The UK and Ireland provide some incredible windsurfing conditions and, if you can figure out a good work/life/windsurf balance, there are plenty of hours on the water up for grabs, especially over the summer months.
It’s not always as easy as we would wish to get regular windsurfing sessions in though; BOARDS is joined by five top level, UK based windsurfers to recount their best sessions of 2014 and share advice on how you can secure your own in 2015. From working in the industry for an understanding boss, to meticulous planning around an altogether different career, these windsurfers manage to juggle it all and are here to explain how you can too. Next up it’s…
At the moment I’m living at my parents place in Dorset and we’re about 40 minutes from Portland, so I can get to the beach and back pretty fast.
I’m currently working with a family friend at a video production company that does a lot of maritime stuff. It’s really cool getting to work on the water and he understands about me going windsurfing when there’s a good forecast as he used to windsurf, so he definitely understands the genuine need to be on the water.
My advice for young windsurfers wanting to get out more… well, I really sympathise, as before I was 18 I wasn’t getting out as much as I could have been; so, I say be really kind to your parents and take your driving test on your 17th birthday!
I got a car last year, which was the most freeing thing that could happen to me. I leave all my sails in the boot and my board strapped to the roof 24/7 so when any wind comes in, I am straight out the door.
I couldn’t travel abroad this winter so for every session I stayed out as long as my body permitted. I’ve even been sailing a lot after dark at Portland as there’s streetlights all down the side of the harbour, it’s such a rush sailing in the dark and I really think it helps you learn new tricks as it eliminates your sight and lets you concentrate more on how the move feels as you do it; it really helped me learn tricks on my bad side. My mum hates me sailing at night she thinks it’s dangerous, which might be true, but it’s just too fun!
My advice for young windsurfers wanting to get out more... well, I really sympathise, as before I was 18 I wasn’t getting out as much as I could have been; so, I say be really kind to your parents and take your driving test on your 17th birthday!
The moral of the story is duct tape fixes everything.
My best session of the year is always a hard one, but I can narrow it down to two.
Number one: Portland harbour, October time and I had been waiting for this forecast all week. I had just passed my driving test so this was going to be one for the books… but on my first run I tried a culo into a big lull and put my knee through my board; I was so bummed. I went from overexcited to depressed in the space of about two minutes. I sat there for a minute wallowing, and then decide to sail in. On my way in I caught a really nice gust and did a perfect kono on my bad side; I was so pumped that I just duct taped my board up, ignored the fact that it weighed about 20 kg and then had one of the best sessions of the year. That was a pretty memorable day…that could have been awful. The moral of the story is duct tape fixes everything.
Number two: not a single session but about two weeks of windsurfing at the end of the summer after the PWA World Cup in Fuerteventura. Adam Sims, Hanna Banana, Alex Mitchell, myself and other special guests had some of the sickest flat-water freestyle sessions in the lagoons at Risco old El Passo.
We had almost every day on 4.4, in about 100 m of flat water. Some days there were up to 100 windsurfers, it was such an amazing time sailing until dark with your best friends, people cheering on the beach then going for a cerveza at the beach bar afterwards; it was dream like. I am already counting down the days until we get back there.