Do you still Windsurf from NWF Rider Phil Plume

“Do you still Windsurf?”

Over the last 18 months I’ve been spending more and more time Stand Up Paddle boarding, to the point where I have now invested in new boards dedicated to racing and surfing. Since doing that I’m constantly being asked, “Do you still windsurf?”

Before I answer that I’d like to share with you how I came to be a SUPer.

I first tried SUP about three years ago and initially wasn’t impressed. I could see the potential for use in waves, but why anyone would want to paddle around on flat water baffled me; I just felt the need for speed that I got from windsurfing and that need wasn’t fulfilled by propelling a board with a paddle. I tried it a couple more times and still wasn’t overly impressed. Then in September 2010 I visited the Windfest festival and entered the sprint races just to see what it was all about.

 

This event changed my view of flat water paddling! I borrowed a Fanatic Fly Race and did quite well. In the first race I got 4th place which got me into the semi’s. I would have done even better if I could have turned the board around at the marker!
In the semi’s there were a few more pointy boards and a more competitive attitude. I got a good start and was fourth at the marker. Again, if I could have turned quicker, I may have found myself in the final. I ended up paddling like mad racing a guy head to head towards the beach. I just got ahead of him and ran up the sand and through the flags. That race gave me a taste of the competitive nature of SUP and I really enjoyed it!

 

In April 2011 I bought myself a second hand 11’2” all round paddleboard. I paddled it in waves and on flat water during luscious summer’s evenings. I took the kids for rides and tandem surfs on it, I windsurfed on it and even won a few WindSUP races at NWF on it.

 

That was my introduction to SUP and brings us bang up to date. I now enjoy the satisfaction of competing in a race and beating the other competitors to the finish line, and the extra strength and fitness that comes with the training required to do well.

I get excited when the surf is pumping and crave the speed and power of SUPing in waves, that’s as exhilarating as launching off a ramp in 30 knt winds on a windsurf board.

So…..back to the original question “Do you still windsurf?”

HELL YES!!

Why wouldn’t I?!

I’ve spent 10 years honing my skills and I have only just scratched the surface, there’s loads more to learn. I’m now where I set out to be at the beginning of my windsurfing journey. I can sail in most conditions the UK can throw at us, I can gybe and tack a short board (well my gybing is more consistent than my tacking if I’m honest) I can jump well and am now trying to perfect the forward loop and the art of wave riding. I get excited on a windy forecast and feel the tingle of anticipation when laying in bed on a Friday night and listening to the wind whistling outside the bedroom window. I enjoy the power and speed gained by harnessing the power of the wind! Why would anyone want to give that up once they have felt it?!

 

No, I enjoy SUP and windsurfing. Both of them give me a thrill; the type of thrill may be different but a thrill is a thrill, what difference does it make how you get it?

When it’s windy, I windsurf, when it’s not, I SUP. Be it waves or flat water, rain or shine, you’ll find me out there on the water having a ball on the board most suited to the prevailing conditions.

See you on the water.

Phil

 

 

 

 

 

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