Sharing a passion together is priceless, especially within your family. Windsurfing brings together many people but to pass on the love for this sport to kids is something special. Our 13-years-old Starboard Dream Team rider John John Vanderick and his father Ben have been blasting the waters together for many years now. We asked them what it means for them to share these special moments on the water together. Read more about John John and his father and get inspired to show windsurfing to your kids. There are infinite benefits that kids can gain from this sport and it can change their lives.
Ben about sharing his lifelong passion for windsurfing with his son John John:
“The joy of sharing my passion for windsurfing with my 13-year-old son is an extraordinary experience. It strengthens our father-son bond while allowing us to create unforgettable memories. Windsurfing is much more than just a sport for us. It means connecting with nature, pushing our limits, and nurturing our shared passion. From a young age, John John showed an interest in the board, so it was only natural for me to introduce him to the most beautiful sport in the world. Together we opened the door to a world of discovery, learning, and shared adventures. At a very young age, he learned the basics of windsurfing. He got a hang of it very fast from setting up the equipment to navigation techniques. Every outing on the water was an opportunity to strengthen our bond, and provide him with support in learning and progress.”
When the son becomes a better windsurfer than his father, paradox?
“Today, windsurfing offers us a wonderful opportunity to escape from our busy lives, pervasive technology, and daily routines. The excitement we feel when both of us come to a spot is unlike anything else. It’s a complex mix of complicity a willingness to help each other progress, and yet, an intense spirit of competition between us. I can say that the proudest moment of my life will be when I have to admit that I won’t be able to follow him anymore. I can also say that I will do everything I can to delay that moment as long as possible. It’s an extremely paradoxical experience, as you can imagine. It’s a unique, almost magical sensory experience. What makes this experience even more special is seeing this teenager grow, gain self-confidence, and improve his performance. He has developed a deep understanding of equipment adjustments, weather, wind, and navigation. These skills are not only useful in the context of windsurfing; they are valuable life lessons in general.”
What can kids learn from windsurfing?
“Sharing our passion for windsurfing has also allowed me to reinforce the essential values I want to instill in my son, such as respect for nature, perseverance, patience, and determination. By sailing together, we learn to work as a team, make quick decisions, and overcome the challenges that come our way. It strengthens our bond as we support each other at every step of our adventure. In the end, windsurfing provides us with an escape, a shared adventure, and a way to create lasting memories. We share laughter, moments of awe in the face of nature’s power, and deep conversations during our sessions on the water. It’s a perfect balance between enjoyment, learning, and sharing.”
Some more words from Ben:
“Windsurfing is much more than just a pastime for us. It’s a passion that unites us, pushes us to exceed our limits, and reminds us of the importance of living in the present moment. By sharing this adventure with my son, I realize how precious it is to pass down our passions and values to the next generation. Our passion for windsurfing has become a cherished legacy, an unbreakable bond between a father and his son, and an invaluable source of joy and inspiration in our lives.”
Text and photo credit: Ben Vanderick