Last weekend was the first of my two Ladies Windsurf Camps that I organise in every year here in Holland at the Telstar Surf Club. It was such an incredible fun weekend again and it’s amazing to see how much each of the ladies has learnt in those few days!
The camp starts on Friday evening where we meet each other at the Telstar Surfclub right in front of the water.
Meeting each other on Friday evening with a drink and a beautiful sunset
Every weekend is different, and as most of the women who are joining I’m always very excited, but also curious to meet all the women! Some of the women I know from previous camps, from windsurf sessions or other places but there are always new faces. And like all the other camps I have done so far there were only very motivated, cool, fun and lovely ladies! Apparently different age or a different background is not important, all you need is a shared passion for windsurfing and you will get a group of women together who are having a great time together.
The spot where the clinic is held is at a lake called the ‘Veluwe Meer’, in the middle of the country. It’s a perfect place for a windsurf camp as it has nice shallow water, a sandy beach a surf center that rents gear and a beautiful Surf Club with accommodation, a terrace and great food!
We were (once again!) very lucky with the wind and weather. Although there was forecasted quite some rain and not a lot of wind we actually had sunshine the entire weekend and on Sunday afternoon everyone was planing. As I always tell my participants; a weekend FULL of wind sounds great and is definitely a lot of fun but for learning it’s better to having a bit less wind is even better. Out of experience I think that in the ideal situation the first day would be a light wind day and the second day would be windy. To learn something it’s important to understand the theory behind the move or trick and to practice it on land before trying it on the water, and when it’s blowing 40 knots people are getting restless and just wanna go on the water (which I totally understand ) instead of listening to theory and trying moves on a simulator. This weekend we had a bit of both; the perfect conditions!
Practising on the simulator before hitting the water
Saturday we started the day with theory and rigging our gear after a good breakfast with croissants, coffee, juice, eggs and bread. Knowing how to rig and tune your gear is so important but a lot of people don’t really know what to look for. Everyone made some goals for this weekend and on the simulator we were practising those goals. The wind was building and with the theory in our heads and the feeling in our body we went in to the water. After a nice lunch break at the terrace of Telstar Surfclub we went for our second windsurf session. In the evening we watched back the clips that I made with my Go Pro, to analyse and see what went wrong (and good!) and we enjoyed a good meal and relaxing evening.
Sunday we continued with theory and because of the stronger wind we could focus more on moves like the power jibe and beach start and waterstart. Everyone had a lot of muscle pain from the day before so we did some stretching to warm up and loosen up the muscles before hitting the water again. The wind was getting stronger during the day, and after a while I saw many ladies cruising around with top speed. No better way to finish of a great weekend than with a lot of wind!
Sunday afternoon; tired but very satisfied!
I love the feeling of landing a new move, but I get the same feeling of excitement when I see someone nailing their first jibe or beach start after we have been practising this together.
Windsurfing is a male dominated sport and I never mind sailing with just men, in fact I quite like to be just one of the guys often. Sometimes people ask me why I organise Ladies Only Camps. I think the thing I really like about being just with women is that they are already getting more motivated just being with other women on the water, seeing other women trying moves and realising other women are also scared sometimes, or struggling with the same difficulties. Most men are stronger and can get away with not having the perfect technique because of strength and power, while women can’t. When I was sailing with just men when I was younger, I was never comparing myself with them and it never motivated me as much to try something new as when I was sailing with another girl.
At one point during the weekend I saw our youngest lady trying to teach one of the other participants the beach start. She was sort of lifting her up on her bum, trying to make her understand the feeling of getting the lift from the sail. It was so cool to see them helping each other and having so much fun together!
THANKS lovely lovely Ladies for this great weekend full of fun and lots of windsurfing and thanks Telstar Surfclub for the great hospitality. Hope to see you all again soon!
Time to hit the water!