Only for the youth
At the fall of 2022, Severne riders Lina Erpenstein and Felix Volkhardt hosted the first-ever “Rookie Revolution Camp” in collaboration with Prasonisi Center. Aimed at up-and-coming young rippers looking to go next level on their skills, and based in one of the best windsurfing spots in Europe, the first edition of the Rookie Revolution Camp was a success.
By Lina Erpenstein and Felix Volkhardt
In windsurfing Kids and Youth will often come up short regarding events and competitions. There are no real club structures. Clubs, where kids go to every week, learn windsurfing or other watersports and have fun together. Combined with the lack of youth watersports events there is very little chance for kids to get to know other enthusiastic windsurfers of their age. Especially kids who have learned to plane and water start already and would like to try their first freestyle and wave moves struggle to find support for that.
PWA riders Lina Erpenstein and Felix Volkhardt and windsurf coach Yannick Mittas wanted to change exactly that and provide a chance for kids to attend an only youth windsurfing camp. That’s how the Rookie Revolution Camp came to life, for the first time this year.
The camp is supposed to give kids the chance to collectively have fun on the water, try and learn new moves and after all get to know other windsurfers of their age. This year’s edition took place at Prasonisi on the Greek island ofRhodes. Prasonisi might be a little less known than Vassiliki in Greece, but it provides similar temperatures, perfect flat water conditions and stable winds all the way until October.
This October for the first-ever edition of the camp, eight participants from Germany and the UK in the age of 11-16 found their way to Rhodos. As none of the Rookies knew each other before the camp and for some, it was their first-ever trip without their parents there was a lot of excitement and nervousness in the beginning.
After the transfer from the airport to Prasonisi the Rookies could move into their rooms at the Lighthouse Hotel. The Hotel is located right at the beach, within walking distance to the spot and provided breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole group throughout the week. After the first dinner together it was time for bed. The first day started with some rain. Nonetheless, the group learned about moves through explanations and video analysis together with the coaches.
As soon as the rain stopped in the afternoon the kids took out the skimboards to use the flooded beach as their skim-park. Also, the rainstorm had brought some waves that were the perfect size to play in. For some of the Rookies, it was also their first time ever to see real waves. Even though there wasn’t any wind, the water activities left everyone with happy faces. Towards the end of the day, everyone participated in a beach cleanup to make their small contribution to plastic-free oceans and beaches.
The second day started with sun and some wind. Everyone was pretty excited to get on the water, so right after breakfast, the group moved down to the Prasonisi Center right at the spot. The center was storing the equipment of the Rookies who had brought their own, rigged and ready to go. The rest of the group could choose from the newest Severne gear of the rental equipment. After a short and playful warm-up, the group moved into the water. With the wind still being a bit light, everyone was practising their fast tacks, heli tacks and geckos. After lunchtime, the wind finally picked up and the Rookies could try their first planing moves. At dinner, everyone discussed their moves of the day and how promising the forecast for the next days was. Shortly after the Rookies fell into bed, tired from the adventures of the day.
The following days provided plenty of wind and sun. With two sessions a day and up to 7 Beaufort everyone had enough opportunity to enjoy themselves. Even the odd blister couldn’t keep the Rookies off the water. Throughout the week everyone showed some great progress: Next to duck jibes and chophops some kids tried their first arijibes and landed their first front loops.
It was great to see how the group of young and enthusiastic windsurfers grew together throughout the week. The more time the participants spent together, the more lively the exchange became. Also everyone started cheering for each other on the water.
Next to the many hours on the water, there were a lot of highlights happening: The ‚Maui Ultra Fins Chophop Challenge‘ gave every Rookie the chance to win a MUF freestyle fin, by performing their best and most stylish chophops. Also on the windiest day of the week, the #sendit Challenge awarded the rider showing the best jumps and crashes and biggest sends with a signed trademark helmet of Balz Mueller
The end of the week came faster than expected. On the last evening, the group sat together around a bonfire, laughed together and reflected on the highlights of the amazing week.
The Rookie Revolution Camp was a full success and a very active week for everyone involved.It was fascinating to watch all the kids progress so fast when given the chance to practice in perfect flatwater conditions. Even the youngest finished the week off planing through their duck jibes.
Also, the coaches were overwhelmed with the positive feedback on the camp. The goals of giving the Rookies the chance to get to know other windsurfers of their age, get on the water and have a great time together were surely reached. The camp will take place next year again during autumn holidays, with the confirmation of the exact dates still pending.
To stay up to date with all the news regarding the camp it is easiest to follow the @rookierevolutioncamp channel on Instagram or sign up for their newsletter via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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