Making the most of your precious time on the water and progressing at the same time are two of the best feelings you can get when windsurfing.
Simon Bornhoft explains how you can achieve this and much more with the right coaching.
"It’s very common for those new to the sport to get beginner lessons and then carry on with a voyage of self-discovery. However, unless you windsurf full time or you’re an incredibly quick learner, there are many things that hinder progression. Most people assume ‘time on the water’ makes all the difference, but that’s NOT really true, it’s how well you use your time that counts.
"I get clients who only sail one or two weeks a year who still make amazing progress. Another factor is blaming lack of wind or current ability, but by developing both light and strong wind skills with training strategies, it’s possible to fast track your level, even if you feel short on skill or time. But arguably, the biggest hindrance is fighting human nature, so often we think or imagine we're doing something, but in fact we’re not. It’s very common to delude ourselves, miss interpret counterintuitive skills and sail for hours, days, weeks or years focusing on something that actually might never work. Your potential is only reached when you create the right environment and find the correct ingredients to get the body to do what the mind is telling it to do...
“My goal in coaching is to help windsurfers get the best out of themselves whilst having a great windsurfing experience."
5 Reasons Why Coaching Will See You Reach A New Level With Your Windsurfing...
[part title="1. Coaching Motivates You"]
1. Coaching Motivates You
Windsurfing can be a hard and infuriating sport at times, so having someone to encourage you when you don’t have the belief, knowledge or confidence to move onto the next level is incredibly valuable. Equally everyone learns differently and it’s important to detect how each individual ticks, what they should focus on and most importantly motivate people to push themselves. This could mean attempting skills that initially might feel basic, un-important or impossible, but trusting someone who’s helped others through the same process before builds your chances of success. Always remember the difficulties you’re facing are not unique, new or impossible to over come. There’s a lot of psychology that goes into getting the best out of yourself and a good coach should simplify and inspire you to become a more accomplished windsurfer.
[part title="2. It Fast Track Your Skills"]
2. It Can Fast Track Your Skills
Rather than the usual blast up and down and trying a transition, there’s a whole load of very specific board and rig handling exercises that link into every aspect of the sport. Only by practicing these exercises do you get to ‘feel’ how the sport truly works. Isolating and developing key hand, foot and body movements plays a vital role in developing your skills base. Ignoring this is when get stuck on a plateau or pick up habits that limit their progress. On both our UK courses and windsurfing holidays we break everything down into achievable fun skill training exercises. From grasping planing skills for the first time to working out the most complex aspect of the sport, it’s about developing the building blocks that guarantee success.
[part title="3. Helps Avoid Bad Habits and Gives Instant Feedback"]
3. Helps Avoid Bad Habits and Gives Instant Feedback
“I didn’t realize I was doing that", “Wow, you really do need to exaggerate things" or “Now I see what I need to do", are very common responses watching video of yourself windsurfing. Productive 1-2-1 feedback, sometimes whilst sailing along right next to someone, highlights the defining moments and skills that can make a significant difference to your windsurfing. Plus a good coach should be able to unravel all the ‘beach banter’ like, “I’ve heard you’re meant to do XYZ". You want to eradicate confusion and explain ‘why and when’ one particular ‘tip’ might work in one instance, but not in another. It also stops people practicing the wrong skills for years and years. Coaching should be all about developing the right skills for the right time for each individual. If someone can’t bend their knees very well or prefers an under arm grip, good coaching is about either correcting or overcome the issue by focusing on what works best for that person. Having a ‘trained eye’ to identify the exact skills you need should instantly make a difference to your windsurfing.
