windsurf

surf board

Boards for Newbie

Just like you never forget your first kiss, surfers never forget their first board.

But, before choosing, remember that your first board should fulfill these features: be used and be big.

That’s because you are going to abuse it. So buy what is already scratched and dinged up. And look for 9′ boards. It will be easier for you to drop in and paddle.

But if you want to buy a new one, just read below our top 4 entry level selection.

The Wavestorm line:

surfboard wavestorm

you can get a new one from 180$. Just remember to choose the 8′ size. Ready to deal with user up to 195 lbs. Are you worry about the low cost? …Forget it! The board’s got a EPS core and an HDPE bottom skin that flies through the waves.

Boardworks Nurf:

Boardworks Nurf surfboard

as the Wavestorms, grab the 8′ model. They cost, for a new one, a little more, starting from 280$. But it’s common opinion you’ll experience a little more true surfing. When you begin it’s very easy to hit your bottom and your kness. This can be very demotivating. So, what about a soft foam top to start with? Ok, they are not the most amazing boards of the beach…

Bicsport Dura-Tec Wahine:

surfboard

with a price starting from 350$ you can get a great board. Just remember these are not soft board. If you hit it you’ll feel it. What’s inside? A polyethylene shell that you’ll forget to repair. Ready for a great wipeout?

Modern Blackfish:

board

yes, with a price starting from 475$ it’s expensive for an entry level. But keep in mind they are built for speed. And for control. It requires more practice than the previous ones to get the best from this board but it worth it. Easy padding and a lot of stability even on bigger waves. Size from 6′ to 7’4″.

surf

Nutrition and sport

Nutrition is essential in sports practice.

But you should take into account not only the quality of the food you eat: you should also consider the timing.

The first thing to say is that a lot depends on the relationship you have with the sport.

If you are a professional you already have a diet plan to follow in line with the type of sport you practice.

If you take sport seriously but without doing it for a living, the following advice can be useful.

  • Before working out:

your pre exercise meal, it’s common opinion, must contain some carbo and be very low in fat. And, of course, some protein.

About the type of carbo: around 1 or 2 hours before performing, you should prefer the ones with  low glycemic index. Such as sweet potatoes, black bean, whole grain bread and brown rice.

Good source of protein are tuna, turkey and chicken.

  • During working out:

usually it’s not a good idea to eat during working out. You’d deprive your workout of important energy that should be used in the digestion process.

You have to focus mainly on hydration, so in most cases drinking enough water is all you need. However, if you are running a marathon (for example), you can also add a sports drink or a quick digestion-carbo gel.

And… how can you support your muscle?

…for example, drinking BCAA.

  • Post working out:

Keep in mind that your body needs to recover. As a result, post-workout nutrition should aim to recharge your energy reserves and provide you with enough protein to prevent protein breakdown in your muscles and stimulate muscle synthesis.

Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain mass, you should eat about 25 grams of protein and high glycemic index (HGI) carbo. This is the only meal of the day where you are allowed to eat HGI carbo.

The reason is: an insulin peak contrast cortisol, a steroid hormone, and help to push the protein into the muscle cells.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you have to keep the amount of carbo low.

 

porto ferro

Libeccio Wind at Porto Ferro

We have been to Porto Ferro, a quite dark sandy beach leaning over the open sea, at a few kilometers from Alghero. These western Sardinia coast beaches are ideal for those looking for waves when Mistral, Ponente and Libeccio winds are blowing.

Today Libeccio blows, a dump wind coming from South-West and it isn’t too strong fortunately.

It is almost forbidden to go out at sea when Libeccio blows.

It’s been  blowing  almost for a day and it’s in mast phase which means that the wind is going to grow as the storm does. Anyway today we can still test our equipement.

We are with Andrea Mariotti, maybe one of the most famous local all over Sardinia, well known professionst. He won many competitions and as he’s very passionate.

So he cannot renounce windsurfing and surfing in South Africa every year, often in Winter time.

He is also one of our best instructors and he makes sure that SportSardinia members learn this sport quickly.

