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A few things windsurfing can teach us…

December 6th, 2018

If you’re an enthusiastic windsurfer, committed to the cause, then you’ll have developed a certain way of being over the years. As part of something we can describe as ‘randomised’ our actions breeds specific behaviour patterns. Random because of a reliance on Mother Nature certainly has its unique set of frustrations but there are positives to be had also.

Patience

How long does time elapse between sessions? Your place in the world can often dictate the number of windsurfing sessions you score. Trade Wind locales, such a Fuerte for instance, where breeze is more consistent than say the UK (which relies on frontal systems and storm depressions) will probably increase your hit rate significantly.

Alternatively you may be a sailor holding out for those optimum conditions – picking and choosing – rather than heading out every time it blows. In all cases patience is a virtue, however.

Determination

Windsurfing isn’t an easy sport. It’s not like football where we can kick a bag of wind round a field at any time. Progressing within windsurfing can be a longer road to success. But one thing all riders possess is determination. Determination to score a session; determination to make it out through the oncoming white water to the wave’s peak; determination to nail that new move –  the list goes on.

Whatever level of windsurfer you are, if you’re bug bitten your determination to succeed will sit side by side all other parts of being a windsurfer.

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Resilience

Being able to recover quickly, from even such small things as a failed gybe, is a skill that will straddle your every day life as much as your windsurfing existence. Resilience goes hand in hand with determination and ultimately combines to make us better in the water and better as people.

There are countless examples of sailors refusing to give up. From those humble beginnings, where uphauling is a skill needing to be practised, right up to wave riding efficiently, our resilient nature will play its part in helping us improve.

Acceptance of failure

As much as we’re determined to stomp a move, and resilient enough to bounce back from crashes, sometimes we just have to accept the fact it’s not happening – for that session at least. In time the move or skill trying to be learned will all fall into place. But speaking short term it’ll be a few sessions at least (unless you’re truly gifted) before you can claim it.

Accepting that you may fail to begin with, but not giving up, is a great trait to have. It’s part of what makes us better ourselves and push on to the next level. There are countless cheesy phrases that sum this up. We’ll not go down this road, suffice to say failing is the key to becoming better as a windsurfer and better as a human.

Euphoria in success

And then, one day (finally) you nail that move or skill! In the blink of an eye all your hard work has paid off. Countless hours on the water, visualising, going through the motions on land and trying to develop essential muscle memory with maybe some coaching thrown in for good measure, will see you achieve your goal, get over that hurdle and move on from that previous plateau.

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Enjoy that success: it’s an addictive sensation and one of the reasons we keep coming back to windsurfing for more. Being euphoric is perfectly acceptable, just don’t become smug or arrogant as these aren’t great traits.

Understanding

The more you windsurf the more you’ll understand: about the environment you’re playing in, about conditions, weather, the wider world at large and everything else in between. There’s so much to glean being an active, outdoors person. Much more than we can ever learn in front of a screen or playing video games.

Tangible, touchable realness is much more fulfilling than relying on digital distractions and your understanding of the big picture will increase no end. Plus, if you do your homework and learn about the ‘scientific’ elements of windsurfing – related to everything from equipment to meteorological behaviour – then you’ll be sponging from life more than most.

Open mindedness

As windsurfers we tend to travel. Either journey long distance to the world’s best spots, head off to your fave local windsurfing haunt at the coast or investigate your immediate surroundings for new put ins and takes on a staple. In every one of these instances we come into contact with all manner of people from different walks of life as well as different cultures and ways of living. There’s more than open to skin a cat after all.

Being exposed to alternative stimulus gives us as windsurfers a much more open and accepting view on the world. Rather than be confined to an insular existence we embrace the differences and enjoy taking a step out of our normal routines. Open mindedness really is a way to enjoy a more fulfilling time on planet Earth.

What other things does windsurfing teach us? Let us know your thoughts.