The Windsurfers Journey: Getting Planing

In the first installment of the the Windsurfers Journey, we caught up with James just as he took part in his first lesson at Lagoon Watersports in Hove. Now James is getting hooked on the sport and is back for more.

I’ve got the need for speed, but even more the need for some control! After completing my RYA Start Windsurfing and receiving my ticket that now states I have started on the drenched road to windsurfing land I have become hooked! With many friends and work mates confused by the idea of going outside in this beautiful English summer let alone going out on the water people are starting to wonder what I have started doing. I have been found going up and down the lagoon for hours on end, only wondering how I get on this drug you hear the other windsurfers craving for. I’ve been watching windsurfers coming over from the other side of the wall where the infamous sea is kept with both signs of satisfaction and frustration on their faces from either getting planing or not, but with an excuse for both! I want to be on this!

Improver Lesson at Hove
Improver Lesson at Hove

Having loved my start course and having spent quite a few hours floating around practicing what I learnt I started going to the improvers nights on a Thursday after work for a bit of assistance with my windsurfing. The first time I went out on the water after my course it felt like I had just passed my driving test and this was the first run to the shops I was nervous but so excited to be back on the water. With the lagoon giving such an easy starting point and then ongoing support I jumped straight in and got up.. then fell in! With so many things going on in my mind it seemed like I had forgotten it all but after a few minutes and some guidance from the instructor I was back up and blasting on my plastic fantastic and a sail that I only wanted to make bigger.

After an exciting sail a few days before I was back for more! While getting my kit out I saw a bigger one next to my normal sail and I just had to give it a go. Once I was on the water, before I pulled up this monster of a four meter, I looked at the others with their airplane sized wings thinking I’m almost there. The session went well on my new bigger sail and like always I left the lagoon again wanting to go bigger and faster! The next time on the water came a new surprise in the form of a board that felt like a tea tray. I was motivated by an instructor to move onto the Fanatic Viper which to move around was a lot easier but on the water it was a bit of a surprise, after being on my floating piece of decking that offered me so much comfort. With a few very wet tacks I started to stop looking at my new board and got my balance back. I was just so happy with myself that I had now moved off the start kit and onto the more colourful improver gear and I felt like my windsurfing was improving at a very good rate.

Hove Windsurfing
Windsurfing off the beach at Hove

With days of not windsurfing I found myself on weather and windsurfing websites waiting for the wind and work to be done so I can go back out on the water. And then it came, it was windy and I had an afternoon off to go and see if I can sail in a storm. Keeping with my new board and being on the lagoon this flat water but windy base meant I was safe to give it a go no matter what the weather. With the wind blowing I ended up moving … and moving really too fast! I was holding on and that was about it. Sailing at what felt like a hundred miles an hour for the first time was a massive rush and I could see how people get addicted and I most definitely was.

Now I am up and going and truly hooked I’m going to move on and I have been told I’m ready for the intermediate non planing course to get me out and onto the big blue. For me I feel I have improved and am loving the sport and want to continue because my next goal is getting onto the sea and going even faster!

Windsurfing at Hove
Windsurfing at Hove

Written by James Hart

Find out more about Lagoon Watersports:

website: www.lagoon.co.uk

phone number: 01273 42 48 42

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LagoonWatersports

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/hovelagoon

  1. jan alkema

    how sweet. that’s Nik Baker on the left telling us mere mortals how to rig North Sails properly (me 4th on the left). and as it happens used that very sail lying there (8.4 S-type) in very marginal conditions this afternoon and had an absolute blast. wind was only 12 knots max, yet i managed a top speed of 18 knots. magic!!

X
Gollito

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