I’m definitely in the ‘stay UK’ camp on this one, at this stage in my life. The main reason is that I’m married (to my lovely wife Trudie) and I’m not rich…
“Going abroad for a windsurfing holiday is pretty much out of the question. I can’t leave Trudie at home alone for 2-3 weeks and if she does come I have to pay for both of us as it’s a windsurfing trip. Also, to get the kind of conditions I like (reasonable sized wave riding like the better uk days) you’re talking quite a long haul flight and an expensive destination. You’ve also got to cart all your gear over there and hire a car which adds more expense, not so bad if you’re with a group of windsurfers, but if it’s the other half.
Gallery: Steve Thorp around the UK…
Open Gallery5 Images
So, my (rare) trips abroad tend to involve surfing to be honest; it’s much cheaper to find consistent surf and much easier to grab a 3 hour dawny before breakfast followed by some Trudie time, than hunting down windsurfing through the middle of the day. Obviously I’d love a trip to Cape Town or Chile for a month sailing everyday if given a pass..
The UK on the other hand is a whole lot easier for me. My hours are pretty flexible so I can get time off when I need to and it’s a whole lot cheaper. Trudie doesn’t mind if I grab 3 or 4 days away every now and then, and sometimes she’ll come with me.
Other than the diesel I can live pretty cheaply by sleeping in the van, or share the transport with a couple of mates and find a cheap hostel at the beach. Premier Inn can often have double rooms for £29, if Trudie comes along in winter.
The major plus for UK windsurfing is that you can get absolutely amazing conditions if you’re prepared to drive to where it’s happening at reasonably short notice. I’ve without question scored better conditions in the UK than anywhere else over the last 30 years, including Oz and Maui.
The main problem for sure though, is that it’s really hard to improve in the UK. The best way to learn is sailing in fun size consistent almost identical conditions day after day. The UK can often be the total opposite – random days here and there with totally different conditions. Although we all love cross off mast high, it’s not really conducive to learning much.
So, I guess the answer is, you have to find the best solution that suits your own circumstances.”
Conclusion: As you can see, staying in the UK works the best for Steve around his commitments and by closely following the forecasts he can get a fair amount of short trips in over the winter.
There’s no reason at all that you have to go away over the winter to improve and get on the water a lot, just make sure you’ve invested in a very warm wetsuit and know how to survive the cold.
Steve Thorp is sponsored by: Hot sails Maui, Moo Custom, K4fins, Bluesmiths, Loco SUP, Dryrobe.