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The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith; My 2023!

In the second of this series of blogs I catch up with The Official Test Centre Team Rider Aaron Smith. Freestyling his way around the world, he has been running instructor courses in Vassiliki that have been an Aerial success. Double Forwarding his way along Hayling Island. Performing all the tricks in Turks and Caicos with Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognition and then he will be rounding off his year Backlooping to Fuerteventura. How does your year compare to The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith; My 2023!

By Emma Nicholson.

Aaron Smith performs a windsurfing trick
The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith performs a freestyle trick!

What has been your highlight this year?

Aaron said: "It would have to be the year itself, it’s hard to pick anything specific. Going another year following the wind and the sun whilst making a living doing it. For me holiday season is starting and I’m off to Fuerteventura for the rest of the year in a week, so hopefully that will be the highlight!"

Aaron steers a yacht
The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith at the helm!

What have you learnt this year?

Aaron said: "To add on extra pop on some of my moves after landing, still some work to do to get it higher and more consistent, but it’s a good start."

Aaron Smith performing a freestyle trick
The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith makes a splash!

What's been your best memory?

Aaron said: "I’d have to go for the windsurf instructor course I ran for Watersports Nomad over the summer in Vassiliki. Over the following weeks I got to watch them put their new skills into practice with the multiple centres along the beach and see them living the dream both on and off the water, that would certainly be near the top of the list."

Aaron Smith OTC Team Rider windsurfing
The OTC Team Rider Aaron Smith shredding it up on UK waters!

What has been a difficult part of this year?

Aaron said: "That’s a difficult one, hard to complain too much on this year… it would probably have to be the days at work with a terrible terrible hangover, but I'm not sure if that counts as it was definitely self-induced!"

Aaron Smith OTC Team Rider
The OTC Team Rider Aaron jumping into action!

What's the best advice you were given this year?

Aaron said: "Fly under the radar when you’re being naughty and fly as high as you can whenever you can’ – still not 100% sure exactly what it means or how to implement it into everyday life but I think it has a lot of potential."

The OTC Team Rider Aaron
Everything is going swimmingly for Aaron!

Where has been your favourite place to windsurf this year?

Aaron said: "Sweet home Vassiliki! Although my best singular session was in the Mengham channel off Hayling mid summer. Fully stacked on the 4.4 with mirror flat water, as good as it gets."

Aaron OTC Team Rider
Aaron hangs on in there!

What are you most proud of this year?

Aaron said: "Finishing my project in Turks and Caicos of getting the centre (Provo Sailing Academy) RYA recognition and knowing it is in good hands providing a fantastic service to get everyone on the water and give back to the local community!"

Aaron windsurfing
Aaron displays his skills!

Who has been your biggest influence this year?

Aaron said: "George Grisley and Lennart Neubauer. I’ve known George since he was learning to duck the sail and watching him having a break through year with results and sponsorships after years of dedication and hard work, was great to see it all paying off. Lennart for having such an incredible year after coming back from a serious injury that put him out for 18 months. To keep the motivation and keep putting in the hard work off the water when unable to sail then come back stronger and better like that was definitely something to admire."

Freestyle trick from Aaron
Aaron gets it just on the nose!

What will you do more of next year?

Aaron said: "Stretch! Sadly coming to the realisation that I need to start looking after myself a little more, going to start with stretching and see if I can get some flexibility back. Hoping it will reduce the chance of injuries and see if I can get another ten years out of my body.. maybe some more vegetables too, but l won’t get too far ahead of myself."

Aaron windsurfs with no hands
Finding that balance point!

What are your hopes for next year?

Aaron said: "Hoping for warm rays, strong winds and cold beer!"

Has Aaron inspired you to add some pop into your windsurfing? Then why not take your windsurfing to the next level with some tuition from our team of awesome instructors? Call The OTC or go online and start your adventure today!


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