Most People know by now that Windsurfing can be difficult to learn. There is also a misconception that it takes a lot of upper body strength to learn. Well let’s discuss some facts.
The human being is born with instinctive reactions for windsurfing. I say “We are born with a windsurfing program in our brain. It’s a poor program like Windows 98. It causes you to crash a lot!” The windsurfing Instructor’s job is to make you aware of the instinctive problems and teach you the proper techniques so you have good balance while windsurfing. The instructor will teach you the proper reactions. Repeated use of the proper reaction will build muscle memory and eventually the poor instinctive reaction will change to the proper reaction and balance will improve, windsurfing will be easy and fun with no swimming involved.
For instance, most beginners fall backwards quite often. Why? Because their instinct has them not standing on the centerline of the board but to the windward side of the board and they tend to put too much weight on their heels. That stance along the instinctive reaction of hugging the sail (bending the elbows) after up-hauling leads to an in-balance to the windward side of the board and the result is falling in backwards.
Windsurfing has many, many different balances and the instructor will teach the student how to be aware and feel the balance points. Our instincts make it difficult to find and feel the balance points. An Instructor should have what I call the Instructor’s Eye. The instructor will see the reason for imbalance or the cause of a fall and they will inform you how correct the move and work on muscle memory.
The misconception that windsurfing takes a lot of upper body strength is correct when one uses poor technique. Learning the proper technique of keeping your arms straight and relaxed, thumbs on top of the boom, back straight with a sitting posture transfers all the pull from the sail into your legs instead of using hand, arm and back muscles. There is no need to, and using those muscles just wears one out in no time.
A good Instructor teaching the proper techniques with a seasoned Instructors Eye, will make your 1st time learning experience fun, easy and successful. Oh and a lot drier!
Advanced Windsurfing Instruction is equally important because again of the Bad Instinctive Reactions. They seem to appear at all levels of this great sport.
Don’t waste precious time, you only live once! Put forth the effort to find a good Windsurfing School and learn to master the great sport of windsurfing quickly. Put yourself on a fast learning curve, it will be your Best Investment in Windsurfing!