It’s easy to notice how popular this sport is as you explore the beaches of Mykonos. It’s even easier to see why Mykonos is home to so many surfing activities; the strong winds circling the island make certain beaches windsurfing (or kitesurfing) hot spots! Watching from afar for a few days was enough to pique my curiosity.
I was lucky to come across Pezi Huber, an ideal place (with locations in Mykonos and Cape Verde) for “everyone who wants to live out their addiction to windsurfing“… I’m not addicted yet (all in good time), I’m simply a novice wanting a taste. Thankfully, Pezi Huber offers windsurfing lessons for any level (even the ‘I have no earthly idea what I’m doing‘ level). The Mykonos shop is on Kalafatis Beach, where mild winds and gentle seas provide the perfect environment for beginners, though you’ll also see more advanced windsurfers practicing skills and perfecting their tricks in the comfortable environment.
Upon arrival for my first-ever windsurfing lesson, we were greeted by Willy, the manager of Perez Huber’s Mykonos location, and introduced to my instructor, Fabian. Though it’s not easy, Fabian has the ability to make windsurfing look like it is – a born natural on the board, he participates in freestyle windsurfing competitions and races.
We began our lesson on the sand, with instruction on how to properly stand on the board and maneuver the sail. Our first lesson (and my only one, unfortunately, as it was our last day in Mykonos) was focused on the basics of staying balanced, pulling the sail to appropriate positions and adjusting so I could begin to ride. The wind was not strong on the day of my lesson, which was a blessing as well as a curse – it’s harder to pull the sail into place on a windy day, but once you are in position, it’s much easier to ride with the pressure of a strong wind.
After my land lesson, I paddled out to sea to try the real deal. I learned quickly that windsurfing is not as easy as it looks. I had visions of riding across the sea, and maybe even attempting a trick or two… then again, I’ve been known to be a bit aggressive and overly confident with new ventures….
I fell… more than a few times, trying to get the sail in place and find proper footing. The trick, as Fabian continued to remind me, is to keep your arms straight, achieving balance with the sail.
If at first you don’t succeed… try until you kill yourself! That’s my motto at least. Intense determination set in, and I was finally balancing and riding the mild winds.
Fabian showed me how to turn around, a trick (I say trick as if it’s actually impressive, but dammit for me it was a trick!) that is accomplished by swinging the sail to the other side of the board, while shifting you position until you are facing the opposite direction… time to swallow more water.
Does this sound miserable? I assure you it is not! It was a great deal of fun, and you can’t beat the feeling of accomplishment that comes with slowly learning a new skill. My only regret is lack of time, as I’m sure that each day of lessons provides more exciting outcomes.
I paddled back to the beach with a smile on my face, and a sense of accomplishment for progress made my first day. I’m excited to revisit this activity in the future, and continue progressing until my vision of riding the winds comes to life!
No goal was ever met without a little sweat… make that a lot 😉