Out of all of my Aruba adventures including dancing through the streets at Carubbian Festival, exploring the wilds of the northern shore on an ATV tour, snorkeling and Snuba, beach tennis, and windsurfing and SUP, I loved windsurfing the most. With the perfect combination of instruction, wind strength, and water conditions, Aruba was the ultimate place to practice windsurfing.
The instructors were phenomenal and gave each of us individual practice time before letting us try on our own. After a quick, land briefing, we headed into the water for some one-on-one instruction. The sail was smaller than I used before, making it easier to get it out of the water and position it in my hands. I felt extremely comfortable from the minute I entered the water because it was waist deep and perfectly flat. I wasn’t worried about going too far or being in over my head, literally. There were easily noticeable buoy markers to let us know when we were getting a little too far out, but they were such a far distance from the shore that I never reached them anyway.
I actually stayed on the board during my first attempt and successfully maneuvered the sail to complete a 180 degree turn. I felt triumphant; I know the instructor was there to guide me but I did it on my own! It was an amazing feeling.
I spent the next two hours learning the ropes of windsurfing. I wasn’t without a few tumbles into the water or a couple dings to the knees and elbows, but it was a rewarding adventure. Figuring out how to turn and how to get more power/speed were the most difficult to master. To make a turn, I needed to lower the sail toward the back of the board, reposition my hands, and move to the other side of the board. There was a lot happening all at once and I had to ask for help again before fully understanding all of the steps. While I was getting more instruction on turning, I also asked how to sail faster. I realized that I wasn’t angling the sail far enough ahead to get the best speed. Once I figured out those two aspects, I was really proud of my accomplishments.
I did manage to snap a few photos but I was more focused on enjoying the experience than taking pictures.
When we finished, we swapped stories about what we found difficult or enjoyable and how we did overall. Everyone in the group was excited about their own accomplishments and the instructors made sure we all managed to get on the board and make a few moves before the end of the lesson.
I love being physically active on vacation; combine that with any water sport, and I’m guaranteed to have a great day!