The godfather of windsurfing, Robby Naish, joins Boards to explain just why he loves windsurfing, new equipment and how he got on the first time he stepped on a board…
“The first time I tried windsurfing I was 11 years old and weighed around 70 pounds. (I am not sure how many stone and pebbles that is, but it’s not many!) It was 1974 and I stepped onto a stock polyethylene windsurfer with an eight foot wooden boom, a wooden mast base, a giant wooden daggerboard and a cloth sail with one tiny square window. I was not strong enough to pull the sail out of the water, no matter how hard I tried. So the guy teaching me (Mike Horgan) took me tandem. I climbed up, grabbed the boom while he was sailing and he let go. For a few yards I was windsurfing, and I was hooked for life. That first feeling of gliding across the water with nothing holding up the sail other than my arms, legs, and balance was absolutely amazing.
“Through the years the sport of windsurfing has come a long way. The equipment has become amazingly high performance and user friendly, therefore making the sport easier to learn and progress in. What is possible today on a windsurfer we never could have dreamed of back in the sports infancy. Still, the thrill of gliding across the water,standing on a surfboard, wind in your face, laying back and powering the sail, that thrill is the same; incredible.
Want to know how you can be as awesome as Naish? Read more here.
“If you are a windsurfer you know what I mean. It is a sensation that is difficult to explain, unlike surfing or snowboarding, or even kitesurfing, it is a bit more complicated and there is more going on. When you finally figure it out (sailing in a straight line) there is a real sense of accomplishment. And then you move on to the next big step, turning around and sailing back the other direction, once you achieve that goal, there is another awesome sense of accomplishment. Then there’s your first gybe and so on and so on for eternity. No matter how much you do it, you always keep learning. I can pretty much guarantee it.
“Whether in flat water or in waves, so long as there is wind enough to get you going and a board to get you there, there are thrills to be had. One thing that has really helped to keep things interesting and exciting for me is the fact that my equipment is always changing. Since the beginning, I have been lucky enough to be testing and riding new equipment every single season, this has helped to keep things fresh. Although the sport itself can be enough to keep most people stoked, sometimes riding the same old board and sails year after year can get a bit stale. If you have not tried new equipment for a while, do yourself and your stoke on windsurfing a favor this summer and get yourself something new.
“Equipment is always improving, so chances are if you take a fresh look at your gear, your riding, along with your enthusiasm will step up a notch or two. It is like throwing gas on the fire!
“I’ll see you on the water!”