The Launch Pad
Alex gets going!
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
My former work colleague Marc had bid on a family weekend windsurf lesson last year to raise funds for the ScotiaMcLeod Charitable Foundation and ALS research. I was excited to host them as my first official customers at the newly sponsored Launch Pad. (I'm still offering $85 "free" lessons with donations to TWC while I build the Launch Pad.)
Marc, Alex and Alyssa arrived to 3 consistently windy days in a row. The first day I went out and did some demonstrations and took the kids tubing. I wrote about that on my personal blog windsurfing-en-provence.blogspot.com/2022/06/demo-session-and-tubing-before-lesson.html
On the 2nd day it was still windy. We did more tubing and I did another demo session. As they were walking back I took out the 2.5m sail and we had some time on the simulator.
Starting Alex in his natural right foot forward (goofy) stance was key. He was able to get a feel for the simulator much better in that direction. While it was too windy our simulator session was good preparation for the next day.
Before dinner I took the kids out for some wakeboarding and waterskiing. Alyssa managed to get up on waterskis for the first time in her life!
The last day was the big day. The wind was building so we headed out to the Launch Pad for some windsurfing. It was all smiles as I had the Fanatic and Duotone flags flying and we reviewed how to get on the board, get going and turn around.
Nice group photo with the sponsor flags!
In the excitement of getting Alex out I forgot to take a camera so I don't have any shots of him getting going. He did great and the first shot I have (thanks Jen!) is of him starting his first tack and using a good "tennis save". The Fanatic Viper 80 was the right board for him.
He got going in the other direction and sailed back!
I took him upwind for another run and you can see how windy it is getting! And see how determined he is!
He showed great balance on the water.
(I could have worked on his posture a bit more - but I like the straight front leg...)
By the time we were heading back to shore he was really moving!
While Alex was out in the wind, Alyssa was busy catching minnows!
One last tube ride on the way home and the question from the kids was "when are we coming back to the Launch Pad Windsurf Academy?" Apparently later that day Alex was also a star baseball player!
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Here are the GPS trails of my demo sessions the day before:
Windsurfing 18 km in 48 minutes so the kids could see what high speed shortboarding looked like:
Then wing foiling near the point to demonstrate that new sport:
Those graphs are from the 27th. As is this time-lapse that occasionally shows me tacking upwind then going back and forth. The guests explore the island and then I take the training rig to the simulator!
After I'd returned the guests down the river on the 28th it was still windy. I went out for a long 18 km 1 hour wing foil session:
Here is a photo of the much sunnier 28th!
I was pretty excited by the fun 48 hours Jennifer and I had with Marc, Alex and Alyssa. Thanks for being great guests at the Launch Pad!