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FINN MULLEN – EXPERIENCE

20/11/2017
by

Words  Finn Mullen  //  Photo Tam Mullen

No matter how many times we windsurf, practising the same motions, enjoying the sensations, something keeps drawing us back for more, notably if you adhere to the popular proverb that experience is the best teacher and that is the theme we explore this month.

Originally published within the June ’17 edition

Keeping that in mind, I recall a recent session where on a meagre wind forecast I still found reasons to be cheerful as I launched into the unknown of a new spot. The water was flat, the bay a postcard picture of weathered rock, white sand and bright Atlantic blues. The wind was teasingly just offshore but I couldn’t contain my excitement to meet it with my 7.0 and trusty 130 litre freeride board. Changing up your normal sailing location for fresh shores is one of the easiest ways to keep our sport young in your heart. Why is that important? Because experience in years is an advantage only as long as we don’t let it limit our experiences. Trying new moves, new gear, new spots are all healthy experiences to incorporate into our windsurfing. It didn’t matter that after ten minutes of carefree blasting I catapulted into the icy spring sea with the grace of a hippo after colliding with a fishing line, it just added to the tale I could tell. If I sailed this spot every day, I’d know that Captain John West likes to lay his lines there, but if I sailed at the same spot every day, experience tells me I’d be a pretty unmotivated sailor and worse, a bore!

 “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius.

Dave White has had more chances in life than most of us, and I don’t mean the glorious ones where his talent has brought him endless titles and accolades. I think what defines Whitey’s enthusiasm for windsurfing isn’t his survival of cancer, though that more than certainly counts for a lot!, but his constant exploration of the boundaries of his sailing. Hulking speedsailors don’t wave sail was conventional wisdom before Whitey upended that myth as he pushed himself into learning the art and winning the UK masters wave title along the way. Not content, last year he entered the UK slalom series after a two decade absence and unafraid to meet the challenge of competitors 40 years his junior or, as he sagely notes, to rewrite “The older I get the better I was.” He enthuses more about his renewed experience of racing in our article “UK Slalom rules” this month, extolling that “There’s something about the camaraderie of competition that you just can’t get on your own. It not only pushes you out on those lethargic days but also adds a spark to those days we can’t get on the water, like in the gym.” Need more inspiration for a fresh experience then learn from Klaas Voget’s piece ‘Happy days’ as he tells us how travelling with a young family doesn’t mean an end to hunting for your windsurfing nirvana in Chile. If you need new locales closer to home, JC and crew guide us to wave spots on the south coast of England in east winds, while Farrel O’Shea gives us the lowdown on the famed speed spot of West Kirby up north. Making your windsurfing experience good or bad can be determined a lot by your choice of fin. Peter Hart translates the geek science into plain speak this month and encourages us to experiment with what lies beneath our boards to make the most of our sessions and progression.

Increase your talent potential further as Jaeger Stone teaches us how to emulate his amazing turns in cross on conditions this issue and Levi Siver explains his new found passion for coaching and passing on the benefit of his years of professional windsurfing experience, telling us “It doesn’t matter what your level is, you can always learn more.” High king of coaching and the eternal master of encouraging change for good, Peter Hart, delivers the closing inspiration for our issue this month and in typically wise prose pronounces that “When we get good at something, it’s all too easy to erect a high fence around your comfort zone, and with unfounded prejudice sneer at activities, which we feel we should be doing but would mean becoming a beginner again and maybe looking foolish.” Well, don’t worry about that, because in our first summer issue of the year, we declare the season for falling in and looking foolish well and truly open. Get out there and demolish your comfort zone, embrace the different, welcome the unfamiliar and invest in the unknown because experiences really are the best teacher in windsurfing, especially the new ones.

“ Experience in years is an advantage only as long as we don’t let it limit our experiences.”

PHOTO  Finn Mullen and a turn made many times before but the windsurfing experience only gets old when we let it, so don’t, says the editor! 

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