are living pretty much on the opposite sides of the world but we are already looking into the next projects we want to do and there is gonna be more trips and projects coming up in the future!
FPT: The music is made by Alex right? Tell us a bit more about the creative process there!
Felix: Exactly, the main songs in the movie are made by Alex. I was really frustrated because I felt like there aren’t any songs out there on these royalty free music websites which fit the vibe I want to convey in the movie, so I told him about my problem and of course it didn’t even take a second until he suggested to make a custom song for me. Said and done. A couple of hours later he already send me the first sample of what he created for me after we had a little talk about what I was searching for. Had some phone calls where we made some little adjustments and bang, there was the first song for my movie. Next there were some other guys publishing some of their video projects and of course they used the exact same song which I used for the second action sequence of the movie so I called Alex again and told him about it. Shortly after that I had the second song for the movie.
FPT: Whats next in store for you in 2024? Any plans to compete?
Felix: Good question I have to say! So like I said in the movie: „I don’t know what’s gonna come next, but that’s okay.“. I guess I will take things how they come this year. I have some personal things and projects I want to work on so I will probably be working on that. And of course there will also be a lot of windsurfing still. I will kick off this year with another lovely winter escape in Cape Town for a couple weeks and work on some projects over there and enjoy the time windsurfing with everyone down there. Since I am there already it would be a shame to not compete in the FPT tour stop which is taking place there, so definitely going to see you there. I will also show up at some other competitions here and there again but I don’t know which ones exactly. So stay tuned!
FPT: Thanks Felix! We’re looking forward to see you at our events!