Robby Naish doing what he does best, slaying huge waves
© Bob Bangerter/Red Bull Content Pool

Learn how being analytical helped this athlete become windsurfing royalty

Robby Naish has been setting the world of windsurfing and kiteboarding alight for more than 40 years. We look at the Red Bull Wingfinder personality traits behind his success.
By Phil Barker
4 min readPublished on
Part of this story

Robby Naish

United StatesUnited States
View Profile
In a career spanning an incredible four decades, windsurfer, kitesurfer and entrepreneur Robby Naish has cemented his name as one of the most talented and enduring athletes around. Physical ability is only part of the reason behind Naish's success, so in a bid to discover more, the athlete took the Red Bull Wingfinder personality test.
Red Bull Wingfinder is designed to discover key strengths and weaknesses, helping participants to better themselves and achieve more, and Naish's Wingfinder results highlight an achiever who’s confident, disciplined and analytical. Read on as we take a look at how these traits have helped Naish to succeed for more than 40 years, and how similar traits could help to improve your own career.
First and foremost, Naish has an analytical approach to thinking, enabling him to work methodically, and weigh up alternative solutions critically – a great skill whether in sport or everyday life.
"I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out," Naish explains. "I don't just jump into something and try and wing it; even earlier in my career I was trying to learn new things. I would go about it fairly analytically. There were other guys who'd just throw themselves into moves, and see what happened. I'd watch and think, 'Ugh'. I really didn't want to get hurt, because injury is the enemy in sport.
"I was pretty lucky to have done things as long as I did without getting injured. Part of that was due to my analytical and conservative approach to learning new things – thinking about them before just trying them."
Robbie Naish relaxes during a pre event interview for Red Bull King Of The Air at Big Bay, Cape Town, South Africa on the 4th February, 2015.
Robbie Naish is watersports royalty
Naish's success isn’t just limited to the waves, with the athlete also turning his hand to creating some of the world's best equipment for watersports, and he points out that his analytical approach has had a big impact here, too.
"We're developing things for sports like kitesurfing, for example, where there are a lot of inherent risks that need an analytical approach, looking at security systems, safety systems and so on."
Although an analytical approach to thinking proves a big part in Naish's current personality, it wasn’t always the case. "It's come over time. I wasn't that analytical when I was younger," Naish says. "I think a lot of that approach has come over my 40-something years of being a sportsman, and honing my skillset. It's come over time through necessity and learning, rather than being so much of a natural part of my personality."
Confidence is another key trait inherent to Naish, along with some of the world's best athletes, helping him to strongly believe in his own abilities. Confidence can help you to get ahead in your personal and work life, whatever industry you choose, but it proves particularly handy when going head-to-head with elite athletes, helping Naish to hide any insecurities and try new things without being afraid.
Unsurprisingly for an atlete who many regard as the first person to gain long-lasting fame in windsurfing, a pioneer in kitesurfing, and the driving force behind some truly innovative equipment, Naish is an achiever. This is a trait that makes him ambitious, and determined to accomplish great things.
Not content for things to be simply 'good enough', Naish always desired more and, coupled with a disciplined approach to drive, it's proved to be an unstoppable combination. People who are disciplined are great at managing themselves and keeping focused, working in a structured way without getting easily distracted.
It's a trait that's helped Naish to succeed through attention to detail, perfectionism and consistency, and that discipline can be seen in Naish's attitude and approach to everyday life. "I love what I do. I'm really stubborn and I'm really focused," he says. If you want to succeed like Naish, "Pick something you love, stick with it, and work really hard."
Want to know more about your own strengths and weaknesses? Take the Red Bull Wingfinder test today.
Part of this story

Robby Naish

United StatesUnited States
View Profile