It’s a tired and trite saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But if the old dog is inspired, curious, open-minded and finds the right team for learning – then “new tricks” are fully accessible.
15 years of SUP have kept me strong and with an innate sense of balance (along a LOT of yoga). Throw in a re-kindling of my love for windsurfing back in the spring of 2019 and I was finally ready to explore winging this past May. I headed straight to Starboard for my quiver of Freewing AIR V2 wings (3m, 4m and 5m) and the sweet Starboard 4 in 1 inflatable 10’4″. (click for video)Talk about a stable and forgiving vehicle for my learning! And it paddles like a dream for those less than windy days.
For about 6 weeks I dabbled around on our local lakes in 6-15 kn winds using what I had gathered from watching training videos. I was unaware of how different “sailing” a wing was from using a windsurfing sail. That is – until I met up with the team at Cascade Kiteboarding yesterday. My experience from the first website contact form I filled out through my 3 hour lesson was 5-star plus!
Katie responded to my many questions quickly and completely. She set me up for a lesson with instructor Jonathan. Talk about professional in every way. Jonathan took plenty of time to HEAR what I wanted to learn and why. He listened to me talk about my past experience and concerns – it was a super gusty-windy day in the Columbia Gorge. Gusts to 30kn!!!!!
I needn’t have worried. Within minutes I was suited up with a radio-contact helmet. On and off the water Jonathon could coach my every move. Secondly, we were going to begin my lesson on land – experiencing the wind, laying down the fundamentals, discussing, having plenty of Q&A – before heading into the more protected bay just beyond the learning center site. For more about what I learned from Jonathon – CLICK HERE for Part 2 of this 3-part article series.
Side note: Small world cool! Jonathan was one of the first groms taught by Britt at North Beach Windsurfing. You can read about my lesson five years ago HERE!