CATCHING UP WITH FLO JUNG
One of the world’s most progressive windsurfers, Flo has been in the pro game for over a decade on the constant hunt for perfect waves around the globe. Living for the wind and the ocean, he splits his time between the coastline around Hamburg, and Cape Town. Flo’s interaction with the natural environment serves as his personal source of endless motivation. Whether competing internationally or free surfing in front of massive icebergs in Alaska, Flo extends his interests to sustainable endeavors that will make people rethink their environmental impact…
What does a day in the life of Flo Jung look like at the moment?
Wave Windsurfing is my main discipline, but lately I have been wing foiling a lot as well.
Actually, every day looks different, and I try to adapt my daily routine to the weather forecast. If it’s flat I really enjoy cold water swimming in the morning. On windy days I focus all my energy on being on the water with a board. Whether to windsurf (especially if there are big waves), or to wing foil if the waves are not perfect.
If there is no wind, I also train with my coach, or simply go surfing. Between training there are a lot of film and video shoots for my sponsors too.
In terms of diet, I try to eat healthy; no sugar, more or less vegan, and mostly organic. Pretty boring, but effective.
What was one thing that was crucial in getting you to where you’re at now?
I’ve always wanted to be one of the best in what I’m doing, or at least give my very best. I think it’s the constant progression of learning, and being willing to always find new creative ways to reinvent yourself.
The balance of going back to your foundation, but also pushing yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time. It’s never a straight line to the top and I feel like every setback and injury has had a positive impact as well.
How did you first get into water sports?
I found a windsurf board in my uncle’s garage when I was 15 years old and loved the feeling of flying weightless over the water right from the start. After I rode my first real wave in Hawaii, I wanted to learn all kinds of board sports that involve surfing.
What motivated you to become an athlete?
I think it all starts with passion. I really love what I am doing and I guess you naturally become better at it. I don’t see myself as an athlete that only wants to win. For me, it’s also about finding my inner peace with just playing out there and adapting to the elements in the best possible way.
What can you tell us about the gear you’re riding now?
In terms of the windsurf sails, I use the Gun RE-SEAL sails, made out recycled monofilm. I use my Synth harness that I developed together with the AK design team. It’s probably the best windsurf harness, along with the Carbon Aerobar.
Tell us about some of your sustainability initiatives and key highlights?
I think it’s a real privilege to do what I do. Maybe I was just lucky to be where I am, but I think it’s also important to take a look around and realize that not everybody has had the same opportunities. Especially here in South Africa, where there is an unequal situation between the rich and poor. Together with my wife, I started an NGO called Mon Coeur (My heart), where we support about 450 children here in Cape Town. We do that with the funds from investors, donations, and the income from our lifestyle label. It’s a really fun process as you also learn a lot, but moreover, I can make a big difference in the life of many people by investing a little bit of my time.
For more info, check out www.moncoeur.de
What’s one of your favorite photos you’ve taken or had taken of you recently and why?
I think one of my favourite photos is a photo of a Goiter by Sam Tomé. It doesn’t seem to be that spectacular, but it was a really nice session. The water colors were unreal and I was really in flow that day. I think that photos are a nice reminder of a perfect day out there.
What are you inspired by at the moment?
I am inspired by life in general. I just came back from a knee injury and every session now just feels amazing. I am also blessed with a healthy family and being in balance with working on my goals and feeling really fit, which makes me appreciate the good times even more.
What is your hometowns best-kept secret?
I have been travelling the world for the last 15 years, so I am not sure if I still have a home town. I am currently staying here at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope, in a small town called Scarborough. If you ever come past here on a big swell you will see a perfect long wave – but as it’s a secret, I can’t tell you exactly where to find it 🙂
If you could jump on a plane right now, where would you go and why?
I am really stoked to be here in South Africa. To me it feels like the right place to be at the moment. Other than that, I would like to go back to Hawaii or Indo and ride some warm water waves with friends.
Who would you say is your biggest influence right now?
I think my biggest influence are my kids and family. I really enjoy the process of seeing them learn and how they experience their own world.
Other than that, I admire all the athletes out there that are ripping hard and going for it.
What are you most excited about moving forward?
I think it’s a great opportunity to have the freedom to follow my passion and find new ways to adapt to the conditions. Right now, I really enjoy the options of surf foiling and winging, because I can pretty much do it every day. Other than that, I am looking forward to having a good season on the Wing and Windsurf World Tour.