Thanks to BookSurfCamps, Support through Sport UK heard from Tatiana Howard about windsurfing. We also spoke to her about The Butterfly Effect, the worldwide movement she's set up to inspire, and empower, women through watersports.
Hi Tatiana. How did you get into windsurfing and what inspired you to take it up professionally?
Growing up on Maui, the windsurfing mecca, I was bound to learn it. My father moved to the island just for the windsurfing! My three older brothers hung out with the Siver brothers, who were young professional windsurfers at the time. I was the baby sister, always watching, and so when I was 15 I finally learned to do it all by myself. I was hooked and loved the challenge and constant progression of the sport.
So what exactly was it about windsurfing that got you so hooked?
I actually surf too and I love both sports equally. They complement each other and give me more time on the water, given the fluctuating conditions. However windsurfing is very special. To catch the wind in your sail, to glide across the water, to catch waves whilst the swell is building and to see it form and ride it down the line whilst still having the power to launch into the air is truly amazing.
You've been competing since you were 16; what have been the highlights?
I loved competing in Peru because I won the Water Woman Award. I competed in windsurfing, stand up paddling and kitesurfing. I also love competing at my home break on Maui because Ho'okipa is one of the best places in the world to line up the wind and waves in the right direction.
Could you tell us a little bit more about the Butterfly Effect?
The Butterfly Effect is a non-competitive event to inspire, and empower, women through watersports. We strive for positive vibes, we promote health and happiness and we give back to local communities. It is about having fun and sharing the passion with others.
The first Butterfly Effect event took place in Maui, Hawaii, in 2007, in which a dozen women participated in the event. Nine years later, The Butterfly Effect has turned into the BE ALOHA World Tour that takes place in 17 countries around the world with more than 30 different non-competitive events.
What would be the single most important piece of advice you would give girls and women who are looking to take up windsurfing or surfing?
Both sports are lifestyle sports. You have to wait for the conditions and let nature control you. You have to learn to work with nature rather than fight against it. The more you can relax into it, the better you will be ... relaxed, yet mindful and conscious.
Follow your passion and enjoy every moment! Stay positive and spread aloha!