10 reasons to start windsurfing from pro rider, Marine Hunter!
When it comes to popular winter sports, free-riders like Kevin Rolland, Shaun White and Marine Martiod make skiing and snowboarding rock! But as world-renowned kitesurfing champion, Marine Hunter will tell you, there’s more to the winter sports scene than just snow!
We met up with the 25-year-old French windsurfing champion, PWA world champion and Défi Wind de Gruissan competitor to find out her top 10 reasons to get into windsurfing – and how to get as good as the big boss, Antoine Albeau.
Reason 1: Escape
If there’s one sport where you leave your troubles on the shore, it’s windsurfing. Navigating the sea takes a lot of concentration – not like a casual jog through the forest. It demands total body engagement and multi-tasking between the feel of the board on the water to the pull of the sail in front. There’s no time to take a phone call, no new notifications on your screen, nothing in your way – you’re totally free. It’s only you and the big blue.
Reason 2: Confidence
Let’s get something out in the open straight away, windsurfing takes a lot of practice. But, as soon as you learn how to stand on your board without falling over, or control your sail on your own, your confidence builds quickly and you realise you can do something amazing only a small minority of people on the planet know how to do. Knowing how to windsurf feels like a superpower.
Reason 3: Community
Even if windsurfing is considered an individual sport, it’s the collective spirit that makes it so special. Whether you’ve broken your board in the surf or need a hand getting back to shore, there’s always someone willing to help you out. The windsurfing community is really cool and we’re all connected by the same sense of excitement. It’s really rare to find a fellow windsurfer who tries to steal your wave or give you a hard time – even the pros are really supportive and welcoming.
Reason 4: The Rush
Windsurfing has two speeds – all or nothing. You’ll be riding along and then suddenly – you’re off. AMAZING! Plaining feels a bit like skydiving: when you’re on you’re way up, nothing much happens but, then you jump! And you’re never the same afterwards. It’s pretty addictive.
Reason 5: Boredom Buster
The sea is never the same, which makes every windsurfing experience different! Completely contrasting to a walk in the forest, the leaves might change but the trees stay the same. One hour can be totally different to the next on the ocean – with the wind direction turning a glassy day into an assault course in a matter of seconds. Boredom? I don’t even know what that feels like! But it’s not just about the conditions, windsurfing is hard to learn but once you’ve nailed the basics the sport is endless. Because it’s relatively new, there’s new tricks and moves being practised all the time, and it’s in a constant state of development – which means there’s always something new to learn.
Reason 6: There’s something for everyone!
Have you always dreamt of riding out at sunset and nailing some killer moves for your mates watching on the shore? Whether you want to try to freeride, freestyle or a more sporting style there’s something for everyone.
Reason 7: It’s only water
Unlike skating or snowboarding, the worst that can happen when windsurfing is probably just a bruise. If the falls related to the imbalance and instability are frequent, no reason to be afraid, it is only water!
Reason 8: Travel
If the idea of a gym workout makes you feel claustrophobic, then this sport is for you! Windsurfing is a sport that’s all about the great outdoors – and a great way of experiencing beautiful parts of the world while doing a sport you love. Think about sunrise on the Etretat coastline 300m out to sea or the Le Pouliguen Bay on the rugged Brittany shore. Travel 35 km in any direction and you’ll find an amazing windsurfing spot – plus all those tropical destinations like Hawaii, Essaouira or Brazil. For global nomads, windsurfing is an amazing way to discover new horizons and unexpected locations.
Reason 9: Wind power
Fed up with sand in your eyes and a stuffy nose after a breezy day at the beach? Use the wind to your advantage and ride with the gusts that hit the shore. The only things to watch out for are flying fish and… kitesurfers.
Reason 10: A total body workout
In addition to sculpting your abs, arms and back and working on your inner balance, windsurfing works on your body’s endurance level. Sometimes you end up walking up the beach for miles or swimming out to catch a piece of kit that flew away – and then there’s the walk back to the car park once you’re done.
We hope Marine has helped inspire you to give windsurfing a try this year, and as a bonus here are some images from Défi Wind de Gruissan.