In the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to try two new water sports, but haven’t written about them yet!
But late is better than never!
Here’s two of my new favourite things:
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Learning to Stand Up Paddle Board wasn’t too difficult, really. Some people who tried struggled a bit, but having a reasonable sense of balance is really the key to doing the basics effectively.
I know people do tricks and yoga and all sorts on their board, and I just went out to the buoy and back, so it’s not like I’m some expert or anything, but the boards are large, well balanced, and in the fairly still water of Busselton, I wasn’t being tested or tossed around too much. At one point, the wind came up and I got a little nervous, so I just knelt down on the board and paddled for a few minutes. This kneeling position feels quite strong and I was able to move pretty quick.
Stand up, go again.
It was nice.
And then I tried Windsurfing:
Windsurfing is HARD!!!!!
In all caps!
100% worlds apart from Stand Up Paddle Boarding!
In my first session I managed to stand on the windsurfer, pull up the main sail, get ahold of the boom, and freak myself out completely after moving only a few meters in the water.
Squealed like a school girl.
Yup. I did that.
My second session was a little more … composed.
I managed to travel a good 40 meters upright, with nice full sails, before dropping the sail in the water. Not far, not crash hot, but a good solid ‘I knew what I was doing’ moment and I had solid control of the skills I had learned so far.
That did also come with a few loud whopping noises, but I think they were well-deserved. 🙂
After two hours out on the water, taking turns with two other people, I was exhausted. Can’t say for sure how much time I actually put into the board itself, but I was getting reasonably successful with the initial launch – get on, stand up, hoist the sail, get moving. But towards the end, I had completely exhausted myself and couldn’t get the sail out of the water. I was using all my strength to lift it, but was toast.
Windsurfing is challenging, and requires a whole bunch of new skills:
- Learning to read the sail and the wind, a skill-set I have zero experience with.
- Then you need a lot of core and upper body strength. Oddly, once you’re good at it, you’ve either really developed this, or you almost need less because you’re so much more efficient – you can lock into position – rather than hauling the sail up every few minutes. That’s the bit that wears you out!
- Then you need to learn to ‘tack’, or move around on the board, around the sail, so that you can change directions. This is a huge combination of the two above skill-sets: reading the wind, and controlling your body on the board.
I’m sure there’s more to it than this, but these seem to be the bits I’m really missing 🙂
It’s not an easy sport, and now that I have tried it I have an even bigger respect for those who cruise along on their windsurfers on super windy days and make it look easy!
It’s definitely a sport that requires commitment and determination to master. At least in my limited experience!
Super fun! Highly recommend both of these aquatic activities!!
Have you tried either of these sports?
(This post was also published on 100ks From Here)