Sensi Team rider & Pro Windsurfer Ingrid LaRouche doesn't mess around when it comes to windsurfing. Her passion for the sport has taken her around the world, with numerous 1st place souvenirs. We sat down with the 3x American Windsurfing Tour champ to ask her some questions on why she loves the sport so much. Be warned: you may want to grab a sail and your Sensi Bikini and hit the water right after reading this...
Why get into Windsurfing?
Well, for one, you'll start loving the windy days! You'll get to travel to cool destinations, meet amazing people, and never run out of things to talk about, work on, or improve. Windsurfing can be pretty challenging, but also so rewarding. I can still remember the first time I was planing in the harness with my feet in the footstraps, and I thought it was the coolest feeling ever. There's something about being out there in the water with the wind blowing in your sail. Seems to never get old.
Who was your inspiration when you started windsurfing and when did you start?
I initially got introduced to windsurfing on a lake in northern Quebec where I grew up. We'd just puddle around in light wind and it was a fun thing to do on the water in the hot summer days. I really got into windsurfing though when I moved to North Carolina and took a physical therapy contract job in the US. One weekend, I met up with some people from Quebec that were taking a windsurfing vacation in Hatteras and I thought it was the coolest thing. I quickly fell in love with the lifestyle, the people, and just wanted to spend time on the water to get better and figure this thing out. I then started doing the 5-hour drive up to Hatteras from my work every chance I had.
Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
Windsurfing challenges me. When I am out there in big surf, or trying new freestyle tricks, I feel like I can always push myself and keep things interesting. Windsurfing is such a big part of my life now; my friends, where I live, where I travel, competing and doing the tour. And I love it all.
Is it a good workout?
Every time I get back to windsurfing after being off for a little while is when I realize how hard it is physically. It's definetly a work out for your upper back, shoulders and arms!! It's also a lot of short burst of intense energy when you go for a trick or down the line on a wave.
How do you cross train?
I like doing a lot of things. The days I don't work, I try to do more than one sport a day and change it up between mountain biking, running, surfing, and tennis. I also do a set of stretches and core exercises almost daily.
Advice for someone who wants to start?
Take a lesson or have a friend help you. Getting a few tips can make things a lot easier and more enjoyable. Getting the right gear to begin with also makes a huge difference. The newer beginner gear with a wide, stable, and floaty board helps from spending a lot more time standing on the board than in the water. Don't give up and get out there. It will get fun and addicting! Time on the water is key!!
Phrase or motto you live by?
Keep doing the things that make you smile!