Andrea chose a less then 100 lt wave board with a 4.7 sail. This choice has been the right one as he amazed us with his surfing qualities and for his evolutions incredible height, as you can see by the underneath video.

“It is not rare to find these wind conditions here in Sardinia, especially in the northern area of the island” says Andea after having been the all morning out on the water.

Now he has to get dressed again and join Ezzimannu beaches to teach some lessons. Inside the Asinara gulf the sea is calm and protected so as beginners can get in the water too. This is the real advantage of Sardinia north-western side. With the same wind you can find different spots suitable to professionists only, and a few kilometers away there are other repaired spots for beginners.

Andrea says goodbye to us, joking about tomorrow, when his pupils are ready and the Libeccio blows even stronger, he will take them here in Porto Ferro “to teach them the real windsurf”.

horse riding

Horse riding is a life metaphor

Horse riding is more then a sport, it is a life metaphor.

It would help you realize that you won’t go far if you don’t become a whole with your partner, in a real partnership in which the horse holds strenth and the rider holds will.

The horse is so much respected as  the rider’s gestures are not considered orders but aids.

Horse riding teaches you to be firm in expressing your will as your body has to communicate it without hesitation.

You have to think before you ask. The useless amount of words we use in everyday life must be put aside as you have to convey your will firmly.

Half ton of galloping muscles cannot allow indecisions or  afterthoughts. 

The rider cannot be afraid of making mistakes anyhow. The horse  is so much precisely connected to the rider’s mind that he feels any single hesitation. You can think that this described above is the metaphor of leadership.

In horse riding the obsatcole jump requires more discipline as this activity is more risky.

In addition to what has been said above about riding on ground level, the rider has to lead the whole over the hoppers he would meet on his path.

In order to do that, he will have to direct his gaze far beyond the barrier. Towards the orizon.

It often happens that the rider fixes his attention on the obstacole itself instead of looking over the barrier.

This involves the horse to refuse to jump and the consequences can be quite painful.

The horse attention has to be kept constantly alerted. Some voice calls or some touches of riding crop can be needed but,above all, the horse will appreciate some rewards as careresses. Better if you bestow them only after the horse has well behaved.

Horse riding teaches you that you can fall over but you can stand up and climbe up on the saddle again. This helps you in understanding how and when you made a mistake.

This shouldn’t absolutely be experienced as a problem.

But as a natural evolution towards the awereness of one’s limits and possibilities.

I learnt to walk keeping my back straight and my head up as a rider’s attidude must convey a feeling of balance and it cannot be perceived only as a useless burden.

Martino and the turtle

It’s a day at the end of August, I get up very early as I agreed the day before with my friends to go and do a bit of sup in Platamona.

We made this choice to avoid crowded beaches and to enjoy nature and its sounds even in this period.

Platamona is a long and beautiful beach located within the Gulf of Asinara in the north of Sardinia. Actually, in these days Mistral isn’t too strong. This beach is the best spot for us, since we are surfers. Not beginners but not even super skilled expert surfers. The position of this beach, in the “inland sea” allows us to do sup with a quite calm sea and with wind that brings us to the shore.

Fortunately, the water is particularly lukewarm even in the morning, the strong and vivid colors are an invitation to enter quickly,  so we arm our inflatable boards and throw ourselves into the water.

We chose these boards because they are not bulky, we do have also surfboards in our car to be used in the afternoon if  Mistral reinforced.

The sea is still calm but it will certainly rise after midday because a sustained breeze is already blowing, Andrea, Davide and I decide to get away from the shore. The boards move silently on the water, and we are confident that we will find even more favorable conditions on the open sea. We’re enjoying exactly what we were looking for: make good sup  to live this beautiful landscape and the last days of vacation.

It is right now, while we are all close to decide the route to follow,  that it passes under me, slow and undisturbed: a turtle. It’s the first time I see a turtle in Platamona. Andrea and Davide see her, but thanks to the reduced distance and the incredible transparency of the water I can even see its face perfectly. It is swimming under my table. I remain still. It will be the excitement of the moment, it will be the awe of such beauty that I think I see a nice smile on its face.

