Some toughts about our sport from Evi Tsape

Athens, Greece: New faces on the water

All of us are aware of the list of common misconceptions; they are everywhere! So many widely held, false ideas about everything concerning everyday life. If we would make a list of the most common fallacies, I am most certain that windsurfing would be somewhere among the top 10, and if it weren’t, then we should definitely add it there! Onlookers of our sport frequently assume that learning how to windsurf involves extraordinary muscular strength, extreme balance skills and a lot of frustration. Only the latter is (partly) true, and still, with good instruction, it can be eliminated.

At any beach in any part of the world you will see more men than women and more people in their 40s than children. But what about Athens, Greece? Is windsurfing a popular sport for children in the land of Aeolus, the greek ruler of the wind? Travel only as far as Schinias on a weekday evening or weekend morning and you will find yourself rubbing your eyes with surprise. Something strange is going on there; there are children cruising along with their 1.5 and 2m sails, big smiles on their faces and definitely proud that they can finally practice a sport that their parents find it difficult to learn!

Now, how did that happen? Not out of the blue of course. These children are part of a team that has long got together to draw up a plan on how to make windsurfing reachable as well as fun for children of all ages. If we introduced you to who is encouraging all these young children to try windsurfing, and guiding them through their first steps, to ensure that they will all be having a blast in the water 100% of the time, then we wouldn’t need to say much. As with food, when you use first class ingredients you are guaranteed a good meal. Equivalently, if you put together two great partners, an athlete -who loves windsurfing, teaching windsurfing and working with children- and a school -which excels in nurturing children's’ love of learning-, then you can imagine what will come out of it!

To put names to the theoretical characters above, we are pleased to announce that Evi Tsape and Costeas-Geitonas schools have joined forces towards a common cause: to fill the windsurfing sites of Athens and consequently Greece with children (initially) and then with their teachers, parents and whoever else will be put to shame by 7-18 year-old windsurfers who have already started training and will be effortlessly gliding on the water in zero time, showing us all how windsurfing is supposed to be done...

The windsurfing academy is being hosted at the windsurfing school of Karavi Schinias, on the northeast coast of Athens, Greece. The academy offers a windsurfing program which starts from scratch and covers everything up to intermediate and advanced sailing, in a continuous manner. Students are taught the beginning skills one-to-one, and are consequently put within a team of 4, to be given supervised lessons and keep progressing day by day. The windsurfing academy is presently manned by 22 students of Costeas-Geitonas School, all keen to learn how to windsurf. These kids all have such a natural talent and enjoy windsurfing so much; they are at the moment on their fourth week windsurfing, taking to it like ducks to water! They are amazing, so enthusiastic, so spontaneous, always living the moment out there on the windsurf board. And so proud to be able to master the kind of equipment that their parents think would need a PhD in physics to be able to handle!

So, if you come along and ask Costeas-Geitonas’ students at the academy, they can tell you that you don’t need any PhD, or strength, or anything in particular to be able to learn how to windsurf. They can tell you that windsurfing is really fun, and that it’s not so hard after all! There are no secrets; all there is to it is to learn how to use your body weight correctly, in order to counterbalance the force of the wind in your sail. Simple! We are most certain that we can show everybody that being out on the water is the most amazing thing in the world; when you become a windsurfer, nothing is the same anymore. You see the world from another perspective, you experience unique sensations, you push your own limits every day, you are able to see pictures that very few people have seen. Our young windsurfers are already enjoying one of life’s greatest privileges; why don’t you bring your kid over as well? You will be most surprised by what’s going to happen!

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