There are some milestones that come with growing older; saga holidays, pensions, the free bus pass, retirement, and golf (to name but a few..) but swapping your wetsuit boots for slippers is not one of them. You don’t have to take our word for it that staying on the water as you get older is the new way forward, you can hear it directly from a few of our 2XS club members who enjoy lots of watersports in their spare time.
Nigel “The Chairman” Newby
I started windsurfing in 1980 which was soon after the sport started and as such I have seen all the developments over the years. The kit has changed considerably and it is now much more stable and easy to use. My first board was a Dufour Wing and my favourite boards over the 40 years have been an F2 Bullet (that I purchased from 2XS decades ago) and a Hifly Race Pro which won the Round Hayling race for a number of years (the perfect long board)
Nowadays being 75 years old I am very happy using a pair of RRD Freestyle Wave boards (120 and 100 litres) as they are so user friendly.
I am unable to uphaul anymore but the trench is very safe and ideal for flat water blasting so I am still able to get my exhilaration fix when conditions are right.
The trench works best around low water on neap tides in a WSW wind when you can blast the whole length of the trench and northwards into the harbour itself. Low water neaps are always in the middle of the day so it is just perfect.You do have to be a bit careful in the trench on an ebb spring tide as the current runs quite fast.Windsurfing has always been a perfect way of getting rid of stress and a doctor friend once said to me it was the ‘elixir of eternal life’
Why does a 72 year old bloke married to a nurse with 4 children, 3 step children, 8 grandchildren, and one great grandchild, who lives 20 minutes from the sea, kitesurf all year round whenever there is wind?I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years, windsurfed for 30 years, raced motorcycles for 10 years (like Brands Hatch, Snetterton) but for me the sea is my gym. West Wittering beach is a huge safe south west facing sand beach where the sea is ever changing, and fun in any wind direction with south in it.At West Wittering there is a great mix of ages with a common interest, kitesurfing, and there’s always someone to help if you have a problem. An old knee injury from windsurfing and skiing means I can’t jump any more, or more accurately, I can jump but one bad landing might mean that a new knee is required (I wear a custom ACL knee brace). So I blast round, ride waves on the outside, and have a great time.So yeah, the sea is my gym. Kitesurfing gives me a buzz, maintains my cardiovascular and general fitness, and gives me a sense of well being.
John Ash – windsurfer and paddlesurfer –surfin at 70
I started windsurfing in 1979 at Lindos in Rhodes, Greece. I was 31 years old at the time and thought that I was too old to learn to ride a surf board, but thought that windsurfing would be a good substitute. I first came to West Wittering in the mid eighties and found that it was the ideal place to continue learning because of the wide variety of conditions that were available. I used to come down from London for a few days when the weather maps showed a deep low pressure system tracking across the Atlantic.
To my deep regret I stopped doing it for about 15 years, not for any specific reason but life got in the way somehow. In 2006 I moved down here from London and put my life savings into the Simon Bassett pension fund by buying a new RRD board and four sets of sails and matching masts. I quickly learned that I no longer had the ability or the nerve to go out in the wildest conditions, but since then I have had an awful lot of fun enjoying 25 knot south westerlies in lower tidal conditions. As well as keeping me fit I have made some good friends who share my love of windsurfing.
Four years ago I further topped up Simons’ pension fund with the purchase of a SUP. Thanks to expert tuition and support from 2XS instructors past and present I can now go out and catch a ride on the waves I thought I was too old for when I was 31.
Windsurfing and catching waves on a SUP have given me some of the best times of my life and I hope to be doing it for many years to come.
With windsurfing, SUP, surfing and kitesurfing, the upper age limit to the sport really depends on how fit and flexible you are. You do have to work harder as your years progress, however the biggest battle is your mindset and not giving in.
Look at Kelly Slater (age 47) still scoring 10’s and winning the The Triple crown in Hawaii, and Robbie Naish still windsurfing/kiting/wingfoiling in his mid 50s.
We would like to give big respect to Nigel, John and John. Keep on it guys!
Find out more about the 2XS club and facilities here.