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10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Sooner or later this had to happen: and now the fashion for boards of all colors, stripes and sizes is gradually coming to Russia. Now no one can be surprised by an office worker in a tie and shirt who commutes from the subway to work on a longboard or an acquaintance who tried to get up on a wakeboard or stand up in the summer.

Perhaps the whole point is that over time we drew attention to the huge number of opportunities around and found out that in order to ride a seething wave on a spot in the ocean, you can start at the reservoir closest to your home. But if we no longer surprise us with wake, surf and longboard, then windsurfing is a rather new phenomenon for Russia. Therefore, a lot of questions arise: do you need waves, do you buy a wetsuit, how to choose a board, do you need to buy it, or for a start it is enough to rent ...

With all these awkward questions from a beginner, we went to see off the warm days to the master -class of a windsurfer, athlete Team Toyota Russia and just a wonderful mother of two children Olya Raskina in the Zavidovo Summer Water area.

Is it true that this is not the case in Russia Are there many places where you can windsurf?

Olya Raskina answers : On the contrary ( smiles ). Windsurfing is possible wherever there is water. If this is Moscow, then, for example, in Strogino, at the Pirogov reservoir, in Istra, there are large local stations everywhere. Or here, for example, in Zavidovo. In addition to Moscow, there are many skiers in St. Petersburg, Sochi and other key seaside cities. Without going abroad, you can definitely take the first steps, reach the Intermediate level (when you already have a little less board and more sail).

But I must admit that it is real to progress, riding in the water bodies nearby, rather difficult, because the winds in our country are unstable. Most often, especially in summer, the wind does not arise without a reason, but blows with rain and clouds. Agree that these are pretty tough conditions. Therefore, personally, I make field camps for everyone, gathering people to Greece, Mauritius, Egypt - where I know for sure that the wind will blow every day and you can ride from morning to evening.

10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

Do you need waves for windsurfing?

And this is also a delusion. For a start, even the absence of waves is desirable. They complicate the learning process. At a good level, waves are an additional ramp from which you can jump and do some elements.

If I can ride a longboard, will this help?

In urban conditions, this is a longboard and balance board. The skill of transferring weight to the heels helps a lot. But the most important thing in windsurfing is swimming well. If you feel uncomfortable in the water, then when you fall, panic can begin. Pool activities and freediving will help. In this case, you will have othersfeeling, being in the ocean, you can swim and calmly climb on the board.

10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

Will I be able to get on the board without an instructor?

I'm more in favor of taking the first steps on the board accompanied by an experienced mentor. Those beginners who go out on their own, except for torment, experience nothing. Windsurfing is still a very technically and visually difficult sport, because everything seems to be clear on the shore, and when you go out on the water, as my students say, there is a complete zeroing ( laughs ). Everything becomes very difficult, even determining the direction of the wind.

How to choose equipment and where to start?

For a beginner, you need a lightweight set of equipment. For a girl - a very small sail, for a man a bigger one. Besides, in the beginning, I would not advise to sail far. First you need to learn to turn around and return to the shore under any conditions. The most thrill that hooks people in windsurfing is when the board goes to planing: this is already a high speed, where the board rises from the water and rides only on the fin - a real feeling of flight. But to this level you need to skate a sufficient number of hours and understand the technique.

10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

Is it possible to windsurf a child?

Not so long ago my friends brought a set for children's windsurfing to Russia. You can start teaching children from the age of two. The mast in this kit is about the size of the little finger, very thin, the sail is super light, the board is the size of a bodyboard only with fins, the child can control, feel, turn on it.

Before the advent of children's kits, the main problem was that small sails were invented, and large boards were used for adults. On such boards, a person weighing 15-20 kg simply floated away and could not unfold it. Now, when special equipment has appeared, children from 2 to 8 years old ride independently, and together or three together with their brothers and sisters. They cram into such a small kindergarten ( smiles ) and float off into the sea for a ride.

10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

What qualities will help to develop windsurfing?

For an adult, it seems to me, it takes courage to go to sea or the open ocean, and not to the water area. For children, this is still more of a game, they feel like the captains of their ship, for them it is happiness to manage their little ship. In addition, children are trained in life jackets, therefore, falling into the water, they are not afraid, but enjoy. This is a very positive experience. In addition to courage, courage, it seems to me, there is excitement, I want to study further and sail further from the coast. You can swim away with mom and dad, just not standing between their legs, as we used to roll our children, and already ride a pair on our boardwith them. For example, in Mauritius, children with their parents go to small waves and study together. It's great when your child is such an independent person.

10 awkward windsurfing beginner questions and answers

Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

In Russia, windsurfing has a seasonality, and if you want to learn in autumn, where is it better to go?

To the south. In Sochi, in Anapa. You can go to Europe, for example, to Greece or Spain, Portugal. There is also Turkey, Egypt. In fact, the coolest gurney in Anapa is in December when winter storms come. This is not a light wind blowing from under a cloud, this is a stable storm for four days, when you can roll away ( laughs ). During the storm season, a very strong community comes there from Krasnodar, Rostov and Novorossiysk.

How to choose equipment for skiing in winter?

If you decide to swim in winter, then you definitely need a wetsuit ... For this, there are special warm models with a hood. You can wear hydro boots, gloves. Technology has come to the point where you can pack yourself completely. It also provides excellent protection against bruising in the event of a fall. For example, I like to ride like that - it's warm, dry and not painful.

It seems clear with the equipment, but is it worth buying windsurf right away?

For the first few years it is better to rent a windsurf, since the stations usually have a large selection: there are also small sails for strong winds, large sails for weak ones, different boards. It is better to try everything first and choose at least a discipline for yourself. Someone likes to ride very fast - this is slalom, racing, someone likes freestyle and acrobatics, someone wants to go to the waves - this is waveriding, that is, these are different sets of equipment and the rental stations have the whole range. '

Open new horizons for yourself, dream and never stop there! Windsurfing is the perfect sport for those who love waves, travel and movement. Meet us at the spot, don't forget to set your sail in the wind!

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