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WINDSURFING, The Sport I Love So Much!

Written on: Friday January 15th, 2010

A journal entry from: Sun, Sand and Wind

It's a love/hate relationship... 
 
I have now been in Dahab for just over a week, and have had only about 1h of decent wind, and a couple afternoons of light wind freestlye. Surely not what I was hoping for out of one of the top windsurfing destinations in the world. So as I have so much free time on my hands waiting for wind, I figured I'd write a blog about windsurfing, some of my best and worst moments, and what it is about the sports that is so great.
 
I started windsurfing 6 years ago at the age of 16. I'm not too sure exactly what it was that made me want to start, but I think it was mainly just looking for something to do in the summer to keep me busy. I would work for my mom during the day, working on the Culligan truck, and living in Astorville, didn't have much to do after work but go biking. Some how I randomly decided I would learn to windsurf that summer. Almost every day after work, I would run home, grab my dads old board (215L board and old 6.5m2 sail), toss it all onto a cart and run it down the street where I could get access to the lake. It was a slow learning process, at first I never really knew what I was doing, but I was determined to learn. It was at some point that summer where I got planning for the first time, and from that point on I was hooked. *Planning is the point the board is no longer pushing through the water but rather skimming on top of it. There is just something about the feeling of moving along the top of water at such great speeds using nothing but the forces of nature as your power and controlling it with your body. I cannot describe the feeling, but it is of the purest I know.
 
From that summer on, everything I did was in some way or form related to the pursuit of greater winds, better conditions and exotic locations. It is a sport that fuels ones need for travel in search of that next great day on the water, easily comparable to a drug addict looking for that next great high!
 
It's a sport that builds character and perseverance in a person, and at times can also be quite frustrating and draining (emotionally and financially). However, it is all worth it! Windsurfing has literally taken me around the world, from the small lake of Ontario, to the Great Lakes, to the Land Down Under, to the shores of North Carolina and now of all places the Red Sea of Egypt. I'm not sure if I would have had the same passion for cultures and travel had I not started this great sport...?
 
All that being said, I thought it would be good to look back on some of my worst and best moments windsurfing.
 
5 WORST MOMENTS WINDSURFING; (This does not mean it was a bad trip, just bad in terms of windsurfing)
 
5-Driving over 800km with Ryan to catch what was supposed to be some crazy winds on Manitoulin Island. After 3 days of NO wind, coming home late on the 4th day to see the guys at home ending a wicked day at our home spot! This is a crushing feeling...

4-Trying for 1h to pass the shore break in Providence bay when I was 17. I got so frustrated I needed to take a half hour break and just relax, afterwards I managed to get passed and had a great session.

3-First trip to Wasaga beach with Daniel and Dan. Spent most of my time being washed in the waves and ended the session by breaking my mast when getting pounded by some waves... followed by the walk of shame back to the cars...

2-Going out in snowy sub zero conditions with offshore winds so that mom could take some pictures of me with snow... I had too many layers under my wetsuit which cut the circulation to my arms and had some gear break. It was a cold 15-20min swim back to shore in freezing waters.

1-Winter storm in Port Phillip, Australia. It was a stormy winter day with extremely strong and gusty offshore winds. Left school and headed to the beach, my confidence at the time was quite high and I didn't think much of the conditions.  Once out in the bay, passed the sheltered area, the wind was gusting pass 110km/h. Got stuck in the water, and just held onto my gear as tight as I could waiting for a lull in the wind. Had my gear ripped out of my arms and thrown in the air 25-30m downwind and out to seas. Seeing my gear heading away from me flipping through the air was one of, if not the scariest moment of my life. Floating in the winter waters with no lifejacket and no way to swim back to shore, I swam as hard as I could with the waves after my gear. I manged to get back with my gear and held onto it. When there was finally a drop in the wind, I managed to get back up and headed towards the nearest land. Nearly in tears when I hit the beach, I had never felt so stupid and it took sometime to feel comfortable on the water again.
 
5 BEST WINDSURFING MOMENTS 

5-First waterstarts and jibes

4-Windsurfing in Algonquin Park on 3 Mile Lake, carried the gear over an 8km portage with dad. *Possibly the only person to have ever windsurfed here.

3-Sailing with Cliff in some stormy conditions in Salvo, North Carolina, not the best windsurfing, but simply a rush trying to hold on.

2-A big day at Sunset in North Bay is always a lot of fun, good jumping and a good rush. *Tied for 2nd; Windsurfing in Melbourne.

1-Speed week, Sandy Point, Australia. The smoothest water I have ever sailed, didn't even feel like water!
 
So there you have it, a little history of some of my best and worst windsurfing moments, and why I love this sport so much. The next week here in Dahab is not looking so great, but hopefully this will change... fingers crossed.
 
Hope you've enjoyed!
 
David W.
 
*I've included some pictures from windsurfing around the world.

 

From Lydia on Jan 15th, 2010

I think you started windsurfing because of me. I tried it a few times over the summers and you were envious. haha Speaking of windsurfing momemts: my worst was when you left me stranded on the lake once when the wind died, going home and eating supper, then deciding that maybe I really was stranded out there...actually, maman might have made you come get me (*David wanted me to read a windsurfing theory book before going out, of course I didn't, so he was teaching me a lesson). Long story short, I've never been windsurfing again... (I could have been awesome!) Hope the wind gets better!

From David W. on Jan 16th, 2010

Good times! You should have read the book! lol

From Carmen on Jan 16th, 2010

John Grant's pictures are beautiful. Nice setting.

From s#2 on Jan 16th, 2010

No one ever wanted to explain to me what happened in Melbourne... now I know. Could've had your legs eaten by a shark! xxx