with Maria Andrés

The Essence of Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a very particular hobby, you could call it addictive, and everyone who tries it is hooked for life. Every free afternoon, every weekend, and every vacation is dedicated to only one thing, and before you know it, there is only one thing on your mind - windsurfing, windsurfing and windsurfing! The question is, what is it that has us so hooked?


Maria Andrés got to the bottom of it - read more about it hereafter!

Our salty nirvana

It’s not only that typical feeling of “freedom”, if not a combination of sensations that make this sport so intoxicating. It’s these emotions we feel that enthrall us, transporting us to our salty nirvana in this “other dimension”, the dimension of windsurfing. These little pleasures that keep us living in the present, a sense of intensified mindfulness. The sounds of the water’s texture against the board skipping along at a full plane. The hypnotic wake left behind, painting in watercolors of white against blue. The refreshing flecks of salty spray caressing your ankles. The reflections of colors in the sail, the movements of the luff as you fly over the chop. Speed rendered as a breeze brushing against your face, as you study the contours of the swells in search of the smoothest path across the flowing plains. Your hand lightly flitting across the water, the tip of every finger feeling nothing but pleasure. The sensations we can describe, but the feeling has no words!

The amazing thing is that it doesn’t matter your level, these pleasures of windsurfing are for everybody to enjoy, whether just starting out or for the world’s elite. It’s these simple moments, being in the now, letting yourself get lifted up and simply experiencing that feeling of being alive. Because this is you, the real you, in a moment of bliss, when you leave it all behind, when your soul shines through and defines who you truly are. 

One sport, two approaches

When one is sailing with a mentality of learning new tricks and improving, it is the best way to evolve, having clear objectives, trying incessantly again and again to achieve your objective. It is a great way to approach the sport, very engaging and addictive, and being able to see and track your progress is extremely gratifying. It involves concentration and dedication, being in the now, but a different “in the now”.  It is an awareness of “how can I improve”, rather than awareness of “I am enjoying this!”. In search of refinement can be disguised frustration or dissatisfaction, and one must learn to drive our emotions with grace to direct them toward our goals. You are sure to have crossed paths with a topflight windsurfer training with an appearance of complete concentration, demanding results.  You are sure to have seen that same person sailing with a completely different expression, flying across the water without a worry in the world. They’re relaxed, smiling, connected to this essence, they are in the now!  One sport, two approaches.  Each one has its moment, and each one is enjoyable.

Freeride, the essence of windsurfing

Maria Andrés: "Of all the disciplines windsurfing has to offer, I confess that the simple act of freeriding is what transports me to these orbits of “connections with the essence” in the easiest way.  When I bring out the freeride gear, I’m not stepping into the water with the idea of improving, to beat my speed records or in search of the best wave.  I’m stepping into the water with the simple idea of “enjoyment”.  To disconnect from the mundane and to connect with the here and now.  To feel.  To feel the ripples through my feet.  To feel my sail breathe in my hands. To flow, gliding along the surface that connects these two dimensions of sky and sea. It is a direct link to the essence of windsurfing that fills you with joy."

And the magic flows

You appreciate the beauty of the landscape from the sea, something that we have the opportunity to do every time we are on the water, yet so few of us take the time to do so. The coastline, the earth within. The villages tucked away in the surrounding mountains. The flocks of flamingos flying by, the lighthouse illuminating the twilight. When you head out to the water “to enjoy”, you spend more time admiring the landscape. You wait for your buddy, to fly across the water side by side. Smiles abound, and the magic flows. You skim the water with your hand, recalling memories of your first sensations of the sport. No matter how many years it’s been, you carry that feeling within you. You head out on the water in search of it, and you find it every time.  And this is what keeps bringing us back, again and again, for our souls to fill with pure happiness, the kind that lasts until your next session.

Pics: Toby Bromwich & Windy Lines

Words: Maria Andrés