windsurfing, the angry art

by Graham

Emotion released...


Windsurfing is an art of Passion. And what to better breed passion than pain?

At some point over last weekend, I realized the sacrifices that I’ve (happily) made to be windsurfing on Maui. If it were not for windsurfing, I would not be on Maui. Rather, I’d probably be in New York City working on my writing and my art. It’s true that Manhattan isn’t going anywhere, but friends and relationships do. And I can definitely say that I’ve lost friendships and relationships in order to dedicate myself to windsurfing. I can’t say, though, that I regret my decision; I don’t. But I think that it’s important for me to remember the sacrifices all the time. I can’t flippantly take days off from windsurfing– that’s not fair to the people and and things I’ve had to sacrifice, and it’s not fair to the thousands of people that would kill to be in my position. I guess all I’m trying to say is that this epiphany of mine fueled a passionate desire not to take a single day on the water for granted.

And then the anger. I’ve been frustrated with certain small bits of windsurfing lately. 1) Hookipa has been crowded beyond belief. The crowds of tourists swarm over the waves like insects. I guess it’s good for our sport and the windsurfing industry, but it makes wave riding very frustrating. 2) I lost a bit of the middle finger on my right hand while holding on to my kit and getting worked after a big 360 crash. It’s nothing serious but it constantly reminds me how annoying small physical pain can be. 3) I may have broken one of my toes after slamming it against my universal while trying (unsuccessfully) to get over a large set wave.

Pain and frustration and anger are normally considered bad emotions, but I’m loving translating these emotions into waveriding. Every time I squeeze my boom, I feel the pulsing pain in my finger and I use that energy to force myself to push harder against the board. Letting out a shout of rage as I project full speed into the lip and smash it to pieces.

And it’s therapeutic too. The anger let out on the water is washed away by the waves. When I step back on the sand after the angry session, I’m cleansed. Clean and free. Anyone can step on a windsurfing board and clean themselves of all anger and frustration to be left pure… what an amazing sport.


Pitching some angry spray.


Rotating a big 360.


Hitting the lip and leaving a mark.