Who or what got you started windsurfing?

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Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by James.blonde » Thu May 07, 2020 4:48 pm

Who or what got you started in windsurfing?
I started windsurfing at 14 when my Dad bought a windsurf set up from a boat auction in Chichester. I had my first go on it at Hove lagoon. I cant remember what make it was but it was really bad kit. The boom was obviously tie on and wobbled up and down to the point that it would fold flat against the mast. The boom was about 8 foot long and I couldn't get the end of it out of the water, I would go along with it dragging behind me.
One of my friends had been a few times with his Dad to a small village on the south coast , so another mate who drove got together and started going and sharing my mates Dads kit. Very soon we all had our own boards, 295s mostly. Tiga power gybe, a hifly and I picked up some custom board from Crystal Palace, I think it was a TichePaul or something like that.
The competition between us soon had us flying about, all to keen to go down to wave boards. I had a 265 Kbay, a mate bought a Vitamin Sea from Herbie Baker in Sporting Life in Shoreham and the other bought a gorgeous Lightwave from Farrel with an amazing skull paint job on it.
These were the days when Worthing boot sale was the place to get kit from, super busy with all the local hotshots there, anyone with a board on the roof would shaka at you as you drove past.
In the early years we went to a lake when it was Ne at a place near Snodland on the SE of the m25, I think this was the first place I got planing. Hooked fro then on.
What got you started?

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by maker » Thu May 07, 2020 6:42 pm

I sailed dinghies a bit then brother and friend got a longboard about 1980. After two weeks on a pond got my own longboard, then shorter gear as it appeared. Gear and fun keeps getting better, and sailors older.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by BTB » Mon May 11, 2020 9:12 am

My dad did a bit as did some of his mates, not a great deal but enough that he bought a second hand HiFly longboard, watching on from around 10yo I wanted in. I had a lesson at age 12 and was off. Started pestering the oldies for a board and they bought me a bic 320 with a kids rig when i was around 13 (1991 ish). By 15 i was using my dads sails and had saved up and bought a short board (by this point i had watched Rigmarole at least 100 times). I was using gear that was a mismash of mid 80's to early 90s stuff, some shocking gear when i look back. The early 90's was bad for gear, the technology was moving quickly and was driven by world cup replica slalom boards and sails, fine if you had won the lottery, not great for rapidly advancing teenagers on a budget. I fell out of love with windsurfing for a bit (late 90's early 00's) largely due to the cost / complexity of kit and being young and skint. I religiously keep my kit simple now.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by ronnie » Mon May 11, 2020 10:45 am

I'd been looking at the new sport of windsurfing and hired a board on a lake. Then I saw a windsurf board advertised at a very low price (by accident) and put a deposit on it. When I went back to buy it, the manager explained that the price had been wrong and told me what the correct price was. I said I knew that - that was why I put the deposit on it and went home to get the rest of the money. He said 'Well - you can recommend us to your friends?'

I then discovered that shore break is much more difficult than sailing on a lake. I knew early on it was my kind of sport.
It was a Bic. I got a one piece mast, sail with a small top batten and a swing up boom. Later got a long john and bolero wetsuit and an F2 chest harness.
In those days, locals were only a few months behind Hawaii. They got custom boards from the likes of Lodey in Cornwall and were duck gybing within weeks of seeing it in magazines.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by DaveMac » Mon May 11, 2020 11:41 am

First saw a windsurfer on a German lake in 1975 when I was 12. Such a different image to a dinghy. I was curious but nothing more. As windsurfing took off in Europe I next saw it in south west France 1980. The huge lake was rammed with long boards and lots available for hire. Fortunately my Dad saw that me and my brothers were keen to have ago, and pretty much every day of the two week holiday we got an hour each. We were all hooked. My brothers got windsurfers a year or two later that I could use and I got mine in 83/84. Summer jobs on summer camps during university teaching windsurfing and it was firmly embedded into my DNA :D . Things got properly exciting with 295's in 1985 and moving to Hove in 87. But the key was my Dad facilitating it all with a good holiday. Maybe credit should also go to Alistair Black?, the windsurfing photographer whose poster we brothers all ordered from a windsurfing magazine of 3 wave sailors all jumping the same wave in Hawaii......seared the dream into my brain.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by Richarli » Wed May 13, 2020 9:13 pm

Went on a learn to windsurf holiday to Turkey in 1984. I could already sail dingys and had a canoeing background.
It was run by an ex rally driver called John Sprinzell and his gorgeous Hawaiian wife.
The other teacher was a young speed freak called Dean with a Jimmy Lewis custom.
Mistral 360 I think I was on. The hot shots were on diamond heads.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by Richarli » Thu May 14, 2020 6:14 pm

Update. I think it was a Mistral Maui.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by Max » Fri May 15, 2020 7:01 am

I've posted this before on the old boards website

but I was about 12 ish (1980 ) on holiday in Llanbedrog in North Wales when I first saw a windsurfer WOW it blew my mind we as a family had a mirror dinghy great fun but nothing like this speed or freedom
so enter cheeky Scouse kid laughing at a guy who was stood the wrong side of the sail and just getting slammed every time the comment back was if you can do any better show me might have had a few swearwords in the reply I forget so I got on it and pulled up the sail explaining which side of the sail he should stand and he listened but said use it ive had enough so I did and I ran with it and it was great

I joined the army at 16 and carried on windsurfing through my service in the UK Germany Cyprus the Falkland's and Kenya taking advantage of some very good postings and I'm still at it today been some quiet periods during the 40 years but still got a garage full of stuff and still looking to learn and progress ive even taken jobs on the ability to windsurf during the day if its windy ! :)

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by TwoFish » Fri May 15, 2020 10:10 am

Went for a medical in my late 30s and discovered I'd become a fat, lazy bastard (I'd ignored all the obvious clues up to that point). I decided I needed to do something beyond going to the pub. I used to sail an Enterprise as a teenager, so decided I'd give that windsurfing thing a go.

I did a very unwindy RYA L1 course at Sale Water Park (gravel pit) in Manchester. I loved it though, so much that I bought a good winter wetsuit (from the shop in Crosby) and was pretty much the only windsurfer on the Sale lake throughout the winter; I cracked planing and waterstarting (and ice) there. Then headed off to this exotic place I'd seen in the magazines called West Kirby. Wow! Hardly ever went back to Sale after that (and swapped the coupe for a big estate). That eventually led me to Rhosneigr. The Boards forum led me to Tiree. Tiree led me to the BWA, Cornwall & Kerry (and I swapped the estate for a van). Oh and various windy (or not) holidays in Fuerte, Kos, Dahab and Margarita. The Pathetic Sharks led me to El Tur a couple of times. Various adventures since then of course, hopefully to be resumed soon.

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Re: Who or what got you started windsurfing?

Post by PK1111 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:45 pm

Dinghy sailing courses in my young teens but generally cold, wet and uncomfortable, a lot of effort for not much reward.
Gave windsurfing a go at the same lake and instantly hooked by the pull of the sail in the hands and the glide of the board under the feet. More dynamic and challenging, and far more rewarding. Diving long john kept me nice and warm when needed.
Started on Mistral Bermudas (log) with 3.5m sail and mega long wobbly boom.
That sufficed until 17 and bought an Alpha 160 with fully battened 6m. Styling!
Car arrived at 19 along with short boards, uni in Southampton and introduction to surfing.
I’ve been an onshore grooverider ever since.

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