Windsurfing Skill Level, a Macro View
Recently, I ran a poll to gauge windsurfing skill level from visitors to the blog. Choices were based upon a Windsurfing Magazine Skills Chart highlighting various levels within broad discipline areas. Given that the majority of OBX Beach Life windsurfing readership comes from the north/central/south east quadrant of the US and Canada, an interesting sampling was gathered. Over 50% of respondents marked their skills as "Advanced." Per the skills chart, the breakdown for Advanced is as follows:
Longboard Crusing: Sails in limited local conditions. Uses harness 75% of the time; uses the footstraps occasionally. Can complete 50% of tacks and jibes.
Shortboard Giant Slalom/Slalom: Sails in limited local conditions. Uses harness 75%. Uses front footstraps. Jibes for transitions. Waterstarts easily.
Shortboard Waves/Bump and Jump: Sails in limited local conditions. Uses harness 75%. Uses front footstraps. Jumps and surfs faces of small surf 50% of the time.
Of course, this is not a "scientific survey," and may have about as much credibility as a current US Gallop political poll; however, it does shed some light into what today's average "US East Coast" windsurfer's experience level is. An interesting continuation of this poll would be to sample regionally. For example, how would West Coast USA skill level compare to East Coast? Or how would European or Australian skill level compare against US (east or west coast).
Bottom line being, how does windsurfing skill level break across various macro regions of the world?
I believe there are many factors which play into where current windsurfing skill levels reside including but not limited to:
- average "local" conditions;
- commute times/distances to both local and prime windsurfing destinations;
- lifestyle blend with career/family requirements;
- commitment to windsurfing as a pastime/hobby, or a way of life;
- motivational drive from fellow windsurfers;