Philip Soltysiak - Canadian Windsurfing Champion
Date of Birth: May 31st, 1987
Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
Nationality: Canadian and Polish
Sail number: CAN 9
Education: BSc Management - University of London
Current sponsors: Sailworks, Starboard, Dakine, Streamlined, Camaro Wetsuits, Peppers Eyeware, Makani Fins, Nolimitz
Windsurfing since: 1997
- Canadian Windsurfing Champion
- 2016 US National Slalom Champion
- 5th PWA World Tour 2016 Freestyle Ranking
- 7th place at 2016 PWA Mercedes-Benz Windsurf World Cup Sylt
- 5th place at 2016 PWA Fuerteventura World Cup
- 2016 Gorge Beach Bash Freestyle Champion, 3rd in slalom
- 9th place 2016 PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf
- 2015 US Nationals Freestyle Champion
- 2015 US Nationals Slalom 3rd place
- 2013 US Nationals Freestyle Champion
- 7th place 2015 PWA Fuerteventura World Cup
- 4th place 2015 European Freestyle Pro Tour Lanzarote
- 2015 AWSI Male Windsurf Athlete of the Year
- 2010 Cabarete Classic Freestyle Champion
- 4th place 2010 Lanzarote PWA World Cup
- 6th place 2010 PWA World Tour Overall Freestyle World Ranking
- 10th place 2009 PWA World Tour Overall Freestyle World Ranking
Favourite beaches: Cape Town, South Africa. Jericoacoara, Brazil. Nitinat Lake, Canada. El Yaque, Venezuela.
Other hobbies: Skiing, Mountain Biking, Traveling, Languages
Speaks: English, French, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese
Phil’s was introduced to windsurfing in 1995 on a family vacation to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. His mother sowed a sail out of green camping tarp, and his father rigged it on a kid’s mast and boom, and hooked it up to an original windsurfer for Phil and his two brothers.
Two years later the family camped 3 weeks at Killbear Provincial Park, on Georgian Bay, in Northern Ontario. Phil windsurfed every single day, and spend the evenings asking his mother and father for tips. He was hooked, and every summer day on Georgian Bay since then was all about windsurfing.
During the school year he would convince his father to take afternoons off work and drive them to local windsurfing spots on Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario in search of the elusive wind.
Phil’s windsurfing slowly progressed, and in 2002 he competed at the Canadian Championships finishing best junior. Later that summer he competed in France at the Formula Experience European Championships placing 14th.
In 2003 Phil again won top honours at the Canadian Championships as a youth and went on to compete at the Formula Experience European Championships in Portugal where his focus and dedication showed as he took 6th place.
The following year his interests shifted from the discipline of racing to freestyle. Learning the first freestyle jumping moves Phil decided to completely drop racing and concentrate on freestyle from then on. That summer after finishing high school, Phil together with his brothers and a couple of friends embarked on an epic road trip across the country to the West Coast to windsurf some of Canada’s and USA’s best beaches; Nitinat Lake on Vancouver Island, Hood River in Oregon, and the Oregon Coast. Phil continued making progress learning the Forward Loop and Spock that summer. For the first time that fall he competed in the Men’s division at the Canadian Championships and took 6th place.
Windsurfing was the goal, but studying was on the agenda as Phil enrolled to study Management at the University of Toronto in 2005.
May 2006, within a day of his last exam for the first year of studies Phil left for a year-long trip to practice his windsurfing in Brazil and Venezuela, with a goal being to compete at his first Professional Windsurfers Association World Tour (PWA World Tour) competition in Lanzarote, Spain, in 2007.
In 2007 Phil transferred to the University of London International Programmes to continue studying while chasing his windsurfing dreams.
Jumping into the deep end in June 2007, Phil’s first opponent on the World Tour was against 3-time World Champion Ricardo Campello. After a solid showing in the heat, Ricardo won, and Phil was left to fight back in the following eliminations, where he finished in 17th place.
Phil ended the 2007 World Tour ranked 17th in the world. A great start, but even with some better heats the following year, Phil’s ranking didn’t change.
After dedicated training over the winter Phil returned to the 2009 PWA World Tour hungry for better results, and it showed with his 8th place ranking going into the last event of the year; the PWA Super Grand Slam in Sylt, Germany. Bad luck struck as Phil dislocated his shoulder - a recurring injury he’s had throughout his life - during his first heat of the competition, leaving him sidelined for the rest of the event, and away from windsurfing for 4-6 weeks. With the bad luck in Germany, his ranking dropped and he finished the 2009 World Tour ranked 10th.
Phil was motivated to get back on the water and windsurf as much as he could. After recovering from his injury his 2010 competitive year started poorly with a tied 17th place finish at the first event of the year in Podersdorf, Austria. Shortly after that Phil jumped up the rankings by finishing a career best 4th place the Lanzarote PWA World Cup. Building on his best result his confidence improved, and the 2010 season finished with Phil in 6th place in the world rankings.
Consistently Phil ranked in the top 10 on the World Tour in 2011, even though it was obvious his shoulder injury was keeping him back from pushing his training and competitions to the next level. He finished 2011 ranked 9th, 2012 and 2013 ranked 10th in the world.
Surgery and recovery
After going through Bankart Lesion Repair on his right shoulder in late 2013, and an MCL sprain right before competition in Bonaire in early 2014, Phil suffered his worst year on tour finishing ranked in 19th place.
Motivated and determined throughout the winter, Phil came back strong in 2015 with impressive results, taking a 7th place at the World Cup in Fuerteventura, 4th place at the European Tour stop in Lanzarote, and 5th at the American Windsurfing Tour Pistol River Wave Bash - a wave discipline event. He also took the 2015 US National Freestyle Champion title in Los Angeles and placed 3rd at the US Nationals in the slalom racing discipline. After a successful year he was also awarded Male Windsurf Athlete of the year by the Association of Wind and Water Sport Industries.
Windsurfing has taken Phil to many corners of the world. He competed in Canada, France, United States, Portugal, Venezuela, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic.
Besides competitions, the adventurous and nomadic windsurfing lifestyle took Phil to Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, Brazil and Egypt - trips that were extensively covered in the international windsurfing press.
In fact, Phil’s adventures were published in many international magazines including: Windsport (Canada), Windsurfing (USA), Windsurfing Now (North Ameirca) Boards (UK), Windsurf (UK), PlancheMag (France), Wind (France), Surf (Germany), Windsurfing Journal (Germany), Funboard (Italy), 4Windsurf (Italy), WindNews (Italy) Motion (Holland), Surf (Holland), Surf A Vela (Spain), Fuerza 7 (Spain) and Windsurfer (Australia).
Phil plans to continue windsurfing and traveling for many years to come. Among his many goals are to improve his windsurfing, travel to new places and share the stoke of windsurfing and travel with everyone around him.