I am going to tell you about my first ever experience of windsurfing. Brimming with excitement and antici…………pation, my mate and I rocked up at a local lake, hired a board and sail each and off we went. Easy as that! Everyone was clearly confident that we could figure it out…
I didn’t know that I needed to put my feet either side of the mast, so every time I tried to pull up the sail, I fell in backwards. I spent the whole session falling in and drifted into the furthest corner of the lake. Time up; and I was ignominiously towed back by the rescue boat. A whole hour – and I had not even got the sail out of the water!
It was nothing less than a tragedy. Tragedy is a strong word, but I really do mean it! I thought that this was what windsurfing was all about – and didn’t try it again for another 15 years. WHAT A WASTE!
A lack of proper tuition can hinder your progress with any sport, but is particularly problematic with something as counter-intuitive as windsurfing. A few pointers would have made my first experience so very different. The most basic coaching – and I may never have had to go endure that 15 year windsurfing desert!
For me, one of the real highlights of the N.W.F is the free coaching from the very best technique gurus in the sport. Sure, reading the magazines or getting tips from your mates can be really helpful. However, that can’t produce the same results as a professional coach watching you, fine tuning your technique and conveying the information in a way that you can easily understand and put into practise – and at N.W.F this could all be happening on your own kit! What a way to break through that plateau!
I have seen a lot of forum threads debating “Which magic bit of equipment can I buy to transform my windsurfing?” In my experience, professional tuition is what will make the single biggest difference to your sailing. Sure, equipment plays its part – but I had exactly the right equipment on my first ever attempt; all the gear and no idea – my problem was ALL about technique!
Thank goodness that I was stupid enough to try windsurfing again – but I didn’t get where I am today without proper tuition! And just imagine how much better I’d be ripping if I’d had 15 years of extra coaching…
Come along to one of the FREE guru clinics at N.W.F, with the likes of Ant Baker, Simon Bornhoft, Jim Collis, Jem Hall, Peter Hart and Dave White. Besides being demon windsurfers and brilliant coaches, they are all very approachable and all-round bloody good blokes!
This year, the coaching sessions will also run on Friday 7th September. The Friday clinics will be longer and may include forays on the water as well as the shore-based sessions. With no distraction from races, this gives you the best EVER opportunity to tickle up your technique with the top tutors!