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 enjoyed was windsurfing.
Windsurfing is usually considered an extreme water sport for professional thrill-seekers. However, there are many opportunities for first-time windsurfers to learn this sport while also seeing some gorgeous places around the world.
The Caribbean is popular for numerous resorts offering windsurfing. The sport isn’t limited to exotic locations though, as almost any flat body of water with a breeze can be used.
Each body of water is unique and it’s important to find one that suits your skill level and interests. Depending on the location, windsurfing can be a fun, leisurely activity or a grueling thrill-seeker’s dream.
Image courtesy of hstwindsurfing.com
If you’re new to windsurfing, there are plenty of schools to learn from all across the globe. You might even find one at your local sailing club. If you’re the adventurous type, there are windsurfing schools in Maui, or Croatia.
According to Blue-Wind adventure, beginners can learn the sport with only a few hours of training.
Windsurfing is an expensive hobby to get into, however, especially if you’re just trying it out. Fortunately, you can rent all of the equipment you will need. It’s important to show up with a towel, wetsuit, and positive attitude because failure will certainly be part of the early phase of learning to windsurf.
While the “extreme sport” classification may make it sound like it’s closed off to only strong, experienced athletes, this is far from the truth. Some places will begin training children as young as six years old.
You don’t need to be an expert swimmer either, at least to begin with. Those who are not confident swimmers can begin to learn windsurfing in areas where the water is shallow and without a strong current.
Image courtesy of Forbes.com
Lac Bay is a great location commonly used by beginners just learning the ropes. The water inside the bay is calm and only knee-deep, providing learners the opportunity to test out the sport with minimal danger. More experienced windsurfers can explore the rougher waters beyond the bay’s mouth.
Despite a low fatality rate, it’s important to remember that windsurfing does come with certain risks and safety precautions must always be taken. Beginners especially should be particularly cautious, making sure to receive proper training, wearing appropriate safety gear such as helmets and lifejackets, and always windsurf within one’s abilities.
For many people, the potential for danger is part of the thrill, and even the most experienced windsurfer occasionally has fatal injuries.
In 2018, lifelong windsurfer Laura L. Green, age 60, died while windsurfing in hazardous conditions on Columbia River near Stevenson in Washington.
Another tragedy took place this year when 18-year-old Artem Akimov, Russia’s top junior windsurfer, died after colliding with a boat that was carrying tourists on the Gulf of Finland near St Petersburg.