Windsurfing..a few thoughts…OK inane ramblings then

Eric shares with us some of his thoughts on windsurfing.

I am rapidly approaching my 40th year…not so scary really. What is a bit scary is that windsurfing has been part of my life for overhalf of it. I first tried it when I was 12 on a lake in the South West of France. I won’t go into my relative lack of progress over these all these years. Well it’s not as if I can’t gybe!!

 

Recently, I have been trying to think what this sport means to me and the answer is … a hell of a lot. Choose jobs or shifts, holidays, make financially silly decisions, destroy my body and at times push personal relationships to the limit because of it. For me it’s like a drug and it is hard to get enough.

The thrill and buzz you get from windsurfing is for me like no other, but just as important to me is also the great camaraderie with your fellow weirdo’s. We tend to be fairly solitary when we are out on the water, just sharing a quick shout or chat in the shallows about sail size, board volume, but once we are on land then we really come together. Great banter, listening to each other’s exploits of great daring, micky taking, laughing at the latest bling vehicle whilst really being a bit jealous (maybe that’s just me!!).

A lot of the time I think we can tend to get too wrapped up in looking for the perfect conditions or the chase for that one manoeuvre that will make us a “proper” windsurfer. You know what stuff that! Make the most of every moment on the water, take pride in that one thing you did well that day. Overall you might have had a rubbish session, but you must have managed at least one move no matter how insignificant it might seem to that “proper” windsurfer on the forum. Yes set yourself goals and push yourself, but don’t get too hung up on it.

I would love to loop. Been on the course, bottled it, made excuses and bottled it some more. Learning to loop isn’t the be all and end all of windsurfing. I hope to get there, but in mean time I am enjoying pushing my sailing in other aspects. If I never loop then that’s life.

Just because you don’t sail in perfect down the line conditions or you find port tack and starboard tack poles apart ability wise doesn’t make you any less a windsurfer. Hey I love long shore blasting where I can blast down the coast, get the occasional air and then bother a few ankle biters on the way back. That obviously doesn’t mean I don’t love other conditions.Again it’s about making the most of the conditions you have and certainly I have sailed those types of conditions a lot.

One big change I have made this year to my sailing is actually trying more locations. It has been great and at the same time tough.  It’s meant that I have had sessions where I have struggled with the local conditions, but ultimately it does mean I am learning and pushing my sailing.Also this traveling has meant I have met so many new people.  One thing that at time surprises non windsurfing friends is the fact that we, the non pro sailors, have access to those pros. In my experience they are so open and friendly.  I think that really makes us a lucky bunch as how many other sports can say that sort of thing. Say hello..they won’t bite...I hope!!

There’s one thing that has made me sad of late….the “loss” of Boards mag. I say loss even though it will exist in some sort of format, but to someone like me who has been buying the mag for year’s month in month out it is a loss. Yes things move on, new technologies exist, times are tough, but that still means something I have enjoyed about windsurfing will not really be there as before. I am sure I will move on…sniff!! It has been mentioned elsewhere by many before me, but a big thanks to all those involved in Boards over the years and all the best in the future.

Finally let us not forget to thank our lucky stars for the significant others who patiently wait for us to return from our battles with all mother nature can throw at us, and still pretend to be interested in the rubbish we spout!!

That’s it for now. Never written anything before and some of you might say don’t give up the day job, but I have enjoyed putting a few of my thoughts down. You might agree or not..that’s the beauty of free speech. Give it a go yourself.

Have fun out there.

Erik The Viking.