Oftentimes, when people find out that I work as a windsurfing instructor, they tell me that they once tried windsurfing but they didn’t try a second time because they couldn’t get going. Every single time I hear that -and I hear it a lot- I get sad; so I decided to write a blogpost about it.
Here is the story:
99% of the people whom I’ve met, who have tried windsurfing once and didn’t give it a second shot, fall in at least one of the categories below:
a)they tried it in the ‘80s or ‘90s, back when the boards were as narrow as a bullet and the sails had long, heavy wooden booms
b) a relative or their other half tried to explain to them the principles of windsurfing
c) the relative or other half which tried to show them how it’s done, did so on unsuitable equipment for a beginner
d) they went to a watersports school which either didn’t have beginner equipment for them to use or didn’t have a qualified instructor to show them how to use it
Leaving these categories out, I haven’t met anyone who has tried windsurfing and doesn’t think it’s awesome!
If you fall in category (a), you probably think that you need to be an acrobat in order to learn windsurfing. Back in the days when you had to balance on a board that was too narrow and pick up a sail with a boom that was longer than your car, without knowing what to do next, you gave up. I totally understand. These days, windsurfing has become so much easier; people practice it on modern equipment -wide boards and light sails-. If you tried it again, you wouldn’t believe your eyes.
If you fall in category (b), please give windsurfing a second chance. There are professionals who are qualified to teach you how to windsurf. If you are a windsurfer who is trying to teach a relative or their other half, please don’t do that. It’s not your job, plus instead of making them interested in the sport you so much enjoy, you are driving them away. If you really want them to pick up windsurfing, encourage them to sign up for a course at a windsurfing school.
If you’re in category (c), you must think that windsurfing starts on a board that sinks once you get on it and a sail that is so heavy, you can barely pull it out of the water. Good news people: windsurfing starts on a board that is big and stable enough to support your weight, with a sail that is small and easy to handle. The smaller the sail, the less pressure it has when you’re using it, which lets you get it out of the water easily and figure out how to sail in a straight line instead of having it get ripped out of your hands every few meters.
If you’re in category (d), you are one of those who arrived at the source but could not drink water. There are several watersports schools which – for fear of not being able to service a client or just because they don’t care – get their clients on the water on unsuitable equipment or without proper instruction. These guys don’t realise that they will lose the client anyway.
If you’ve tried windsurfing in the past and thought it was a waste of time, this could be the time to reconsider. My next post will be about how you can start windsurfing and how to figure out whether you’re in the right place!