[part title="4. Encourages Something New"]
4. Encourages Something New
One mistake we all make is to get stuck in a rut. For instance, just focusing on carve gybing is a classic example of a one-track objective that kills progress. I always try to encourage people to learn as many additional and complimentary skills that take you towards a single goal. People who also try duck gybes whilst learning to carve gybe, always learn to carve gybe quicker and learn to duck gybe in the process. Learning front to sail, instantly helps short board tacks, trying upwind 360’s massively helps helicopter tacks. Don’t let preconceived barriers get in your way. Start waterstarting before you’ve cracked harnessing or ride a wave before you can gybe. Coaching should expand your level, play to your strengths, show you what’s within your reach and make it relevant for you – simplifying everything along the way!
[part title="5. Positive Peer Pressure"]
5. Positive Peer Pressure
Learning with others of a similar or slightly more advanced level is all part of the perfect coaching environment. Whilst you might dream of brochure style moves, witnessing someone else learn what you’re trying to achieve is far more realistic and motivating for your own windsurfing - “We’ll if they can do it with a bit of help, then so can I". I feel that coaching should be a combination or getting absolutely the right advice, but making it part of a great windsurfing experience. You do need direction, but it doesn’t have to be a boot camp, learning should be engaging, enjoyable and rewarding. When we can, we’ll take our clients on optional down-winders, longer distance blasts and fun adventures which match in with all the technical stuff. So if you what to improve your gybes, do massive downwind blasts with 8-10 other sailors and you will improve!
[part title="More about WINDWISE"]
I try to make WINDIWSE courses and holidays far more than just a ‘clinic’, it’s a complete windsurfing experience. We provide dedicated proven coaching, that all-important personalised ‘ocean psychology’ and have some unique skills training systems to fast track results. We seek to offer a 1-2-1 service, instant feedback and commitment all wrapped up in a welcoming atmosphere. We know the right places to sail, where to go at night to eat, drink and enjoy that après windsurfing feeling. From all over the world we get couples, groups and those traveling on their own looking for like-minded people to share their passion for windsurfing with. We offer all our Windwise clients advice and assistance on equipment choice, building a quiver, technique issues, travel and all aspects of their windsurfing before, during and after our courses. Plus we have social events and our own WINDWISE team at the National Watersport Festival. So whether it’s improvers, intermediates learning to gybe or mastering waves or you just want more from your windsurfing, we have courses holidays and adventures both in the UK and overseas.
WINDWISE UK Windsurfing Courses
Just because you can’t get abroad, or if “It’s never windy at the weekend", it doesn’t mean you can’t improve. We run numerous 1 and 2 day WINDWISE sessions at Hayling Island with kit hire and accommodation, we tour all over the UK and run wave adventures in Cornwall. Our small groups, with personalised coaching sessions show you how to improve, regardless of wind strength, board size or aspirations.
WINDWISE Overseas Windsurfing Holidays
Getting the opportunity to spend a decent amount of time with our clients really helps develop their skills, plus we get to give them some windsurfing experiences they’ll never forget.
Some Recent Windwise Client Quotes
"I'm not exaggerating when I say that you completely transformed my sailing from someone who was nowhere near the straps on a 145l board to someone who was flying around, fully committed in the harness, feet in both straps on a 113l board and feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing. The course was exactly the right balance of talk, analysis, demo and doing - it exceeded my every expectation and I will definitely be back. All I did was turn up, listen to what you told me to do and things just clicked into place – brilliant!"…Ty Owen
"It would appear the light wind skills do translate to higher wind gybes, and after a period of doing disastrously after the course (you always get worse when you start to change things) I am now gybing better than ever and getting really close to a fully planing gybe. Today I completed over 90% of my gybes for the first time ever! Thanks for the help. My gybing has really "turned the corner!" …. Anita Staaden.
"Got some news for you, Aussie Paul obviously did listen, he planed out of a gybe today!"... Pommey Paul.
"I wanted to say how much my tacks have improved. I got round about 50% of them, which is waaaay better than I've ever managed before! The course has made a massive difference, thank you. Looking forwards to Egypt"... Penny Wiles.
"Wow what a weekend! I learnt so many techniques, from rigging in a better way, to how my stance should be for the varying conditions and manoeuvres."... Neil McLauchlan