Continuing our new series, we meet the people whose lives are seriously rugged. This week, Max Rowe, professional windsurfer.
Job title: Freestyle windsurfer
Working Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; Fuerteventura, Spain; Maui, Brazil, Greece
Hazards of the job: Sand, salt water, wind, humidity, temperatures up to 40º C
Favourite app: The GoPro app
Phone for the job: S40
What does your day involve?
I’m always looking for where’s going to have the best conditions. Normally I try and surf in the mornings. If it’s an ideal day I’ll go out paddle surfing for a few hours, come back in, then load the car up and drive 15 minutes to a lake and do a freestyle session, then have lunch and head
somewhere for a bit of wave sailing in the afternoon.
Sounds like you need to be fit for that!
The freestyle’s tough on the body but the wave sailing is more tiring, you’re coming down from high jumps, kit can break – it’s also pretty high risk. The freestyle is pretty twisty and anything can happen to your body then. I’m actually just recovering from breaking an ankle in Maui last November from jumping. So I’m kind of taking it easy, doing lots of physio, gym work and balancing exercises building up strength again.
“With the Cat phone I don’t have to worry about damaging it.”
That environment must take its toll on your phone as well.
It does! The main aspect for me is the sand for the phone. I’m chucking it in back of car and the boot’s full of sand.
What do you love about your S40?
The wet finger tracking for me is the big thing that I take advantage of because I’m grabbing the phone as soon as I’ve come straight out the water. I’m still in my wetsuit, using it with wet hands as we’re always hunting where’s good, phoning friends, trying to find which beach to head to. With the Cat® phone, I don’t have to worry about damaging it.
Ever taken it on the water?
I have also used it during events to check heats and announcements. I’ve got a full-on wetsuit and I’ll stuff the phone in an inside pocket.
What else do you use it for?
I’ve been using it as a remote trigger for the GoPro. I use the phone to adjust the settings and also to connect to the camera afterwards to download the images.
Have you destroyed previous phones?
I have destroyed a couple of iPhones before.
“The freestyle’s tough on the body but the wave sailing is more tiring – it’s also pretty high risk.”
What else do you like about the phone?
I love the battery life. I can go days without charging sometimes. That’s a big plus. But when you’re on 3g it goes a bit faster.
What equipment do you never leave home without?
My windsurfing kit! That’s normally at least two boards, six sails, six masts, four booms. Coming out here I brought three boards and 12 sails – you’ve got to have all the toys ready to go! I’ve stopped working out how much I pay in excess baggage, but it’s at least €2,000 a year!
Best part of your lifestyle?
The ability to travel, see amazing places. To be able to windsurf all the time is just a dream for me. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
Max uses a Cat® S40. Water and dustproof credentials combined with wet finger tracking means that Max’s Cat phone is protected against sun, sea and sand. Whether answering calls, checking the weather or remotely controlling external devices, the Cat S40 rugged smartphone won’t let him down when facing a tough challenge.
Join in the conversation online with your own #RuggedStories at @Catruggedphones