Sunday, August 17, 2008

Windsurfing - La Planche a Voile

The universe really wants me and Mike to be windsurfers, and we’re more than happy to do it!


We met Taco, and he is the windsurfing guru! He spent many hours in the water with Mike and me, letting us use his excellent equipment. Taco would hold the board and coach us while we balanced, pulled up the sail, and either surfed (Mike) or tried to surf (me).

Taco is an excellent instructor and a great person. As I’ve mentioned before, we are lucky to have met him and his family!! Anne-Marie, his wife, is very kind, helpful, and thoughtful. His children, Frances is 13 and Bruno is 9, are great playmates for the kids, and they are very polite children, too.

Thanks, JC!


We found great used equipment. You know Mike and his ebay shopping. The day before we planned to go into Montpellier to buy ourselves a brand-new windsurfing “rig”, Mike decided to check ebay France for used equipment. Guess what! There was a man selling some great equipment – right in Bouzigues! What are the chances?!

Thank you, Gilles!

He bought this equipment for his 14-year old son, but his son doesn’t like windsurfing. Our treasures from Gilles include a Mistral board, a Fanatic board, two Gaasrta sails (a 3M and a 4M), a wishbone, a trapeze, hook ups, and even a pair of brand new booties that fit me perfectly!

When Taco saw our “new” gear, and heard the great deal we got, he was astounded!

The only minor problem . . . the boards from Gilles are for very experienced windsurfers. Our first attempt to use them was hysterical! Mike actually did surf about 20 feet, but that was after an hour of trying to balance . . . falling down . . . etc. I tried once. As soon as I got on the board (and realized how hard it was going to be to even stand – let alone to try and pull up the sail!), I said, “This is a recipe for disaster for me today. I’ll just hold the board for you instead, Dado!”

After that first hour or so in the water with our “new” gear, we stopped by Taco’s house to show him. As impressed with the gear as he was (apparently, it’s top-of-the-line and in excellent condition, so we really got a terrific deal!), he said there was no way we could learn on either board. They are not “floaters”. Well, we figured that out. J


Thirty minutes later, Taco was driving us to Montpellier to buy a new “floater” board for learning. Anne-Marie graciously kept the children for us – thanks, Anne-Marie!

It was the best shopping trip ever. We walked into the store, walked straight to the boards, Taco saw the perfect board for us, and it was half off!! Fifteen minutes later, it was strapped to the racks on his Volvo, and we were heading back to Bouzigues. Wow!

Now we also own a Bic board – a true floater! We went out on it today, with the 4M sail, and it was amazing. Mike actually surfed back and forth across a small beach. And guess what?! I actually surfed about 20 feet. It was so fun. It’s all about balance (and sticking your butt wayyyyy back in a squat – good thing I am such an expert at squats!).

I love this sport!

Taco also loaned us a bigger sail (5M) and another wishbone. Now Mike and I have two complete windsurfing rigs. When we know what we’re doing, we’ll be able to go out together.

When Taco is back for the Christmas holiday, we plan to be good enough to surf with him!

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