Florida Clinics & Lessons – experience or advice?

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Joined: 10/25/2003 - 23:20
Posts: 65
Florida Clinics & Lessons – experience or advice?

I’m a complete beginner. I’ve sailed off-and-on for years and have read some windsurfing books, but I plan to take everyone’s advice and sign up for lessons down in Florida this winter instead trying to learn on my own. The two places I’ve talked to are Calema and Banana River in Cocoa Beach. Both places seem to have very good reputations and credentials.

I had hoped to take the 4 day session at Calema, but the beginner class is full until late Spring and I don’t want to loose a wind season. I’m now leaning towards a long beginner lesson at Banana River and hang around to sail for another day or two. They have reasonable lodging on-site and good equipment rental rates. I’m pretty big (6’3” and 225lbs) so I still need to confirm they have equipment appropriate for my size.

Any advice on weather/wind this time of year, on questions I need to ask before signing up, or experience with the schools?


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webguy's picture
Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 11226

Banana River is a good place. Beth, the owner is supper friendly. You can also get some lessons here in Atlanta from few of the club members. Gene Mathis rents out a very good beginner board with sail and mast at reasonable rates. This may be worth trying one weekend for a few hours to get a jump start on the learning curve before heading down to Florida. Good luck and stay with it.

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Chuck_Hardin's picture
Joined: 02/18/2002 - 05:27
Posts: 275

I'm still having a demand for lessons this fall (This is Whitecap Windsurfing just on the Atlanta side of Augusta, about 2 hours down I-20). In past years I would not do cool weather lessons but I've abondoned that philosophy this past month and it's worked just fine so far. I have some suits that I can usualy find a fit for anyone. If it's relevant to you goals, I do a 5 to 6 hour, very thorogh, very professional beginner lesson. I supply all gear. Use all the tricks of the trade -- land simulator, anchored tethers to the board, etc. The majority of my students, by far, come here from 2 to 4 hours away. I have mostly weekdays only available, though. Awesome lake over here, too. It sounds like a more "advanced beginner" lesson might fit your curent needs. If you go to Florida I'd go to Banana River Resort for the complete experience. Wonderful folks. More convenient to stay there where you are sailing anyway. It's closer to Cocoa Beach. Who knows, they might entice you to walk across the street and try wave surfing on those inevitable no-wind days. IF I can help. let me know.

Chuck Hardin
Whitecap Windsurfing, Inc.

c:706-833-WIND (9463)

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Joined: 09/22/2003 - 15:15
Posts: 1
Go have fun and sail as much as possible

Don't worry about the wind , just get out on the water as much as possible. Beth can show you how to contend with light air or more air than you think you can handle. The Banana River is a great place to improve your skills. As a newbie you may be inclined to go for that big sail just because the wind is light, but if you'll stick to a 7.5 max you will improve at a level that is comfortable and fun. Wait until later to challenge yourself on bigger sails and speed. At your size you should be commended for trying windsurfing , when it would have been easy to buy a Finn and sail off (sitting down) never to have experienced the the joys and frustrations of learning to windsurf. Have a great time !
Seaweenie out

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