The windsurfer's experience
If you're a windsurfing beginner, your success will depend on your athletic ability and good balance. Once you master the basics, anyone can learn to windsurf.
Kerplunk. It’s a sound you will surely hear within moments of your first attempt at windsurfing.
You’ll be shouting the next sound, “wahoo!” as you sail for 50 splash-free metres over the water. You’ll look up to see if your onshore fan club was watching, give a triumphant wave, and then the inevitable will happen. Kerplunk. You’ll doggedly clamber back onto the board, raise the mast, and dance with the wind once again.
Your success at windsurfing will depend on a number of factors. Natural athletic ability and good balance may help, but anyone can learn to windsurf. You don’t have to be strong, slim, or young.
More than any specific set of physical attributes, windsurfing requires a strong mental state. If you are curious and determined to learn from a windsurfing lesson, you just might leave with the first blush of passion.
A lesson may make all the difference in your success at the sport. Windsurfing schools are not plentiful, so you’ll need to be resourceful. Without readily available professional lessons, many people learn to windsurf by trying out someone else’s board.
To get started, talk to people about windsurfing. Ask windsurfers about the local scene and how they got started, and perhaps they’ll give you tips on how you could get involved. You’ll discover that windsurfers are a generous group of people. In Canada we have the luxury of uncrowded beaches and lakes, so there’s room for everyone to experience the excitement.
It is exciting. Outrageously so. As you progress from beginner to intermediate, you’ll gain confidence and speed–and with speed comes the rush of adrenaline. Punctuating the adrenaline spikes will be moments of sublime inner calm.
Timeless moments when you will have married yourself to the wind and water until ... kerplunk. Your Zen-like moment will quickly disappear as you fall into the water. Friends will glide past, smiling, knowing that you’ll quickly resume your dance with the wind. You’ll just have to be ...
Patient. If you haven’t got patience, you might struggle as a windsurfer. It takes persistence to learn the sport. While you may master the board and sail, you can never own the wind–it is neither punctual nor considerate.
On those days when the wind doesn’t deliver, learn to appreciate the landscape in which you are immersed and the friends with whom you share the moment. You are alive and outdoors. Savour your good fortune.