We have been teaching windsurfing at our Belize island for well over 20 years. Next to kayaking and snorkeling, this is the sport we have been teaching the longest. Both Cully and I were windsurfers from a young age, and it was natural for us to add this sport to our program.
Learning to windsurf is much easier than it used to be… the beginner boards are much wider, allowing the student to NOT have to master the balance necessary while learning to steer the board, control the sail, etc. Another challenge is teaching the sport in wind (which is, of course, the natural way to do it!) You have to yell at the student to be heard over the wind, and the student keeps blowing away!
So years ago we realized if we could mount a board on a Lazy Susan on shore, that would take care of these challenges. We can calmly explain how to steer the board and how to control the sail, and we don’t have to yell to be heard. After demonstrating, the student tries it themselves, and they don’t blow away! It’s magic!
Then when they get on the board in the water, they are way ahead of the game.
Slickrock has just teamed up with Vela Windsurf Resorts www.velawindsurf.com to become one of their new wind sport centers. Vela is the premier windsports resort in the US and they have operations in Maui, Venezuala, Dominincan Republic, Baja (Mex), and Brazil. Their resorts feature top level, current model windsurf and kiteboard equipment for use at locations with strong, reliable winds. Slickrock will now have a complete selection available of 2010 and 2011 JP windsurf boards, Neil Pryde sails, and Cabrinha kiteboard equipment for advanced sailors and kiteboarders. Our regular program for beginners and intermediates is still in operation, with special equipment for first timers, a land trainer, and a full selection of sails.
Part of our new Vela operation will be the addition of a kiteboard school to our selection of activities. Lessons will be available (at an extra charge) from a professional, certified instructor and will include all equipment and transportation to different location around the atoll that are best suited to learning this exciting new sport. Introductory kite training lessons are still available (free) as part of our regular Slickrock activities with a small trainer kite, but now guests will have the opportunity to advance their skills with a structured lesson plan from a professional instructor. It commonly takes about 10 hours of instruction to learn the sport, which gives one the ability to get up on a board, maintain an upwind aspect to their direction of travel, and become familiar with the equipment.