It moves like a fish but is much more elegant, seems to be looking for something with its eyes.

I do not understand what, the turtle is careful but does not pay attention to us, it comes from far away and nobody knows where it will go; what a magnificent animal.

It may be that it lays his eggs right on the beach of Platamona as happened a few years ago. This is what I think in the short  moments during which it remains visible. We do not try to follow it, we do not want to disturb the turtle, a rare animal that is still living free here, in Sardinia.These are the moments that make this vacation unique.Stimulated by this propitiatory guidance we begin to paddle, knowing we have seen something very special that will last  of this holiday in Sardinia. The only regret is not having a camera or a smartphone to bring home its smile. 

Capo Mannu

Capo Mannu

In Sardinia there are many spots.

Among the others, the spot for excellence: Capo Mannu.

Here you have oceanic waves. No joke!

The gigantic waves that brake over Grande Capo, hit the shore several times last winter.

At Piccolo Capo you find lower waves but only professionals can afford to surf over them. Anyway some extreme weather conditions have occured by the end of January, and they were so rare that locals, looking at the sea, called them “The Perfect Storm”.

You have to know now that Capo Mannu is famous among windsurf and surf professionals all over Europe. Piccolo Capo is known because of the waves quality, perfect and constant. They sway in cristal blu water that only in Sardinia can be found. Grande Capo is known instead for its strenth and heigh where  the Monster can be challenged only by professionals.

Some of them really have fun surfing there, even in bad weather conditions. They consider Capo Mannu as their playground. They don’t take it as a difficulty to overcome, but they enjoy the challenge of playing with huge waves.

One of the most talented surfer who ever surfed at Capo Mannu more then anyone else is Andrea Mariotti.

“I never saw so many mistral days like during this Winter. In January waves were the highest and most powerful I had ever seen here in Sardinia, monsters of almost 6 metres.” Andrea says. ” I never saw anything like that and these conditions allowed us to get the most from our equipment, to test its tightness and performance. I must say I am really satisfied with it”. And he adds “What’s more important here at Capo Mannu is being very careful not to fall in the impact area.The impact area is where the seabed is quickly coming up and the huge wave breaks. Falling over here might destroy your equipment and hurt you badly.

Fotunately, nothing of this happens and professionals stay out on sea all day as they know a day like this will hardly be repeated. They know they have been living a unique experience that will be remembered. All those who took part to this event will feel united by something special that will belong  to them and to this place only.

Rules about Windsurf

For all sports but expecially for the extreme ones, you often read statements as: “that’s fantastic, I’d love to do it” or “that’s great, but far too difficult for me” and so on. This is particulary true for windsurf as it’s a nice, exiting and very satisfying sport.

Below 10 rules to consider about windsurf: take a look.

Windsurf is difficult to learn: 

  • this is probably the most difficult step to overcome and it prevents you from learning this sport. Until the years 80/90 windsurf was actually hard to learn, but now  new and more pratcticle windsurfing kit have been realized, making this sport much easier to approach and learn. Boards are more stable, their shape has been improved and it’s easier to control balance over them. Sail, mast and booms are much lighter now and beginners find it a lot of easier to try and learn.

There is no need to take any lessons, just learn from a friend:

  • There is notihing more wrong. Just giveing it a “try” is wrong and will not give a right idea if what this sport is really about. I’s just tcnique you have to learn. It is not a matter of difficulties, but you need to be aware of some basic notions before you head out on the water. Taking lessons in a winsurf school would really make the difference. You would get more confident, more secure and you would enjoy windsurfing in a complete way since the fist approach.

Windsurfing is very expensive:

  • This is not completely true, Today is possible to hire beginners equipement, so as not to have to sell it in a few months. The main thing is that when you reach a good level, your equipement would be enough. With new boards and new sails your improvements would be much quicker. All what you would need is some wind. nothing more.No need to by any new equipement.No need to pay to get in a field, no need to pay for a skipass or anything else.

Windsurfing is not cool:

  • Using new boards and sails generation, exiting turns and swits are much easier to do, in a way that before you could not even imagine. Approaching the windsurf world, would get you in a new great community where is very easy to make new friends.

