Love on the Ocean Waves

We continue analyzing windsurfing relationships with the most popular combination…


Dave Gayda (pronounced Guy-da)

Lives: Canvey Island, Essex
Job: Fireman & artist
Windsurf ability: Solid wave rider
Kids: Aleksy 13 yrs, Megan 10 yrs

June Gayda

Lives: Canvey Island, Essex
Job: Local school caterer
Windsurf ability: Has been known to ‘potter’ about in very light winds & quite happy with that thank you very much.

How did you first meet?

Dave: I was carpet cleaning her Mum’s house! I used to do all sorts of part time jobs to fund my painting and this was one of them. She wasn’t there but her Mum rang her up at work and said, ‘Get home; there is a nice young man here!!

Dave: When we got married, the guys at my work took out a sweep stake on how long the marriage would last; no one had us longer than 18 months! But once we had Aleksy it all changed, we both couldn’t believe how much we loved being Mum & Dad. So as long as she had her baby in her arms, she didn’t care what she did. I stopped drinking so much, going clubbing etc. For me going out sailing and then coming back and my little boy was there it was just blinding, and it’s been like that ever since (other than life’s usual ups and downs).

Dave – when did you first start windsurfing?

I started when I was about twenty. I was hitch hiking in the south of France and I saw some guys doing it and decided to give it a go. I ended up getting rescued miles out to sea. This really wound me up so on my return home, with some money which was supposed to do up my newly bought flat, I went and bought windsurfing kit. I got hooked straight away but didn’t have the time or the money to get any good having just joined the fire brigade.

When I first meet Jayne I wasn’t totally hooked on windsurfing like I am now. I had other worries like paying my mortgage! I was working double shifts, trying to earn as much money as possible. But I still got out at Southend or Canvey as well as the odd trip to Cornwall.


So did meeting Jayne make you do more windsurfing or less?

  More definitely! It was about the same time that Jayne got pregnant that I bought a new board. I started sailing with Mark Bell & his mates. They were so dedicated and passionate; it really rubbed off on me and I wanted to get more serious about it. We would all go to Clacton in the winter when Aleksy was two or three months old and I’d try my new board whilst Jayne sat on the beach in a pop up tent. She was happy as larry ‘cause she had a baby!

Is this true?

Jayne: Yeah, I was in heaven!! Dave had taught me before I had Aleksy but I stopped when I had the children, I was quite happy to watch. But then Dave bought a Windglider and I got into it when the kids were toddlers. I just like to ‘potter’ around though, I’m not interested in planning, I just like to chill!!


Dave: We were on holiday in Cornwall and we just couldn’t get Aleksy out of the sea – he loved the surf so much. We don’t get great surf around Canvey island (!) so I thought lets see if he gets into windsurfing. Aleksy has taken to the waves really well, he is so into it; he wouldn’t arrange anything with his mates at weekends in case it was windy. We try and discourage him from doing this as he is too young to get that obsessed – that’s what we are like! Megan is planing around, doing the odd jump. She is so competitive and can’t wait to get a bit bigger and get into the waves. She caught her first clean wave surfing in Ireland recently and we are going to let her enter her first contest after her 11th birthday in June.

Don’t you get annoyed when your family life revolves around a forecast?

Jayne: I have had a few occasions but not now we have the kids. Windsurfing rules our lives. We don’t plan anything. We can’t have a holiday unless it is at a windsurfing destination. But I’m just so used to that. This year, for example, we said we would go somewhere nice and hot but it got to the point where I went to yoga and the instructor said think of somewhere nice & relaxing and I thought Ireland ! We have been going to Jamie Knox’s place for the last four years and I came home and said, ‘That’s it, I don’t want to go somewhere hot, I want to go to Ireland ! ’ And that’s what the children want.

Dave: This is great because to go abroad with all your kit is just too expensive.

It sounds like a totally different life compared to your younger days?

Jayne: Yes it is! Our entire house is decorated in waves – even down to our toilet seat! We don’t spend money on anything else other than windsurfing kit.

Dave: Thinking about it, even though it happened gradually, I can now say windsurfing completely rules our lives. I think a lot of it is because the kids love it and we have seen Aleksy’s confidence grow so much. It will really get him though some troubled years at school, in fact it has already helped.

To view Dave’s oil paintings go to

To see Aleksy in action, come down to Rhosneigr in North Wales for the second UKWA Wave event of the year (11-13 May).


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