Interviewed by Ollie J
Andy took some time out from his busy uni schedule (I swear I could hear the xbox in the background) to chat to FREEDOM on what’s been going down in the life of the ex PKRA champ.
So what’s been happening in the life of Andy Yates? Are you still competing in comps?
The last serious events I competed in were back in 2011 and just after that I did a serious shoulder injury that took me out. Two full shoulder reconstructions, lots of rehab, the works you know.
It really made me re-evaluate what I want to do; I always wanted to go to university so it gave me some time. I think in the future I would like to get back in to competitions but we will see.
How is the shoulder now?
The first operation failed; I never really felt comfortable with it. A screw they put in came out so they had to do a salvage operation which luckily went well. Now my shoulder is really good again so I’m stoked. I think I’m quite lucky to have only blown my shoulder and that it’s healed so well. I think your knees are possibly the worst things you could injure, but yeah I’m all good now, just have a massive scar.
Injuries really seem to plague our sport. What is your take on this?
Yeah man, if you look at all the top guys in the year I won the PKRA (2010), the points leader Kevin Langeree did his knee real bad halfway through the year which opened the door for me. Then I got injured and that opened the door for Youri… who got injured and opened the door for Alex… then Alex did his knee… Aaron Hadlow did his knee, everyone was blowing up their knees, shoulders, ankles – it’s just a matter of time in kiting.
So now your shoulder is all healed, do you ride differently to avoid anymore injuries?
I haven’t really changed the way I ride, but I don’t really go out and try to land all my tricks in 30 knot conditions anymore. I used to be really determined to land all my tricks in all conditions, but now if it doesn’t feel right I’m happy just cruising. Up here in Townsville it’s generally a nice 15-20 knots, so with a 14m kite it’s definitely a lot safer and easier on the body. I guess on a smaller kite in high winds there is so much less room for error so injuries happen very easily.
Ok, some good pointers there. So you’re still riding and for ozone now?
Yeah I’m having a really good time just shooting and making videos with Ozone and getting good grades at uni, so despite the injury it’s all working out good. Got a pretty rad deal with Ozone; just went to Mauritius which was pretty sweet.