From that moment on, I was hooked. The thrill of catching the wind and feeling its power come through your body, transformed into motion, is something that has never let me go to this day, and probably never will. To me, this sport is release, zen practice, plain fun, competitive outlet, and so much more.
This summer, as we were out on the water in the Gorge, my daughter Hope (now 8) and I were on a raging plane on the Start together; as we were coming into the Event Site, after almost hollering herself hoarse, she looked up at me and said: "Dad, I really get it now!" That week, she'd been doing the Big Winds kids' camp, had felt the wind in her hands, and now she had experienced the adrenaline rush of skipping over the water on a full plane. I don't know if she'll ever be hooked the way I have been; at that moment, though, windsurfing, often seen as a lone individual's pursuit, was a bridge for connection - a shared experience between father and daughter, her window into a part of my soul, and mine into hers.