Dear J. Dogg

Dear J Dogg

Jamie Hawkins is one of the UK’s most successful windsurfers. He turned pro in 1991, aged 18 and competed on the world tour until 2003. In 2009, after some years off the scene, he became UK slalom champion. Now in 2011 he’s reached the pinnacle as the new Boardseeker agony uncle. If you have a problem, J. Dogg will have an opinion and try to help you fix it…

Jamie Hawkins

Have a question for J. Dogg? Send it along with your name and address to Don’t worry, we won’t print your details!

The best question next month will win this fantastic Flying Objects Waist Harness

Flying Objects Waist Harness

Jamie Hawkins is sponsored by:

Photos by Julia Toms

My new girlfriend is amazing but no matter how hard I try, I can’t convince her to have a go at windsurfing. We need to escape this freezing winter and book a holiday. Whenever I suggest locations, she turns her nose up, saying that she doesn’t want to get sand-blasted. I don’t think I can cope with the idea of going on the first non-windsurfing holiday that I can remember.
Mike from Milton Keynes

Mike, Mike, Mike, the age old male windsurfers dilemma eh…. you know what to do, don’t you? On a serious note, there are quite a few good winter sun and wind locations available to you.  I love El Medano in Tenerife, it gets decent winter conditions: the wind is a little lighter but the waves are bigger and so sand blasting rarely happens.  There are enough bars and restaurants to satisfy both you and her and it’s cheap and close to home. Go now!
Barbados and Maui are obviously two great locations but are a lot more costly. Not sure if she is worth the investment yet?…  Stick to Europe!

I am 15 years old and windsurf whenever I can. I love freestyle and am now starting to pull off some spocks. My friend said I should try to get sponsored but I have no idea how to or where to start. Can you give me some advice?
Adam from Sussex

Hey Adam, I have been in your shoes before. It’s a tough road, but worth it if you make it. My advice would be to forget how good you are for a second, it doesn’t really matter how good your flakas are to a potential sponsor.  It’s all about what you can do for them. There are hundreds of hot shot kids around preaching how good they are and how much they can benefit a brand: again, that’s irrelevant!  
Approach a potential sponsor or local shop with the angle of what you will do for them. Help willingly on demo days and don’t even talk about what you want from them to begin with.  Make them see that you are likeable, hard working and above all a sellable asset. In other words, stand out from all the other wannabe hotshots who only want to take…think the opposite of everyone else. If you start winning, then can you command more from a sponsor…

I want to improve my wave-sailing and have recently been out in much bigger waves in Gwithian. When it’s small, I can ride waves pretty well but as soon as the waves get bigger, I am scared to attack it as much because I am worried about snapping my mast. I know that if I can get through this fear barrier, my sailing will improve loads. What would you suggest?
Craig from Devon
ACraig, how’s it?  I like your style, progression is what it’s all about, it’s the only way to keep enjoying our sport. Forget about your mast, they are generally very tough these days and if you do break it, as long as you were going for it, you are learning. Remember that hesitating is the last thing you should be doing! Visualise where you want to go on the waves and relax and ride the wave in your own way – try not to be Kauli! A great tip for bigger waves is try to think of turning on the bigger wave the same as the small one – just use the top section of the wave. Some pros do this now and so do lots of surfers. As you get more at ease, you can drop in later and turn more in front of the wave on the flats. Good luck and happy riding!


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