Twin Towers and Duck Tacks - Marji's Story

The most inspiring, life-changing windsurf story read. If this doesn’t inspire you to get on the water, nothing will.

Words and photography by Markus Seidel.

Marjorie Keith was born in Michigan, USA in 1972 . She was employed as a broker in New York on the 105th floor of the World Trade Centre from 1993 to 1999. In 1999 Majorie took an internal transfer and began work in Milan; however, her life was still dramatically affected by the events of 9/11. Now, her life that was once filled with the facts and figures of the stock exchange, has been taken over by vulcans, flakas and words of wisdom from the Frans brothers.

Marji Keith
Marji Keith

Plane number one hit the World Trade Centre just a couple of floors from the office Marji had worked in for many years, none of her former colleagues survived. Deep in shock and feeling fortunate to be alive, the events of 9/11 lead Marji to completely change her life and along the way discover windsurfing.

Before moving to Bonaire, Marji was not a windsurfer. In fact, she was not even familiar with the sport. However, soon after purchasing a holiday home on the island on a whim, Marji fell in love with the beauty, people and way of life, and made it a permanent home for herself and her three children Mathew (10), Leonardo (8) and Astrid (5).

A lot changed for Marji as she settled into her new life among the 14,000 islanders. Financing their lives by renting out holiday apartments and home schooling her children, Marji was loving life like never before. Others in her family learnt to windsurf, but at first Marji could not find the nerve to try it too. But soon enough this changed, after separating from her husband and watching from the beach for too long Marji took to the water.

With a few beginner lessons under her belt Marji progressed at a steady pace, enjoying being on the water but not quite a windsurf addict just yet. It wasn’t until she was convinced to take part in a clinic week that she realised her full windsurfing potential and started to hit the water every day. Going through a tough divorce, windsurfing became the ‘drug’ that got her through the really bad times and became a great passion.

First Marji worked on the old school freestyle moves, mastering duck gybes, upwind 360s, heli tacks, etc, WAY before she planed out of any gybes; it didn’t occur to her that she needed to perfect her gybes before learning the trick variations.

Last year Marji decided to learn to do planing duck tacks, which she managed. She had not tried any aerial freestyle moves at this point, but while glancing through Tricktionary she noticed they rated the duck tack as a five on the difficulty scale, whilst a vulcan was a three. Spurred on by the thought that she therefore must be able to learn to vulcan, Marji starting throwing herself into these and other aerial manoeuvres.

Now Marji is consistently landing vulcans, as well as working on the spock in various forms, flakas, grubbys and much more. Having only been windsurfing for a few years and not being an 18 year old whizz kid, Marji takes a slightly different approach to windsurfing and learning freestyle to many, but it seems to be working:

The story continues with Marji’s words on page two…

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