Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Riding with the Wind

One of the fastest-growing water sports these days is wind surfing. A combination of the traditional wave surfing and sailing, the sport is the middle ground for sports buff who are not into the fast-paced high-adrenaline surfing but are too impatient for the more laid-back sailing.

Windsurfing, however, is not for the unfit. It may present itself as a relaxing sport in moderate winds but when gusts pick up for a few knots, the surfboards literally skim off the water and jettison an inexperienced rider into a fast whirl. The sport is gaining much popularity as locations for perfect waves for surfing are scarce and too remote while sailing is considered too structured and slow.

In windsurfing, surfers can head out in moderate to strong winds whether in salt water or lakes creating a convergence between adventurers and the hard core sport fanatics. As it is not too dependent on location, it has created a mass appeal and is slowly becoming more popular.

Equipment for the sport is a little more intricate than usual wave surfing but is definitely more portable and affordable than sailing. A slightly longer board, which creates better stability over the water, is the basic equipment. A sail is then attached and then controlled by both hands of the surfer. Depending on prevailing wind conditions, the standing surfer can change position and stance to maximize speed.

The sport is a hybrid of its two predecessors, but it has slowly gained itself a niche on its own. A rider can stand up or sit on the board and control speed and direction through handles on the sail. Creativity is still king as surfers try to control the wind and the board by gliding through the water. However, in order to pull off the best tricks in the sport the key element is speed. Surfers must learn how to read the winds and adjust accordingly.

With more and more people finding the raw fun of the outdoors, wind surfing is definitely one of the sports that will gain even more popularity. Its combination of edgy roughness yet graceful glides make it a sport for everyone.

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