What about windsurfing? Pt. 1

Have you heard of windsurfing?

As I do with each of my books, while I was writing Jack of Spades I did a ton of research and one of the subjects I found fascinating was windsurfing. 

Jack of Spades

The sport was originated in 1964 in Pennsylvania and combines aspects of surfing and sailing. Windsurfing requires the skill and strength to channel the power of the wind and water. Although windsurfing is often viewed as a daredevil sport, it has become more accessible to a wider audience as it has evolved.

Windsurfers use a board between six to eight feet long with an attached mast and sail. Like many water sports, windsurfers love to perform high jumps and other daring moves. In 1984 windsurfing was recognized as an Olympic sport which inspired global interest throughout the 90s. This movement began to fade during the early 2000s, but the development of more user-friendly boards is partially responsible for windsurfing making a comeback in the water sports world, with sponsorships from businesses like Red Bull.

Image courtesy of RedBull.com

In March of this year, Red Bull hosted a thrilling windsurfing contest on the northwestern coast of Ireland called the Red Bull Storm Chase. The event was highly anticipated as it had been put on hold for three years waiting for the perfect weather conditions. Considered to be one of the toughest competitions in the sport, this contest can only take place in the most extreme weather.

So what does it take to win this contest? Windsurfers must be able to endure winds of up to 130kph, 14m waves and temperatures below freezing. This combination of wind and waves allows windsurfers to execute jumps as high as 20 meters.

Thrilling or terrifying? Participants are judged by their ability to handle these grueling conditions while also performing jumps and tricks. Judges critique power, style, and jump height.

Image courtesy of RedBull.com

Under conditions like these, it’s not surprising things sometimes go wrong. As a safety precaution, a crew on jet skis and helicopters standby to watch the contest in case of an injury or equipment breaking. Although the risks for experienced windsurfers are relatively low compared to other extreme sports, individuals risk dangers such as hypothermia, drowning, or injury. As terrifying as this sport may sound, the fatality count has remained low. 

What say you? Do think windsurfing is thrilling or terrifying? Would you do it if you could?

My readers know that I’m dedicated to writing stories that are believable as well as exciting. Click here to find out how windsurfing ties into Jack of Spades.

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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