Every great windsurfer comes from somewhere, this for many of the top British riders means learning as a kid and then spending hours on the nearest lake with friends, having fun and learning as they went along.
Boards decided to take a look back at the childhoods of some of the best riders this country has produced, starting off with the current BWA champion Phil Horrocks.
Please note, this feature does contain amusing childhood images.
Name: Phil Horrocks
Age when you started windsurfing: 14
Why, when, where you started windsurfing: On holiday in france with my uncle, I had a quick go on a lake somewhere, then an afternoon on a tiny duck pond later in the holiday, sailed all day!
How often did you windsurf? A few times a year until I was 19, then I started windsurfing regularly.
Where did you go? I started to get into it with my brothers, we would go to Bala lake, or Llyn Aled, up on the Denbigh moors, a baron place where dead sheep floated in the icy waters!
Did you have to convince your parents to take you? Or were they supportive? They took us on holiday but my uncle helped us have a go, I don’t remember it being a conscious decision we just went occasionally, god knows why? When my oldest brother started driving we could go more, in the summer evenings or weekends to the lake, it was 30 minute drive to the nearest bit of water.
What sort of windsurfing did you do? I don’t know? We didn’t have sorts back then, we just went, it was all windsurfing, I didn’t know there were waves or freestyle or even racing.. there was just a couple of others doing the same thing at the lake and that was it?!
What were your dreams and ambitions as a kid? To play rugby for Wales!
What advice would you give to any windsurfing kids now? I wouldn’t give any.. just let them go out there and have fun, the windsurfer is a toy.. use it, if you like it, do it some more, if you don’t like it do something else.. there’s plenty of fun stuff to do out there, windsurfing gave me lots of fun, I’m sure it would to any kid.
Are there any young rippers out there that you know that have really impressed you? Ollie is the youngest guy who rips up our way, but he mostly surfs and paddle boards, even when it’s windy, but he can windsurf, his dad windsurfs, and I’m sure in time he’ll windsurf too. If he put his mind to it, he could be really good! But he will be really good at any of the sports he chooses, some kids are skills monkeys like that.