Can you handle the world’s toughest windsurf comp?

There are four places open for Red Bull Storm Chase. Are you brave enough to enter?
A contestant bails out of a big move during the 2016 Red Bull Storm Chase big wave windsurfing contest off the coast of Cornwall, UK
Bailout! © Sebastian Marko
By Josh Sampiero

The world’s most challenging windsurf contest, Red Bull Storm Chase, is on again – and there are four contest spots left open for the worthiest competitors. Could it be you?

Well… maybe. If you have some serious windsurfing skills, a hunger for hunting down massive winter storms and a very thick wetsuit, you can at least start thinking about it.

But think hard – this is no joke. And take a cue from the GIFs below about what you’d be applying for – or catch the action video here.

You should apply to Red Bull Storm Chase if

You can catch air like this:

Let's face it – the best thing about high-wind windsurfing? Big air – the kind of air that puts even kiteboarders to shame. If you want to do well in Red Bull Storm Chase, you're going to need to be able to punt.

Your sail has a lot of stickers on it:

We’re not trying to exclude anyone… but this contest's sort of exclusive. To have a real shot at getting invited, your sail and board need to sport a few stickers. Basically, you should either be a pro, have been a pro or be on the track to becoming a pro windsurfer.

You have moves like these:

That's called the rewind – it's a push loop into a forward loop. Easy? Not at all. Impressive? Very.

You can ride waves like this:

There's wave sailing, then there's storm sailing. Storms like the one we're looking for don’t produce turquoise blue lines of peeling rights and lefts. Oh no. This is victory at sea. Waves come from every angle and break everywhere. If you happen to be caught in the jaws of a beast, you’re going for a ride, so hang on (or sometimes it's best not to).

You can handle wind like this:

Red Bull Storm Chase won’t run until peak gusts are touching 100kph. That’s about when your average human has trouble walking down the street. For this contest, you’ll need to hold on to a sail – designed to catch even more wind. You might need two people just to get your gear to the water. If you think you can handle that, or better yet, have actually done it before, come on down!

You think this looks like fun:

You’ll crash. Everybody crashes. The question is… how well can you handle it? In a force-10 storm, taking a spill isn’t your standard rinse cycle. It’s a ride in a cement-mixing truck.

You're ready to go, now:

Storm chasing means just that – you go where the storm goes. That means you’ve got to be reactive, mobile and willing to spend all night on a plane only to wake up and be on the top of your windsurfing game – all at a moment’s notice. Can you even handle this!? If you think so, get us your video ASAP

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