With the wind at your back
Written by: Michal Procházka
Summer provides an ideal opportunity to try out interesting water sports. True, die-hard fans of classic surfing must go abroad for ocean waves. But you needn’t hang your head, some “board” sports are possible in local waters right now.
ONE OPTION for taking on the water is windsurfing. While it’s a pretty tough sport physically, it
isn’t so extreme that a less fit and courageous person shouldn’t try it out. In any case, taking to the water that way could be hazardous even though our country doesn’t have vast bodies of water. So here’s a bit of well-meant advice.
If you intend to buy new basic equipment, count on considerable expenditures. You’ll have to invest at least CZK 30,000. Of course it’s less expensive to buy used equipment or rent it.
– Wet suit and vest: not absolutely essential, but the best winds arise when cold fronts pass through and the temperature drops. You should definitely wear a vest, as you never know how the wind conditions might change.
– Board: choosing the right-size board depends on several factors – you’ll find specific numbers at www.windsurfing.cz in the Škola WS section:
– body weight (more weight, larger board)
– surfing skills (less experience, larger board)
– windsurfing intensity (the less often you windsurf, the larger the board)
– water surface character (stronger wind, smaller board)
– ambition and motivation level (recreational – larger board)
– Sail: Choose a sail according to the windsurfer’s weight; another factor is the strength of the wind to which the board is exposed to. Again, the more weight the larger the board, but with heavier wind a smaller board will do.
How and where to begin?
You can teach yourself to windsurf. But first you must perfectly master getting back to shore. If a stronger wind came up, you wouldn’t be able to get back. So it’s best to go to a specialized school where they’ll rent you everything you need at first (see sidebar) and teach you the basics. It’s around CZK 150 per hour to rent everything you need, and an instructor costs roughly another CZK 200 per hour.
Once you’ve mastered the basics you can choose your favorite windsurfing venue. From the series of reservoirs on the Vltava, Lipno has the best conditions; it’s the largest body of water in the Czech Republic, and it’s high above sea level. Hnačovský rybník, between Horažďovice and Klatovy is very popular among windsurfers. Other possibilities include the Nechranice (near Žatec) and Rozkoš (Česká Skalice near Náchod) reservoirs, or Nové Mlýny in southern Moravia. You can monitor the weather at several water bodies via web cameras.
Surfcentrum u Milana, Milan Sejkanič, Dolsko 13, Nové Město nad Metují, tel.: 491 475 450 (záznamník), 602 467 218, www.surfcentrum.cz
Lipno Windsurfing, Černá v Pošumaví 139, Černá v Pošumaví,
tel.: 380 744 304, fax: 380 744 235, firstname.lastname@example.org,
F4 – Škola a půjčovna windsurfingu, F4, Mgr. Aleš Kaczur,
sídlo firmy Kosmonautů 4, Hlučín, tel.: 602 757 029, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, operations at : ATC Merkur, Pasohlávky – Nové Mlýny I.
Škola windsurfingu – Jan Haškovec, Národní 26, Karlovy Vary,
tel.: 353 229 539
BoardshopHOBA, ing. Jan Řihošek, tř. 1. máje 4, Olomouc,
pískovna Náklo (u Olomouce), tel.: 777 111 303, boardshop.cjb.net
chairman of the board, Actual Aver CZWhich Czech reservoir/pond would you recommend for a beginning windsurfer? Why?
” To a beginner I can recommend every reservoir or pond in the Czech Republic that’s large enough and situated in an open landscape, if possible. The best is to choose those where there are other windsurfers willing to provide precious advice or inspiration. The large water space gives enough room for maneuvering without collisions with others enjoying water sports. The open landscape additionally gurantees a relatively stable wind blowing in one direction.”
Is windsurfing more demanding than, say, water skiing?