The OTC watersports Community, Ordinary Windsurfers: Extraordinary Stories!
Are you a mum that has let your own windsurfing slide to the bottom of the list of priorities? Meet Lisa Keenan, like a lot of dedicated mums who rightfully put their children first and put everything into nurturing and loving their offspring, but that does come at a price, mums often forget about themselves and finding time to pursue their own interests. After 18 years Lisa has rediscovered her love of being on the water, as females lets all find inspiration in finding ourselves again and celebrate what we have achieved as mums, but remember we can also be an ordinary windsurfer with an extraordinary story. Lisa is a familiar face to The Official Test Centre watersports community and a shining light for other females, lets all take a leaf out of Lisa's book! Let the journey begin!
By Emma Nicholson.
What is your job title?
Lisa said: "Sales assistant."
Can you talk me through your windsurfing journey, from the beginning, right up to today?
Lisa said: "I started when I was about 12 years old. My equipment was a second hand Eagle board with the old ‘hankie’ sail wrapped around the mast and boom tied on.
"Got really into windsurfing, so saved up hard and bought a Vinter board with a single sail with battens.
"Started working and bought myself a Bic Electric Rock short board (which I absolutely loved) and really started enjoying my winsurfing.
"Met my husband, who was also into windsurfing (but not as good as me or committed). After a hiatus of 18 years due to having kids and working I got back into windsurfing, even introduced my two boys to the sport.
"Got fed up watching the boys, so my journey started again. I bought new kit with just one or two sails. I wanted to improve, particularly with gibing and water starts, so I took lessons at The OTC. As a consequence I bought new kit and I now learning Wing foiling. My journey continues."
"After a hiatus of 18 years due to having kids and working I got back into windsurfing."
What is one of your best memories, watersports related?
Lisa said: "There is no one memory, I just have enjoyed personal achievements and having a laugh. I just love being on the water. When SUPing having a seal pop up and follow me was fantastic."
What watersports do you enjoy the most and why?
Lisa said: "Windsurfing, because I feel no pressure. When there is no wind I like SUPing and in lesser wind I’m enjoying learning to Wing sail. I also dabble in surfing."
What do you think the benefits are to people’s mental health by taking part in watersports activities?
Lisa said: "Feeling of accomplishment and just being out in the fresh air."
Alongside working, how do you find time to fit in windsurfing?
Lisa said: "Great planning and an understanding husband, he knows I’m better natured after my windsurfing sessions."
What is your favourite spot to windsurf in the UK?
Lisa said: "Difficult to answer as I’ve only sailed in Portland Harbour, despite being not very good my husband always claims to have sailed in more places than me."
What has been the toughest thing to learn with your windsurfing?
Lisa said: "Without a doubt, gybing. I’m trying to undo bad habits."
What is your favourite brand of windsurfing kit and what is your favourite set of gear?
Lisa said: "Tabou boards and Severne sails."
What is your biggest achievement with your windsurfing?
Lisa said: "I don’t compete, so it’s just personal accomplishments and keeping up with my two boys. I suppose also my self-confidence, I now go out in winds that in my youth I never dreamed of sailing. My old limit was about 15 knots now I’m out in winds of up to 30 knots."
Why do you think The OTC and Surf Doctor is so successful, as a brand and a place of business?
Lisa said: "Right place, helpful and friendly staff, always giving advice when asked."
If money was no object what watersports kit would you buy?
Lisa said: "No idea, too many decisions."
Who inspires you?
Lisa said: "Nobody really, I’m just egged on by my group of fellow windsurfers."
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt throughout your windsurfing journey, so far?
Lisa said: "As I get older, injuries take longer to recover from and it plays on your mind, don’t rush back, ease back in gently."
Do you take part in watersports as a family?
Lisa said: "Sort of, I try to keep up with my boys when they are on the water, me and my husband enjoy SUPing together."
Where is your favourite spot to windsurf abroad?
Lisa said: "Not applicable (yet)!"
What is the best advice you have been given for your windsurfing?
Lisa said: "Stay calm. When I got my Tabou 108 and Alan Russel went steaming past me shouting 'Get that back foot in the footstrap'!”
What is your biggest motivator?
Lisa said: "I just want to improve myself, even if it takes a long time."
The future for your watersports what does that hold for you?
Lisa said: "Keep going for as long as I can and crack Wing Foiling."
Find your inspiration with us here at The Official Test Centre, call 07817 717904 and book some windsurfing lessons or try a winging taster, the world of watersports is your oyster!