The centreboard (or skeg) is a tool which causes some confusion after a few hours of heaving learnt how to windsurf. Many people are unsure about when it is necessary, useful or a hinderance. This article aims to explain how and when to use the centreboard to get the most out of it. (more…)
I know what it is like to finally get back on a windsurf board, excited to taste the salt water again, feeling the wind on your face, the sensation of gliding over the water, only to realise after an hour or two that you have to stop. You have no more energy. Your forearms are aching, your legs are tired and you somehow don’t manage to get your breath back.
When I was at university in Newcastle (UK) I would always come back to Tenerife over the holidays to help out at my parent’s Surf Center. While in the UK I would focus on studying and living the stereotypical student lifestyle (lectures, parties, hangovers) which meant that not much time was spent at the gym. I would come back to Tenerife to help out at the Surf Centre and realised that I was knackered after a day teaching.
From my second year onwards I took up judo which improved my cardiovascular performance as well as increasing my overall fitness. The difference to my next return to Tenerife was impressive. I could get back into the rhythm of lessons and free-surfing with no impediment from my body at all.
Now I see lots of people who rent at the Surf Center that are bummed out when their body won’t allow them to continue windsurfing for more than an hour or two due to either their hands getting blisters (usually after a few days on the water) or because they are out of shape. (more…)
One consistent theme I see recurring nearly on a daily basis is spending too much time on the water. I am naturally guilty of this as much as anybody else. I have spent many more hours on the water than I should have.
What do you mean? you may ask.
It is actually quite simple. We are doing a sport that requires quite a lot of coordination. Most of the movements become intuitive and reflexive over time. There are a few things which are constantly changing however: wind, waves, other windsurfers, etc. then come all the manoeuvres such as gybing, jumping, wave riding and all the other wonderful things that make this sports so great.
These all require our concentration which in itself already depletes our capacity to continue concentrating. However, as our energy gets used up, our concentration reduces also. You might remember a situation in which you were so exhausted physically that you could no longer think straight but could only focus on breathing and not falling over like after a long sprint or after fighting to get out of a strong beach break.
As our concentration decreases we start making more mistakes which inevitably causes us to fall in more often, wasting more of our precious energy… and so the vicious cycle continues. (more…)
I am short sighted. Not borderline blind mind you, but I do have trouble seeing without my glasses. I am not allowed to drive without them, let´s put it that way. On top of that i have what is called nystagmus. It´s kind of hard to explain (check out the link) but in essence it causes my eyes to move around the place when I am tired, hungry or otherwise low on energy (hangovers were a real pain).
Every now and then I get a student who is also short sighted. Unsurprisingly I get asked how good of an idea it is to go windsurfing with glasses. Usually my answer is divided in one of the following categories.
Personally I don´t wear any visual enhancing aide. My sight is good enough to acknowledge the presence of other windsurfers, kitesurfers, surfers and, most importantly, swimmers around me. I may not be able to recognise the person but I know that they are there. This has led to some fun conversations on the beach where I would tell a friend how awesome the conditions were at the harbour wall of El M’edano only for them to tell me that they were also there… and they had waved at me … and I had waved back. What can I say? If someone waves at me, I think it would be rude not to wave back, even if I am not sure who it is…
So, if you are able to distinguish between a person and water at 50 metres away, I think you can get away with windsurfing without glasses. If you have trouble beyond that you should use one of the following. (more…)