7 facts about windsurfing every girl needs to know.

1. IT TAKES YEARS. Don’t feel inadequate even if you don’t learn windsurfing the first season. Windsurfing surely must be one of the most complex sports to learn. You have to deal with a bunch of parameters that change intrinsically according to wind, speed and technique. In other words – the rules change completely with a small gust of wind. I am afraid theres only one way to solve this – Time On Water! Day by day, you’ll gradually work the reflexes into your body, enabling you to control greater challenges. This will feel frustrating, but please keep in mind, this is the very reason windsurfers never quit on their sport – theres always something new to learn, no matter how accomplished you are! _NBP00542. YOU WILL NOT DIE. That feeling…..the water is too deep, the wind is too strong, the waves are too big – and theres a SHIP passing right behind you! I struggled with a very realistic fear of all of the above the first years. I still face it when I challenge myself beyond my capacity. (which is pretty much every session! :D) .

Sometime I envy the guys – they are evidently waaay to stupid to understand the peril they are in when they are windsurfing. So no matter how close they are to dying, they just smile, and shrug their shoulders like nothing happened.  I try to learn to be calmer when I get scared, but its not easy!

_NBP01583. THEY ARENT LOOKING. One of my biggest challenges in my first years was the fear of someone looking at me, thinking I sucked. Due to my strong focus on this, (instead of my sailing), my technique suffered whenever other people were around. I have learned over the past 4 years, that other windsurfers are so focused on their own performance, that they couldn’t  care less about yours. They really aren’t looking! Do exactly the same – stay focused on your own technique, and I promise you your performance will improve immediately! The picture below is from my first slalom race only some weeks ago. The first day my adrenaline levels were high, and I messed up thoroughly. During the second day, I relaxed more and more, and my performance gradually improved. All due to the fact that I changed my focus from them to me. As it should be! glesvær64. ITS NOT YOU – ITS THEM!  Boyfriends, instructors, whoever – its their fault. Its totally ok to feel a little angry with them for giving incomprehensible advice. They don’t feel fear, and they can’t make themselves understood. Seriously, I think hiring an external  instructor every now and then is a good idea – probably he will tell you exactly the same as your boyfriend has been telling you for years, but its like you understand it now.  In the picture below I might have been slightly resentful towards the photographer. I can’t recall what happened, but I sure he deserved every decibel of my wrath!  😀
miriamsint5. WHATS WITH THE CAMPING?  For some reason windsurfers love to sleep in their cars – no matter how many hotels there are nearby. This seems to be a matter of principle, like some kind of tradition. Whatever it is, I don’t like it. Girls need hot water, and big bathrooms, is that so hard to understand? To a certain extent I have adapted to this way of life, I have learned that you can survive a weekend of camping with limited trauma if you prepare well. campingliv6. BUILD YOUR BODY. Windsurfing is a technical sport, but you will be better off whilst learning if you work your upper body to get a little more oomph. The feeling of being slapped around the first years, was clearly a matter of limited strength in my upper body. I started working out after the first season, and every year the rules have changed drastically due to my ability to control the gear when the going gets tough. The best part is that I don’t get scared in the same way as I did before. To the left in the picture below, is me after my first season. To the right is me today. I weigh 5 kg more today than back then.  Your need for strength will correspond with the weight and size of the gear your handling.

miriamførnåutstyr 7. DONT QUIT! You will get your reward! This is the very first time I planed whilst windsurfing. I will never forget that feeling. Once you get there, you will be lost to this sport for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that the very reason that so many devote their lives to windsurfing is that it is so challenging to master. You will feel like you have accomplished greatness when you have learnt it at a satisfactory level. You will be really proud of yourself! So keep charging, keep swearing and stay focused on what you are doing yourself! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

10 thoughts on “7 facts about windsurfing every girl needs to know.

  1. Awesome article. Ive windsurfed for years and where I am based I do not see any women doing it. I envy the boys with their windsurfing buddies. They don’t know how lucky they are. Would be wonderful to see more women or at least some women windsurfing. I think the girls who do windsurf must give it all up at a certain age.

    • It’s the motivation given by your partner, buddies or parents that make girls still continue windsurfing. Fact is there are more girls kitesurfing because it’s easier to learn and master than windsurfing. Same between skiing and snowboarding.

  2. NIce written, i can relate to that ” So no matter how close they are to dying, they just smile, and shrug their shoulders like nothing happened.”
    Thank you.

  3. Let me extend…

    2b) Be prepared. If you’re in trouble out there, usually noone is looking either. Sometimes using the international sign of trouble handwaving over your head towards the beach holds no results. Even with baywatch on duty.
    Be prepared with an extra line on you, an emergency plan.
    Best is not surfing alone, but with a family member or best buddy who will look for you if you don’t return after a while.

    • When windsurfing alone or with buddies, it is highly recommended to wear a 50 N PFD, an emergency whistle, a signalling miror and a strobe flashlight at all time (it’s mandatory in some countries in Europe for good reasons). Way too many windsurfer (or kitesurfer or SUPper) do not wear any emergency signalling devices in case things go bad. In larger area where it’s easy to get lost out of sight, it’s a good idea to wear a cell phone, a VHF radio or a PLB beacon to call the coast guards/SAR for help in case of grave danger. Do not be afraid of windsurfing hazards (+34 years of pure fun and still going strong) but be prepared for the worst case by wearing distress signalling gear that are much more efficient than handwaving over your head.

  4. Pingback: Great little article | The Stockholm Windsurfers

  5. Hi, great article. I started windsurfing 2 years ago and I recognise get that feeling that Im gonna die. As a guy who has often found himself in perilous situations, in the water getting smahed by waves not being able to get the sail up and feeling my strength wain or falling off too near a breakwater ot getting pushed on to submerged rocks so close that you only get at best 1 or 2 chances to get the sail up, or a ship has crept up on you and you’re in its path, or way out in the Stockholm archipelago to find the wind you have to sail out miles from the nearest island. I get moments of epiphany, dawning moments of understanding of the seriousness of the situation you find yourself in, and that you have to stick this waterstart or you have to stick this turn to clear the path of a larger vessel or you have to sail perfectly nothing can go wrong because you are so far out that you couldnt even paddle in on the board even if you ditched the sail. My friends and I might laugh about it afterwards but I can tell you that its from the relief and the adrenaline. After we have gotten over the buzz of surviving we almost always have a discussion about what we would have done if it hadnt turned out OK. We hash out contigency plans. What are we going to do if we break a mast or smash a fin? I do my best to find a sailing buddy but I sometimes find myself in the situation that the wind condtions are too good (we dont get many wind days in Stockholm) and i am the only one that can sail on a certain day, at best I might find a bay that has at least a few people on the water with some kind of craft, but it can happen that there is nobody about, ( but IMO that also part of the charm of the swedish waterways). and that is very frustrating, you’re there ready to sail, the conditions are perfect but…..
    As Adam above says be prepared, Sail according to the conditions also what are you going to do when X happens I take a gps enabled waterproof phone, a flash light, make sure they’re charged. leave a route plan with someone who i trust and memorise the geography of the surrounding islands. Days when I cant find sailing company i to keep to shallow bays and sounds that you can litterally walk in to the shore but you have to keep in mind there are always risks, its the sea after all.

  6. I love this ❤ i starded windsurfing 4 years ago and now i win the cup of franc and now i think more girls have to starded windsurfing and fell this sensation ❤

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