One of the most avid reporters of PWA action is web magazine Continent Seven.
Run by Chris Pressler (Starboard), his partner Kirstin Reiger, and her brother Florian, the site is one of the most regularly visited windsurfing locations online. I asked Chris, Kirstin and Florian about what makes them tick, and how they started this popular windsurfing resource.
What motivated you to start the project?
‘Freestyle windsurfing started to make flat water look pretty hot back in 2001. There was also another PWA Freestyle World Cup taking place in Austria on lake Neusiedl. We had prepared a lot of picture sequences of moves, containing around 25 pics each, and presented them to Pros like Kevin Pritchard, Josh Stone, Michi Schweiger and Web Pedrick. I did some interviews and got amazing feedback. We decided that the sequences should be shown to the windsurfing world. Descriptions were added and we started continentseven.com’
What’s the purpose of the project?
‘The purpose is to give riders a push with our little daily videos to try a new trick, to show that windsurfing is a sport which gets developed day by day, to prove that windsurfing is something exciting with a lot of potential, in techniques and styles, to support an open-minded and individualistic windsurfing culture, to improve our own web skills, to work together and to do something we love’
Why call it Continent 7?
‘The name got created by our Webmaster Florian Reiger. Florian explains: ‘I created the name at Lake Garda sitting in the beach park of the Conca D’Oro (former location of the King of the lake event) in the middle of August 2000. I was waiting for the Ora wind and considering names for our project. Chris and Kerstin were on the water at this time instructing students. When they came back from the water I presented them my ideas. Continentseven was born. The idea behind was as following: five or six continents already exist - depending on how you count! The continent number seven should be the continent of water, of the ocean. Seven also has a mystical exceptional position compared to other numbers: the seven hills of Rome, seven against Theben, seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Barry Sheene, George Best, The Magnificent Seven. Also, we dedicated our first commercial video to the number seven, called the 7 Sons of Freestyle, and created the Continentseven youth freestyle team in 2003, which was started with 7 young kids’
How will it evolve?
‘Hopefully well. For sure we always hope help to keep windsurfing fresh and attractive, and to make it bigger again. Continentseven already has over 200.000 regular visits monthly from over 100 countries. The more development and progression the sport makes, the bigger the potential for continentseven. It will continue to grow and to improve. To keep the website interesting for our huge audience, we have to concentrate a bit more on commercial goals, but nevertheless we never want to loose the track of our basic principals’
Who’s it aimed at?
‘Our roots are in freestyle windsurfing but we work continuous on becoming more interesting for a broader audience. The seventh continent is of course without borders. We never had the purpose to create a local website for local communities.
‘Still the original team: Kerstin Reiger, my girlfriend, her brother Florian Reiger and myself’
What else do you apart from C7?
‘Florian is a medical doctor and has been heavily into computer programming for some years. Kerstin studied science of sports in Vienna. Now she’s into photography and has enrolled in an art photography school for in the moment, and is working on her first exhibition’
‘I studied sport science and geography at University, then worked for 2 years as a teacher (2001/2002), but quit the job to have more time to dedicate myself towards windsurfing. Nowadays I do testing for Starboard and Challenger sails, and do travel photo stories together with Kerstin and create content for print and online mags. Supporting young people to find a start into the windsurfing world was also always important for me. So Kirstin and I founded some camps and clinics. I was also a ski racer between the age of 6 and 16, but these days I do my racing on the PWA Slalom 42 circuit, and was also successful in Asian events this winter’
Many thanks to Continentseven.com. Also, be sure to watch out for how Chris Pressler does in the upcoming Ulsan PWA World Cup!
© PWA / Brian McDowell