I’ve always wanted to try windsurfing. I think it’s because I always had ambitions of trying to actually surf but my brother has transferred his somewhat irrational fear of Jaws on to me which wouldn’t ever allow me to feel comfortable floating in the ocean (that and Shark Week really messed with me this year). Windsurfing gives you something of the same thrill (I assume) but can be done in lakes.
I first got it into my head to try windsurfing when I went kayaking at Marsh Creek State park, located a half hour from my just outside West Chester and Downingtown (very easy to get to off the Turnpike if you’re anywhere from Harrisburg to Philly). They offer 90 minute windsurfing instruction for $125.00.
Another reason you should try to windsurf? Modern day windsurfing was invented in Pennsylvania. Wild, right? Now this story gets better, because not only was it invented in Pennsylvania, it was invented IN NEPA!!!!!!!! (I hate exclamation points, but I thought this was warranted).
Now, variations of windsurfing have been around since the early 20th century in Polynesia, but it was S. Newton Darby, from Wilkes Barre, who first built the modern day windsurfer in 1948 for jaunts on the Susquehanna. As a bonus, the same guy was quoted as calling windsurfing “surfing’s ginger cousin.” Poetry. I feel like it’s now my cultural duty to learn this sport.
Maybe several others feel the same way or maybe Pennsylvania just has so many bodies of water that there are several places to learn windsurfing here in the Keystone state. Marsh Creek is convenient if you’re in the southeastern portion of the state and also has kayak, paddle board, and sailboat rentals. I go there once in a while on hot days and am a fan.