What Sailing and the Water Means to Some Teens

What Sailing and the Water Means to Some Teens

by John R.

GWS Youth Guest Contributor

The feeling of being free and in charge is one of the reasons why I believe that sailing is truly amazing. By yourself or with friends, you can travel wherever you want on the water without having to worry about gas money or a motor.  Sailing is an activity that you can participate in that is fun, exciting, relaxing, and for anyone of any age. In the more recent years, I’ve noticed that there are fewer and fewer sailors my age. When my dad was growing up in the 70’s, he was sailing his heart out with lots of kids his age. They were all good friends back then. I look now at my sailing club and see maybe seven or eight others my age. Very few  teens are active members at the club, or frequent sailors.

Teenagers sailing 420 dinghiesI asked someone at my high school a couple months back if they would want to go sailing with me sometime, and they replied with, “Oh! I love para-sailing! I did it once in Florida!” I think most teens would love the sport if they were given the opportunity in the right circumstances. A medium breeze, on a warm day are usually the ideal conditions for taking out a first timer. Where the wind is just high enough to get one of the hulls out of the water, or to where the hull would heel (lean) to the side.

I’ve only brought one person sailing in heavy winds on a chilly day, and their experience wasn’t the best. Other than that,  most of the kids I have brought along on the right days have stuck around and still enjoy the sport to this day. Sailing also teaches one to make quick decisions, like when tack in a stormy or dangerous situation.

Sailing and teens go hand-in-hand with making great memories. Some of mine favorite memories include meeting life-long friends at regattas, tying our Hobie Cats together on the 4th of July in the middle of the lake and enjoying some cold Cokes, traveling for races, or just sailing in a new place. Sometimes sailing is great date activity; bringing girls on dates to the club-owned Flying Scot, one of those dates including my first kiss! (Note to the other teen boys out there: girls love guys that know how to sail!)

There are just so many reasons why sailing and teens go together or should go together. To sum it up, sailing is a sport that is totally worth learning. Anyone from ages 8 to 80 can do it! To the teen sailors reading this, I challenge you to invite at least 5 new people to try out the sport. If we already enjoy it, they probably will too, you’ve just got give them a chance to give it a shot. To the ones out there that don’t sail and are reading this, give it a try! You don’t know what you are missing out on!

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1 Comment
  1. trish says

    we are a family that just bought our 1st sailboat, never sailed a day in our lives but have been wanting to learn for a long time and living in Florida, why the heck not?! we have a teen son who has been helping us clean and work on the boat and seems to be excited to get out there. and he has mentioned the chick magnet affect ! we are hoping to all become great sailors together and make lasting memories as a family. Thanks for sharing your story, its nice to see the teenager point of view with such positive experiences!!!

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