Windsurfing: why do we sail? | Photo: Marko/Red Bull

Are the cold and unpredictable weather conditions, practical and financial issues of windsurfing affecting your will to sail? Is windsurfing fulfilling its promises?

Windsurfers, particularly in Scandinavia, cannot afford to hesitate a second if they want to windsurf more than 15 times each year. There are so many factors that hinder us from getting to sail.

Even if the weather conditions are perfect, we need a supportive partner, a flexible job, sufficient amount of time and money, adequate health and probably a car to go sailing.

Since we do not often enjoy sailing by ourselves, we are also dependent on our friends' ability to get to sail at the same time. If we add the fact that sometimes not even windsurfers feel like windsurfing, the number of times - especially Scandinavian windsurfers - we get to sail is probably relatively small.

Let's say that we have the appropriate gear and clothing and the latest app for monitoring wind and wave conditions, but we are only able to sail seven times a year, and most of those sessions are mediocre - are we still windsurfers?

Whether or not it's important to call ourselves windsurfers, the question is if windsurfing as a sport will ever truly fulfill the hungry hearts of those who are hooked and live in colder climates?

How many of us have, with excitement, bought a complete gear only to see it mostly collect dust in the garage? If we calculate the amount of money spent on the number of minutes we are planning to sail, we might start wondering if we are really sane.

Moreover, if sailors only get to sail ten times a year, we can certainly not even expect any real health benefits from sailing either. What's the deal?

"Considering that participants of other sports train many days a week, windsurfing, on the other hand, seems to be a luxury activity more than a realistic recreation for people living in nations with a short windsurfing season," considers Henrik Beyer, Swedish windsurfing enthusiast, and author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing."

"The factors that make it difficult to get to sail don't make it less fun when we do get to sail. But somewhere in between packing the car, driving a couple of hours to the beach, and trying to put on a slightly wet and cold wetsuit on a cold rainy day, some of us might have questioned if it's worth it?"

Many windsurfers look at surfers with envy - they just run into the ocean with their boards in one hand, and a smile on their faces, as they walk us by the beach when we are rigging.

Surfers simply duck dive when a wave comes, and windsurfers have to hold on to their gear as if their lives depended on it when they are lying in the water, and waiting for the best time to get back up on the board. Life seems simple for a surfer, and hard for a windsurfer, especially on public transportation.

Now and then, it might be a good idea to question the whole thing in order to get back to why we chose to start windsurfing and why we love it so much.

The reason for windsurfing should be clear. Are we doing it because we love the physical challenge, appreciate the natural beauty of the ocean, the spiritual involvement, for sharing the experience with fellow sailors or simply to get a break from work obligations? Why do you windsurf?


Words by Henrik Beyer

The Chilean big wave surf break of Punta de Lobos and the idyllic Australian point break of Noosa have been officially declared the 9th and 10th World Surfing Reserves, respectively.

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