What to expect from a Women’s Clinic

Heidi Chappel is a staple for Big Winds’ teaching program.  She’s been with us for 16 years (at least!), and has given countless women the skills to sail with confidence at our annual women’s clinics.  The next session is August 9-10; call or email to get signed up for these fun and effective clinics.

How long have you taught windsurfing?

[Heidi] A long time!  I’ve been teaching for Big Winds 16 years or so.

Do you have a teaching philosophy, or windsurfing philosophy, that drives these clinics?

I LOVE windsurfing!  It’s the absolute greatest sport in the world!  We want to bring  more women into windsurfing and make it more accessible by showing them how much fun they can have on the water.  We want them to see that it doesn’t have to be complicated and hard!

What is the daily schedule like during the women’s clinics?  A full day of sailing seems long and tiring!  How do you break it up?

The beauty of an all-day clinic is just that- it’s all day!  That means we get to take advantage of the entire day’s wind and if the wind takes a break, we do, too!  We spend as much time on the water as we can, and typically we have at least one instructor on the water and one on land so if you need a break from windsurfing, one of our isntructors is there on land to answer questions, give rig tuning advice, or teach a land lesson.

It’s a big day, but you’ll be happy-tired by the end!

What kind of skills can women expect to take away from these clinics?

We ask that participants have a bomb-proof waterstart so we are free to travel to whichever beach is likely to get the best wind for the day.  Our clinics are tailored specifically to the individual skill level of participants.  We can help you get into your harness and footstrapts to sail safely across the river, or we can help you smooth our your jibe so you’re not falling in every time you want to turn around.  After our clinics you’ll know how to rig and tune your own sail, you’ll understand the importance of “calf-awareness,” and you’ll confidently “pet-the-puppy” to improve your stance!

What beach is the clinic at?

The beach we choose is dependent on wind.  We pick it the morning of the clinic and make sure it’s suitable for all participants.

Anything else?

Come windsurf with us!  Not only will you improve your windsurfing skills, but you’ll meet some cool women who absolutely LOVE this sport!