The transition from Flatwater to sailing in Waves

In life we need challenges, windsurfing provides those for us all the time where the challenges are really created by the elements, it can be the the wind, the waves, the patience and the big one perseverance. In windsurfing you can only find comfort in all conditions if you keep trying, so don’t give up and always push your limits!

Windsurfing isn’t an easy sport, physically and mentally stimulating from facing these challenges, throwing our-selfs into a completely different set of conditions and then working on mastering them is so for-filling that we keep coming back for more, one way or the other. One of the most common challenges for windsurfers in Holland and all around the world is committing to sailing on the sea side (with waves). It can be intimidating and it is too easy to find an excuse to just go back to the comfort of your local lake. So committing is key and perseverance will need to follow in order to succeed.

Of course for myself it is a little different, having seen so many different conditions and having spent so much time on the water. But I can relate even now windsurfing still challenges me, often!

In order to have a better example I’m using a good friend of mine while seeing him go trough this transition and now coming out the other end, succeeding with a smile. It hasn’t always been easy for him, but he has stuck to it and now is getting more and more comfortable even when the conditions are hard and rather then somewhat fearing the challenge he has simply embraced it with excitement, his is over the hump and for sure hooked to sailing with waves.

His name is Marco, he is a 36 year old IT specialist, a father of 2, I’ve know him well since I’m about 14 years old when we both started sailing at the same lake. As I went from this lake to the seaside and the rest of the world, he went out to find bigger lakes but was somewhat unsure about sailing in waves. Then with his job and starting a family he didn’t sail so much for a while until the beginning of 2013, when he invested in some new gear and a little trailer to put it all in. For him this was key, making it easy to get to the water. Hook the trailer to the car and know you have everything with you. Great concept!! Getting into it he bought an Angulo Release 120 for the light days and a Angulo CV1 100 for the windy days. Sailing those for a couple of months he told me has wanted to commit to sailing in some waves, not only when it’s flat but more so when its windy. Living close to Hoek v Holland it all makes sense, why drive 45 to a lake when you can drive 10 minutes to the beach. Committing for him meant going every opportunity he had and so he did.

Marco is a passionate windsurfer, but also family man!

Marco is a passionate windsurfer, but also family man!

His first day in 10 years on the North Sea, Nice south wind, flat and easy. Good times.

His first day in 10 years on the North Sea, Nice south wind, flat and easy. Good times.

He started of having some of the best times with South and South-West winds, where the sea in Hoek v Holland is pretty flat, easing into his challenge and being able to build some positive momentum and confidence for sure helped him to stay committed, but it didn’t come easy all the time, a broken sail 2 sessions in a row and a few other set-backs, but he carried on.

Also Marco did receive some set back, but he didn't let it get to him and pushed through!

Also Marco did receive some set back, but he didn’t let it get to him and pushed through!

He’s wave sailing adventures helped him to become a much better windsurfer all over. When this spring he order a triumph 81 for the more windy days and is now ready to start wave riding, get bigger airs and advance his skills further.

It was just the other day that this dawned on me, why his transition has been so successful. For sure his commitment was key but it is the gear that helped him, that gave him the confidence. He didn’t go out to buy some 4 fin wave board when he wanted to explore wave sailing. He did it the right way, one step at a the time. He started mainly using the CV-1 100, a board that planes easy, gets upwind, is controllable, is capable of taking the impact of jumps, give you the freedom to maneuver around obstacles without loosing speed. The CV1 is like a good friend, it’s allows you to worry about the conditions without worrying about the board. Now he is riding a Triumph 81, he likes it very much, but the other day when the waves where big and the wind a little onshore he was struggling on the Triumph to keep speed trough the waves. The current was pushing and the 2.5+ meter waves where covering the wind from the sail with the result that there was no power at times. I saw him walk up the beach and asked him how it was going. He’s reply was, I need a bigger sail I just don’t have the power to stay upwind while sailing trough the breakers. My advice to him was to go back the board he knows so well, the CV-1 that makes maintaining speed and staying upwind so easy. He took my advice and switched the Triumph for the CV-1 without changing the sail. For him this allowed him to sail until he was late to get the kids from school. Having such a good session makes you lose track of time. He wasn’t the most radical sailor, but he was out there holding his own in conditions that other, much more experienced windsurfers where struggling in. Another boost of confidence to keep him going!

See below a little mini interview with him about that day below.

PB. How did the session go on the Triumph 81?

Marco: It was fun but hard work, I love the board with my 4.0/4.5/5.0 but the wind was just a little too light. I was continuously busy to get planing, stay planing and getting back up wind.

PB. How did changing to the CV-1 100 make a difference in your comfort and ability?

Marco: I was instantly planing, got through the shore break much easier, didn’t had any worries about ending up 2 miles down-wind from my starting point to then have to walk back.

PB. Did you feel that the CV-1 100 was holding you back in these conditions are did you feel like it helped you deal with the conditions and actually making the most of it.

Marco: Not holding me back at all. After making a jump I was quickly planing again. I placed the foot straps more to the inner side of the board making it very comfortable in the waves.

The speed gave me the possibility to choose the waves I wanted to make (big) jumps on.

PB. What did you feel the strong advantage was of using the CV-1 100 compare to the Triumph 81?

Marco: The extra volume and early planing helped me a lot combined with a bid more drive from the fin helped me stay upwind without problems.

PB. I believe that in the end you had the session of your life, do you have some words about your day?

Marco: Made my biggest jump ever!!! Spend a lot of time on the water with friends, it was sunny and saw many smiling people.

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