Luke Smith

Freestyle

Coming from the midlands Luke grew up sailing lakes and reservoirs with his Dad, Bro and mates since the age of 11. These days Luke spends his summers as an advance instructor in Ortakent, Turkey for Neilson Holiday’s. Here he spends his days passing on his enthusiasm for windsurfing in his lessons and makes the most of the daily winds with every moment spare. Although Luke is fanatic about freestyle he also loves summer evenings on larger freeride kit or chasing high wind storm sessions.
Luke Smith

8 Jan 2015

Freesailing at Draycote

Here is a short video of me and my mate Ollie filmed one day at Draycote Water. Actually the only reason the vid got made is that my girlfriend Becky came along to shoot and edit it.

The past times that me and Ollie have set out to make a video we would have too much fun on the water to come in and get a camera. Surely thats what windsurfing is about, having too much fun!

Most windsurf media sites around this time of year set their readers new year resolutions or challenges for improvement. I’m just going to share mine with you and maybe you will pick up some bits too…

1. Travel more and actively seek to discover new spots. In the summer we are heading to Italy for (hopefully) some work and a lot of windsurfing. Our plan is to fly to the north and explore our way down to the south; discover some amazing spots, at some point find a job instructing, and document our travels. It wont be as long as previous seasons so this leaves some time either side for other trips, including UK ones.

2. Learn loads. I have a long list of stuff in my head of tricks I want to learn. To do this I know I have to really make the most of the lighter winds as well as focused sessions on particular skills in strong winds.

3. Play around with tuning for different wind strengths. Recently I have been experimenting with loads of outhaul to make the sails feel springy and quicker with their response. I’m really enjoying them feeling like this for when I’m powered up. Changing the rigging really helps with learning different moves as different rigging can change the characteristics of the sail. Having said all that, the Bolt isn’t particularly fussy about how its rigged and actually works really well no matter how it is!

4. Have fun! Really this should be at the top. Normally this is something that I never have an issue with at all! In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had a windsurf that wasn’t fun. Still though I don’t want to get bogged down with goals and lists, fun is to be kept a priority at all times!

Luke and Ollie at Draycote from Luke Smith on Vimeo.

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10 Dec 2014

Winter Postcard – Autumn

A couple of clips from a recent trip to Poole Harbour for a freestyle session!

Autumns great, to me it means coming home, seeing friends and family, and windsurfing at home. It’s still relatively warm (compared to winter) and the standard autumnal SW winds are all the more frequent. So far where I live it hasnt been super windy yet but the forcast seems to on the up and heres to the wind continuing through winter. I’m not complaining about the cold anyway, I recon the hardcore conditions if anything bond you, things like rigging turn into team building activities…

Luke’s Winter Postcard – Autumn from Luke Smith on Vimeo.

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10 Nov 2014

End of Season Update

The season is finally over now in Ortakent and I’m back in the UK. It has been a super awesome season with the wind staying pretty much till the end. Even the sun hung around to see us off.

I’m back at home now waiting for a bit of autumn wind, dreading having to put on a winter wetsuit and thinking about how good working in the sun is. It made me think about what my top 5 things are working away in the water sports industry.

1. Friends
Living inland does mean that out of my mates where I live, only 1 windsurfs. When you’re working in a centre you have an endless supply of likeminded people ready to chat about windsurfing for hours and hours.

2. Improving
Obviously having strong trade winds everyday is going to improve your windsurfing, but the amount of time out in lighter winds is what really does it. Normally you are on the water for an hour or 2 in the morning in light winds and the same in the afternoon in the stronger winds. Then, factor in lunchtime and after work windsurfing and the time on the water clock soon racks up. A windsurfer will improve their windsurfing more in an hour of skill based light wind freestyle than they would in an hour of blasting back and forth. Teaching is really good as it forces you onto the water everyday in light wind as well as strong. Don’t get lazy though, just because you have 7 months of wind still means you have to make the most of everyday. The only way to improve is going out all the time and trying new stuff constantly. Oh and never, ever doing long runs of nothing!

3. Slalom
Slalom is well fun and the skills for a decent gybe filter into so much of windsurfing. The thing is, slalom is expensive. The bigger sails cost more and slalom boards aren’t cheap, so having access to slalom gear is a big bonus. In fact having access to all sorts of gear is great news for your windsurfing, if you get out and try it all. I would love to have a garage that contains freestyle, wave, slalom, freeride and freemove boards, all in different sizes with every sail size rigged too, but realistically, that’s probably not going to happen. It is if you work a season.

4. Loosing touch with the normal world
The smug feeling of superiority when somebody looks at you and confusedly asks “so you don’t watch Made in Chelsea or the X Factor?” There’s something nice about being out of England for ages. 

5. Tanning
Its hot 24/7 and lets be honest, everyone looks better with a tan!

Luke’s Last Orty Postcard – Towing Stuff from Luke Smith on Vimeo.

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Team Tweets

TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
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RT @JoWright592: Picked up all my new kit for the year on Saturday! Thankyou for the continued 8 years of support @TushinghamSails http://t…
12 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
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RT @BOARDS_Magazine: Team15 is amazing, read about some awesome kids: http://t.co/KwUVXXd9vF @RYASW @polkerrisbeach @StarboardWind @Tushing
12 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
12 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
12 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
RT @windsurfmag: Need a technique brush-up? Our Gurus’ comprehensive guides listed here might hold the magical key you’re looking for! http…
12 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
All seasons in one day at Queen Mary Reservoir today. Big storms but still plenty of water time, round 2 tomorrow.
12 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
The Neilson Holidays clinic are filling up fast, great to see so many returners but also some new faces.... http://t.co/QpY2MXhlr4
12 months ago

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