You are currently viewing Breezy views – overcoming windsurfing’s difficulties and getting involved.

Breezy views – overcoming windsurfing’s difficulties and getting involved.

Windsurfing is such a difficult sport to fall in love with – fiddly component parts, tricky technique (dictated to in large part by Mother Nature) and an ever fluctuating set of conditions just compounds the problem. Those deciding to learn at home, rather than sunny, warm and consistently breezy overseas destinations (which is also currently tricky with COVID), windsurfing only becomes harder. Football, cricket, tennis or those other more simple ‘to do’ activities: go to the park and kick a ball; whack a ball or bat a ball  – over time if you’ve got the drive and passion, and maybe some natural talent, you’ll improve and excel. Windsurfing, by contrast, isn’t as simple. Even stand up paddle boarding has its weather related pitfalls, although is much simpler than windsurfing…

But for the committed that maybe doesn’t have to be the case. The first time you accelerate across the water, not quite at planing speed you’ll literally be hooked. And then, when you did get that added extra boost to plane (perhaps using footstraps) the want/desire for more is tangible. It’s just a shame the learning process is so arduous. Although with advances in equipment and teaching techniques there’s less hassle than in years previous. (Take the McConks Go Sail inflatable windsurfing sail as a case in point on the equipment side of things).

Along with stand up paddle boarding, sit on kayaking and cycling windsurfing has seen an influx of new recruits and/or those returning having put the sport on ice. Equipment sales – both brand new and second hand – have been on the up of late. And at time of writing this uptick is still happening. Maybe not quite to the extent of SUP but none the less windsurfing’s popularity is still there. Even with new kid on the block/set to take over the world wing foiling in the mix…

Yes, winging is also gaining considerable ground with riders looking to fly hearing the call. But not everyone wants to foil and some still prefer connected to water wind riding that being above it. If you take the recent blowy weather as an example the numbers of windsurfers at key spots still hits healthy numbers. An on location eyewitness account of Mudeford Harbour (and its open sea location of Avon Beach) suggests this.

Standing on the shores of Mudeford and windsurfers zipping back and forth outnumbered other water craft by three to one. In the shallows were a handful of beginners. All the more impressive when you take into account the force 7 wind strength. But battle on these learners did and our caps are very firmly doffed in their direction.

The McConks Go Sail inflatable windsurf sail look resplendent in the sunshine.

Another couple of observations is that kids and lady windsurfing numbers are also up (again, based on what’s been seen at key windsurfing venues). This is also great to see. ‘Blokes’ learning to windsurf is one thing but seeing how the fairer sex and kiddies have a thirst to get stuck in is great. We hope this trend also continues.

The fly in the ointment with all the above is still (and has been for years) the price of windsurfing gear. Whichever way you look at it (and we’ve heard all the economical inflation arguments and reasons windy kit’s prices are hiked) the shell out for equipment can be too rich for many folks. Even used gear! Yet where there’s a will there’s a way it seems.

COVID grants giving some leeway to windsurfers splashing out for brand spangly equipment may account for healthy sales of pristine off the shelf kit (even with what we said above). This could also be what’s driving second hand equipment sales more so than the last few years. Whatever the actual reasons it’s only a good thing.

For McConks windsurfing makes up a small part of what we do as a rounded watersports brand. Also, our windy kit’s very much focused on the beginner/early intermediate and making windsurfing as accessible as possible. And for added versatility (read extra bang for Buck) we make sure you have the option of dual disciplines with a lot of our kit – the 9’8 Go Free inflatable board being a case in point.

With autumn just around the corner (groan) whereby windier weather is even more a regularity perhaps looking at the windier part of watersports is a good idea. At the very least this’ll provide an extra level of entertainment to your watery life as well as increasing brine time should days become a little blustery.

For more windy related chat head over to the McConks windsurfing/windSUP guide here.

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