We all love a good windsurfing holiday… time away from work or studying, hours on the water to work on your latest moves, plus some much needed rest and relaxation with friends.
What ever your level a windsurfing holiday can provide you with fantastic times both on and off of the water, Boardseeker catches up with Hanna Thalen who is progressing quickly through the sport and latest edition to the SWA boards of directors Sam Burnett who is pushing his freestyle level to find out more about their holiday experiences.
Hanna Thalen, 22 from Stockholm, Sweden is a freelance photography production assistant.
“I'm very into other different sports. I sailed a lot when I was younger. My brother & Dad windsurf and I love to watch, it's just awesome and it's always been on my list of 'things to do' like sky diving, and sailing on big boats. I had tried a bit three years ago - but I really wanted to learn the basics, so now I'm doing a course at Club Vass.
Why Club Vass? I sailed here when I was younger and I saw the windsurfing and I just thought Vassiliki was awesome. It's full of great people...people who do stuff - everyone here is active. I like Vass because it's focussed on windsurfing.
Here you can do all the fun stuff you do on vacation like lying on the beach and partying, but you've also got the activity - like skiing. It brings everyone together. Everyone looks so cool and you just want to be one of cool kids!
There’s no typical week in Vass, there’s so much to get up to on and off the water.
on the water
Last week I did a beginners course with Beth and Pip. This week they said I should skip a level so now I'm in intermediates with Jos and Beth again. I'm starting to get into harness and footstraps - that felt good and I've been out in the cross-shore (high wind). This week my aim is to go on the smaller boards with no daggerboard in stronger wind. I'm loving it so much I've just changed my flight to stay longer!
off the water
We go out windsurfing in the morning, then lunch, then go out again before it gets really windy. Then it's great to hang out and watch the good guys. In the evening we grab a beer and dinner or head to some of the activities like the Club Vass BBQ. It's so much fun and you feel part of whole thing. There's a great atmosphere, you get to know loads of people and you can talk to everyone very easily. You can talk to all the instructors too - they're really down to earth.
My friends are mostly all beginners. If you're a beginner you usually sail in the mornings and relax more in the afternoons. But we've met so many people and whatever level - there's time to windsurf plus time to relax and do other stuff.
All in all windsurfing holidays are just so much fun! You learn a lot and you meet great people. Windsurfing holidays are much better than just lying on the beach and partying. Here you have a great time and still have time to relax.
There's so much happening, it's full of young people and it’s fun! You can go out and have a great night, but you're still up in the morning doing something active, so you never get a hangover!
Sam Burnett is 24 and from the UK, by day he is a structural engineer and by night a Student Windsurfing Association director.
I’ve not been on loads of windsurf holidays, but having recently graduated, things like windsurfing holidays suddenly become financially viable and something has to be done with those precious 24 days of leave. I’m currently out in Fuerteventura on a holiday with a great group of friends, enjoying endless time on the water plus a few PWA parties.
who to go with?
Not important, you can go with anyone, but I’m going to describe the group to emphasise the diversity. I’m you’re average freestyle/wave punter, here with three buddies, a pretty handy ex RSX convert Alex Griffiths who’s found that “Short Boardingâ, is actually windsurfing. Alex Mitchell, an exceptionally talented freestyle sailor. A BWA and UKWA regular (and UKWA youth champion), the boy can nearly do it all and he’s only 18, thus known as Sippy-Cup, not out of bitterness or anything. The final member is the present UKWA amateur freestyle champion, el Capitan of team 'Ride the bussss’, Mr Nick Bentley.
Now we may be all into freestyle, but this is by no means a pre requisite for such a trip. Having a common interest in discipline is definitely fun, but it’s going out with you’re mates that’s the important bit.
A big group windsurfing trip is definitely not only for 'good’ windsurfers. Windsurfing for a week in good conditions probably accounts for the vast proportion of time a year the general windsurfer gets on the water. Especially when spending it in such a regular, condensed fashion, the uptake is considerably accelerated. Thus it’s an opportune time for anyone who wants to improveâ¦obviously, but regardless of base ability. Yes, someone new to the sport might find it intimidating being around guys bouncing and sliding, but I find it intimidating being around chicks doing switch Konos, effectively emasculating me, you just have to get on with it! Being around better people inspires you, entertains you and pushes you so submerge yourself in it and before you know it you will surprise yourself.
Non-windsurfing activities obviously vary with location, but if you plan to go on a windsurfing trip, take the opportunity to bring along your friends and persuade them to have a go. They will come back fitter and browner, with a new skill, which they might even continue back at home. It’s in our best interest to get more people into the sport and with windsurfing, first impressions count for a lot - Learning in boardshorts/bikini on golden sands, with turquoise water and tasty tequila is infinitely more appealing than a smelly UK lake in 10 degrees.
For those in your twenties that have studied in the UK you’ve probably been tainted by the Student Windsurfing Association. Not everyone here in the contingent is a grad or student, but if you’re at uni/student material and considering going on a windsurfing trip, do yourself a favour and get to some SWA events. You will meet hundreds of likeminded people, plus loads of the pros because they support the events with coaching (such as Bubble, Muzza, Phil & Danielle, Simsy, Sam Ross, Bakers Etc). If you have seen a few more seasons, don’t feel this is not applicable to you, go to NWF, Windfest, UKWA, BWA, BSA events and you will meet loads of people who are already planning on doing some trips in the near future.
Team "Ride the Bus" are sponsored by: Puravida Boardriders, Maui Ultra Fins, Spartan and K3d
Check out all the potential locations that you could head to on holiday this summer and beyond in our Summer Destinations Guide
Credits: Pictures of Hanna - Jay Haysey/Global Shots