Short notice before reading

Souwindsurf website was run from 2006 to 2022 by Adrian P. Kezele from Croatia, Europe, a long-time lover of sports and physical activity, a passionate and dedicated windsurfer. When he is not on the water, Adrian writes books, performs as a stand-up philosopher, talks, writes, and tweets about life, mind, body, and soul.

Many articles about (soul)windsurfing were published on the Soulwindsurf website. The core articles are saved and published here (www.soulwindsurf.com now points to this site). The archives are still available and you can find them HERE.

Soulwindsurf? What is That?

Is it a new technique of sailing? Or is it about surfing on something different, not on the water? Those are the most frequent questions windsurfers ask when I mention soulwindsurf to them. However, after a few sentences, almost everyone can intuitively grasp the idea. Namely, the term might be new, but everyone who has ever felt that irresistible urge for wind or exhilaration when their board planes and the water foam sprays around it, unmistakably recognize their own experience.

A couple of years ago, I wrote one longish essay about “inner experiences” during windsurfing (it was re-published on the Croatian extreme sports web portal “Adventure sport,” and it was very well received among windsurfers).

How to explain what soul-windsurf is? I will try to do it with the help of the modern concept of the zone – a special psychological state in which athletes, men, and women, accomplish the best results.

The zone is a state of perfect mind/body coordination. The mind is calm, and the body does exactly what is needed to fulfill the task efficiently. The whole body and all psychological resources are focused on only one thing: to maintain complete balance and maximum efficiency.

Under a different name, ancient people talked about the zone, for example, some North American natives who could run hundreds of miles without a break. Modern marathon runners tell us about the same magical state in which they no longer feel the effort. Michael Jordan in basketball, Pele in football, Martina Navratilova in tennis – these are just a few names of top athletes who owe their success to the frequent and continuous experience of the zone. For those of you who wish to know more about it, I strongly recommend an excellent book by John Douillard: Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Most windsurfers are recreationists. Top results are not that important to them. What is important is that the experience of the zone is connected to an unbelievable pleasant feeling inside! On the subjective level, when you enter the zone, you feel some kind of ecstasy – a great pleasure not known from ordinary experiences. Of course, when you step out of it, you long for it. If you do not experience it for some time, you feel an even greater urge to feel it again; you want it back and you will do anything to experience it again…

Well, if this reminds you about the need for drugs… hm, it is almost like that, but, of course, positively. Some scientists think that the state of the zone is caused, or at least accompanied by a strong current of endorphins – neurotransmitters known for inducing a great sense of bliss.

You have certainly noticed that, among windsurfers, there is a large number of those positive fanatics and that their urge is a lot stronger than among practitioners of other sports. Why is this so?

Adrenalin is one possible explanation. However, it cannot explain everything because there are many more extreme physical activities, and they do not cause such strong “addiction.” The real explanation is that windsurfing creates a zone much more directly than any other physical activity! In that sense, windsurfing is the most beautiful sport ever invented!

It is about combining many factors like balance, surrendering, effortlessness, cooperation with natural elements and so on. If they are combined in the right way, they very quickly produce that magical state recognized by every windsurfer.

However, soul-windsurf is not just a description of an already present situation. Recognizing and awakening the experiences might help a faster and more frequent entrance into the zone. That is the very purpose of the Soulwindsurf site: put attention to those experiences to make them happen more often and faster.

However, there is something more. Inner experiences of the zone do not depend so much on the results. It’s vice versa: the results are dependent upon the experience of the zone! Although athletes may achieve more due to the zone feeling, the zone may come without any special efforts and top results!

In different words, if you do the right things, the zone will come at the very beginning of windsurfing; it will be yours independently of your ability to do front-loops; it does not matter if you are a speed champion, race winner, or you are just windsurfing for your pleasure.

That is the real meaning and purpose of the soul-windsurf idea. It was very well expressed in the letter of Matt Jennkins (Boards 07/2007) when he writes about Hawaiian mana – a natural element of excellence – comparing experiences of windsurfing giants like Josh Stone and windsurfing beginners.

A few years back, I tried to teach some of these principles to beginners. So I held a test course in windsurfing with the idea to create the zone from the very first moment of windsurfing. I think I succeeded, and I also learned a lot in the process – next time it will be even better!

I believe that windsurfers and other wind lovers will recognize their own experiences. They recognize the similarity with our common need for wind and windsurfing. If we are not on the water for a long time… ah, it itches very badly, something is missing, as if we are separated from something very important… We have to go on the water, again and again, and again…

It is great to see that this longing and this experience can belong to an ordinary person trying to learn how to windsurf!

About the Author: Adrian

Author and writer of more than fifty books, teacher, lecturer, explorer of consciousness, avid windsurfer, and lover of outdoor activities. He’ll write mostly about windsurfing on fin and foil, spot reviews, and camping equipment.
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