Summer windsurfing in the UK can be fantastic, warm waters, afternoon sea breezes and maybe even some sunshine. But unfortunately the UK does not always deliver on the wind front.
After some great ‘summer’ wind for many the temperature now potentially looks like it may increase, however the rising temperatures may mean dropping winds, not ideal for cracking those gybes or getting into the footstraps.
Without doubt the best way to quick improvement is fairly simple, lots of hours on the water combined with a friendly coaching ear. Whilst this can be achieved in the UK the potential hours on the water increase tenfold when you head abroad.
But who can benefit the most from a windsurfing holiday? And where and why should you head away this summer?
Are you trying for the straps? Getting comfortable blasting and thinking about carve gybes? Or have you been attempting and getting round gybes for a while but want to be able to crank them round full planing?
Reading technique pieces, watching videos and listening to advice will definitely help, but it is actually getting on the water and making your muscles do the movements that will improve your windsurfing/
Getting a good planing stance is key to all of your future windsurfing. If you struggle to plane you may well be setting up your equipment a little incorrectly, standing too far back on the board or not sheeting in enough to generate the power to drive your board.
Greece and all the Greek islands provide an excellent setting if you are looking to break the footstrap or gybing barrier.
Greece is Julian’s favourite locations, he has been on regular holidays and found the level of his windsurfing has improved greatly each time:
“Before I first ventured onto a windsurfing holiday I didn’t see what all the fuss was about and thought I got on the water quite a lot in the UK anyway. I had recently got comfortable in the harness and into the front foot strap, but was struggling with the back strap and being really comfortable planing.
On my trip I met a lot of windsurfers around the same level, just being on the water with a lot of other men and women who were all practicing the same stuff made me progress! It was really great to be able to discuss things with all of them and of course we had a great instructor guiding us too. We had coaching every day, both on the land and on the water, whilst I had heard most of the pointers we were given before over the week everything actually started to sink in and my body started listening to my mind!
By the end of the week, I had managed to get into the back strap (after a few amusing crashes!) and became comfortable with steering in the straps too. This meant I had a lot more control and could understand how to make the board go where I wanted too. I had also always struggled a little with getting planing early, again thanks to my trusty instructor and some pointers on where to set my harness lines and how to use my body weight to my advantage I was planing as early as anyone else by the end of the week!
I would thoroughly recommend an intensive windsurfing holiday for anyone who has been struggling for a while to reach the next level, it really does boost your windsurfing like nothing else.”
Find out more about the Greek destinations and what they offer:
Once you have got past the comfortable blasting stage and are making most of your gybes it can be easy to fall into a pattern on the water where you are having a brilliant time, but not specifically progressing in any areas. There are many potential paths your windsurfing can now take, whether it be getting into freestyle or venturing into waves, a holiday away to a full staffed destination with safety cover, new equipment and reliable conditions can be the stepping stone to a higher level. Whether it be the waves of Moulay or Tenerife, the freestyle playgrounds of Samos in Turkey or Lanzarote or the varied Fuerteventura or Sardinia there is the perfect summer destination out there for you to develop your skills.
If you don’t fancy heading abroad this summer and instead would like to stay closer to home the UK does of course have some quality holiday destinations of it’s own. The isle of Tiree is world renowned for delivering epic windsurfing conditions all year round as is the jewel in the English wavesailing crown, Cornwall. Both can bring you hours on the water on the latest equipment with coaching that would rival any international location.