Windsurfing is just for the fit & young:

  • This might happen as we always see on youtube fantastic videos showing windsurfers riding huge waves and jumping high.Windsurf is not black or white and this is the good thing about it. You are the one who can decide which level you want to reach.You can decide to surf fast over a flat sea and feel satisfied with the freedom feeling you get. Or you can choose to ride over high waves.

You need to learn with a friend:

  • Learning some new sport with your family or friends is always very nice, but often this is not possible as they don’t feel like doing it.Anyway you have to know that when you start taking your first windsurf lessons you will find yourself in a group of your same level.

Learning Surf?

So you have decided to learn surfing? Well, here you have a basic even if not complete list of things fundamental to begin with.

Surfing Environments:

When you think of surfing, you usually  recall high sea waves. Actually lately people is starting practising surf over many other waters: lakes, rivers and man-. made wave pools. Wherever you find yourself, don’t rely on your surf knowledge too much and ask other more experienced surfers to advice you for the best. Safety is the most important thing you have to consider.Remember that when you are on the water, you will have to deal with an equipement and it shouldn’t be too heavy or your movements would be limited too much. Here in Sardinia there are many spots. If you a beginner, trusk local people advice on the most suitable spots for you, so as to avoid strong flows and rocky areas. Always consider the weather forecast and watch out for rip flows and high waves

Equipment:

Normally the longer the board is the easier  riding a wave becomes. If your board is short, it would get more difficult to catch a wave. Anyway the board would be easier to hand. In this way you would be able to better control your board while executing tricks and turns.

On the base of the difficulties you might meet out on the water, you should wear a wetsuit to keep you warm. A thick wetsuit will keep you warmer , but it would also make you feel tied in movements. So choose your wetsuit carefully.Make sure that the closing  zip is  in the rear part of the suit.

Goofy vs. Regular:

 Stepping you right foot forward is goofy, while left foot should be stepped forward instead. How can you realize when you are goofy or regular? Think that you are runnig and sliding across an icy lake and you have to stand on it. The leash has to be tied to the back foot.

horse riding

D’Inzeo brothers: Italian horse riding history

1250 pages divided in two books, a photo one and another  narrative one to tell the two brothers story.

D’Inzeo, “golden horse riding brothers”

Umberto Martuscelli took four years to describe the story of Raimondo and Piero D’Inzeo. These books tell everything about the Italian obstacole jump competitions between the years 30s and 60s.

It all began as a necessary Italian tribute towards them ,but also emotions, temperaments and two very different personalities are here described.

Martuscelli says during an interwiew that one brother, Raimondo, was cooler, more ironical and intense, but that he could have some fearsome explosions of anger. The other one, Piero, kept a more detached attitude so to seem almost algid.

Martuscelli tells that he had met them for the first time in the 70s and that seing them riding, even if only on test field, was a very exiting emotion, really difficult to describe.They were the symbol of sports and human  value , so necessary during that historical period.

This book dedicated to the D’Inzeo brothers and to Italian horse riding , took three years time of work, research, in order to sort all the photo and narrative materials.

The result is much more then the story of two men who have won so much. During the 50s they had no rivals at all. This book is also full of historical details: on the 8th September 1943 Piero D’Inzeo was training as a cadet in the Army on the Apennines close to Modena.  As the governement Badoglio armistice was announced , all the officiers leading the training ran off , leaving all the cadets to the destiny of being captured and killed by the German army.

Piero, together with some other soldiers , walked back to Rome for more then 400 km, always hiding in the montains, running the risk of being shot by the Germans.

After the two brothers withdraw, Italian horse riding  ran through a critical period , and two opposite positions were formed. The new young riders, as they couldn’t win as much as it was expected from them, didn’t bear being compared to such a cumbersome spors past.

On the other hand brohers D’Inzeo didn’t save critics toward the agonistic and organizative world that followed their withdraw from competitions.

Today that Italian horse riding is asserting  to a very high competion level  again, brothers D’Inzeo are rightly returning to be part of a sports heritage which can only increase today’s Italian champions pride.