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June was a busy month for WIPA, the official US Windsurfing instructor certification program. More than 20 new instructors got their Level I wings this month in Berkeley (CA), Mill Creek (VA), and Avon (NC), bringing the total of WIPA-certified instructors around the country to 83!
No matter where you live in the US, there’s now an instructor nearby ready to take your skills to the next level! Randi Shapiro (Rear Commodore at the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley) and Chad Perkins (who ran the instruction session in Virginia this month) shared a few words about how their sessions went with WIPA head honcho Ned Crossley. Read on, get inspired, and start thinking about hosting and taking part in the next batch of exciting WIPA certification sessions!
Randi Shapiro, Cal Sailing Club:
Cal Sailing Club, a volunteer-run non-profit run out of the Berkeley Marina, used DBW grant funds to train 12 of our volunteer instructors with long-time windsurfing trainer and frequent ABK instructor David Gadarian. The WIPA Level 1 instruction was fantastic and covered proper technique, how to recognize and correct common mistakes, meta discussion of how to engage students where they are, and was mind-opening but also a ton of fun.
Frankly, most of us instructors found something to correct in our own sailing as a result of this focus on fundamentals! We regularly teach 30+ new windsurfing students every weekend during the season, and we’re already seeing students progress more quickly as a result of the formal WIPA instruction. We hope to run this course again in the future and are thinking about subsequent levels, too. David was incredible and Ned was really helpful in getting us set up for the course. What a great way to keep our great sport energized and full of stoke!
Chad Perkins, Windsurfing Enthusiasts of Tidewater (WET):
WET put on a two-day WIPA instructor training on June 11th and 12th. The first day was awesome. We had building wind all day from the east which is a perfect direction. Not only did we have a full class, we also had a number of others that came by to sail and listen a little.
The second day we had almost no wind and it was hot. After land drills we hit the water to practice what we learned. Sometimes sailing in super light wind is harder than heavy wind. The heat and no wind was followed by rain, cold, and 45 mph wind! It’s amazing how fast and well everyone sails when there’s lightning on the horizon 😉 So with Zeus as a motivating factor, everyone passed. In the end we have 4 brand new instructors and 2 who came to refresh theirs skills. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again next year!
Congratulations to all the new instructors who are now ready to set forth and carry the torch, and a big thank you to WIPA’s excellent instructor trainers for providing the spark!
Go ahead, get involved: https://www.windsurfingipa.org/