How to Windsurf

It doesn't take a boat — or a boatload of money — to sail Lake Erie. If you can walk, talk and breathe, you can windsurf, says Steve Parker of Windsurf Ohio. He and his wife, Terri, have been teaching would-be wave-riders how to tack (align to the wind) and sheet in (control the sail) for 25 years now. This summer, the duo is opening new digs in Fairport Harbor, featuring gear, board-repair and one-on-one lessons (including a dry-land simulator to get you started). Steve offered some advice for beginners.

Pick a calm day. As a beginner, you don't need a ton of wind to get moving. And please, take a lesson. "Never have anyone teach you but an instructor," Parker says.

Stick with a one-hour lesson. Although experienced sailors know it's your body weight, not your muscles, that are really doing the sailing, most novices are exhausted after an hour of getting up on the board, Parker says. (One-on-one lessons at Windsurf Ohio are $50 per hour and include board rental.)

Think of it as a sport for life. "Windsurfing is a sport where once you start learning it, you progress gradually," he says. A windsurfer who won a world championship at age 13 told Parker he didn't hit his top form until he was 41 years old

225 High St., Fairport Harbor, 440-951-5253, Meet up with fellow enthusiasts every Wednesday at Mentor Headlands State Park around 5 p.m.
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