He is the ever smiling blonde-haired surferboy, who boosts the good vibes whenever he shows up: Marco Lufen. The German freestyler entered the international competition scene in 2012 when he first participated at the EFPT event in Sigri, Greece. Lufen had been 16 years old back then and already showed huge skills for someone who didn’t grow up at the seaside. Almost ten years in, the freestyler can look back on quite a career and some solid achievements. Lufen started it all on JP/Neilpryde and is now back with the brands for the upcoming seasons. Find out more about where it all started, his favorite JP/Neilpryde set-up, which superpowers he would love to possess and why he would choose ‘Staying Alive’ from the Bee Gees as the song that starts playing when he enters a room.
EFPT: Marco, since 2021 you are back on JP/Neilpryde after sailing for Duotone/Fanatic for many seasons. You mentioned that you are back on the gear that it all started with. How and when did it all start?
Hey Team! First of all thanks for having me! A quick shoutout to all the people being involved in the EFPT supporting me throughout my windsurf life so far & giving me a lot of exposure in all media. I first and foremost hope that we will see some additions to the event-calendar and I personally wish Adam and his crew best of luck for the coming years.
Well it all started for me with taking part in the legendary JP-Australia “YOUNG GUNS CAMP” in Prasonisi, Rhodes in 2009 where I finished 3rd. The following year I went back and was able to claim the victory which basically got me my first deal from JP/Neilpryde. I still remember Kauli Seadi handing over the trophy, which was absolutely amazing, since I was his biggest fan. I think and I still am!
Being in the windsurfing scene for quite some time now I personally do believe that this format is one of the best to date to inspire youngsters. I am working on something! Let’s see!
EFPT: How does the new equipment feel to you and what’s your favorite set up?
My favourite set-up is my Neilpryde Wizard Pro 4,8 and my JP-Australia Freestyle 93.
The equipment is very smooth and boosts your sailing from the lower up to the higher winds, since its pressure point is super stable. Every brand has its unique characteristics in terms of performance. Since JP/Neilpryde is looking back at a long tradition of development and testing and having had several board lines, the equipment is suitable for amateurs as well as more advanced people and professionals.
I have tested various set-ups of the whole JP/Neilpryde line and I think everyone will find his/hers favorite board or sail within the range.
EFPT: Did your set up preference change since the last time you sailed for JP/Neilpryde?
To be honest it did not change at all. When I had my last JP/Neilpryde stuff in 2016 I was loving the 4,8 Wizard and the 90l JP freestyle, which is still case right now in 2021. Obviously the shapes changed, but I cannot deny the fact that I still love this combo.In general one can say that there has been a massive boost in development especially in freestyle and wave. The equipment is super direct and at the same time very forgiving, which is a great feature.
EFPT: You seemed to step back bit from international competitions. What’s your mission now?
That is true. I will be taking part in some events, but my focus is definitely not on competing.
I do believe that there is much more to a sport than the competition aspect, especially in surfing in general. Surfing embodies a vast variety of things that people nowadays want to achieve in their life, which is why the whole ‚surf-vibe’ gets more and more popular.
It is about freedom, living in the moment, collecting memories, living a pure life, detached from capitalistic structures & being united with mother nature. It is a vibe, a mindset, a piece of art, which is fulfilling and creates happiness after all.
Coming back to your question about my mission: well I want to show people how great all of this can be and I want to make people go surfing! Especially the younger generation of ours is in my eyes rather lazy and their opinion is mostly based on stuff which they have seen on instagram and facebook, but this ain’t reality.
I want to encourage the younger ones to be going out of the house again and explore what is out there that broadens ones horizon.
EFPT: Will you focus on freestyle windsurfing or will we also see you foiling and wingfoiling?
Freestyle windsurfing is still my passion and the discipline where I started with. Lately even a bigger passion of mine are waves wether it is windsurfing in the waves or surfing in general.
I do a lot of windsurf-foiling. I honestly did not believe in the whole foil thing at first. I remember Balz Müller going absolutely nuts while being at a competition in Sylt a couple of years ago and I was like ‚yeah whatever…’ but now I feel like I should have started earlier (hahaha).
So all in all I am a water sport enthusiast with a strong focus on wind related water activities. 😉
EFPT: You had a full international windsurfing career, you lived abroad, finished your master studies in Rotterdam and travelled the world. Now you bought a house, you scored a full time job, you work for Maui ultra Fins and for your multiple sponsors, you take on big modeling jobs and you are only 27. What’s the secret or when do you sleep?!
It has been quite a lot lately I got to be honest, but some work has been paying off and I am happy to be where I am right now. There is a lot more to come in the coming years. I feel like you have to be on the top of your game in order to be able to pursue your passion in the long-run, which is why I am based on various pillars.
EFPT: Will we see you back in competition and if yes, what will be the location of your choice?
I definitely wanted to attend my favorite event on the tour ,which is Lanzarote. I love the spot and the people and cannot wait to back at Antxon Otaegui’s place, hopefully in 2022 now since 2021 unfotunately had to be cancelled. Other than that I would love to see an event back in Leucate (France), which is a great place to be at with a good infrastructure for spectators to experience the show.
EFPT: If you could have any superhero power, what power would you have and why?
Hahaha that is a good one! Well to be fair for me that would be the superpower of being able to beam myself to any location within a few seconds. Just imagine being able to go to for example to Australia Gnaraloo, where the conditions are pumping, going out for a few hours and then going back home via beaming! Mind-blowing, I guess that would be my super power of choice.
EFPT: If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?
I would be choosing ‘Stayin Alive’ from the Bee Gees. A classic song, which draws everyones attention, since the voice pitch is rather high. I like to bring a rhythm and vibe into a room and I am convinced entering with this song creates something positive!
I doubt that this decision is a wise one in every occasion, but I would go with that hehehe. Besides that I know the lyrics of that one, which is rare!
EFPT: Tell us something we don’t know:
Well haha I am pretty much an open-book, but let me think…I wish I would have started surfing earlier than windsurfing, to be able to bring surf skills into windsurfing.