Q&A with Oscar

Here at Poole Harbour, we offer a huge variety of watersports lessons in SUP, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Windsurfing/Windfoiling and Wingfoiling. Our lessons are catered to all abilities from beginner to advanced, and can be adapted to your needs. Read more for some insights from Oscar…



Q1) Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you became a watersports instructor?

A1) I started playing around with different watersports with my family at a young age, first learning to sail and then discovered windsurfing. I soon concluded that windsurfing was quicker and more fun! Throughout my younger years I competed nationally and internationally in youth windsurfing. More recently I semi-retired from the competing scene and decided to go into teaching, occasionally doing the odd wave competition.

Q2) How long have you been instructing at Poole Harbour, and what do you enjoy most about it?

A2) I have been instructing at Poole Harbour for 5 years. Most of all, I enjoy meeting a wide variety of people, particularly chatting with them about shared interests in watersports and hearing interesting perspectives and stories. I always appreciate the opportunity to be out on the water, and around people who feel the same!

Q3) What is your favourite watersport and why?

A3) Windsurfing! I love the feeling of moving through the water. Windsurfing is the sport I fell in love with as a kid, despite doing it for many years I am still learning all the time!


Professional Insights

Q4) What are your top three tips for someone new to watersports?


  • Don’t be intimidated by the ‘scary-looking’ watersports, a lot of it is perception! Personally, I believe that winging is easier to learn than windsurfing, despite it being foiling and most people saying it looks super difficult.
  • Check the weather forecast to help inform what you do, what you wear and how to approach the session. There is nothing worse than being cold.
  • Never be scared to ask someone for help and advice, whatever the challenge. Everyone was new once and will be more than happy to help.

Q5) What is the most important safety advice that you give?

A5) Always sail with a buddy, this can be a friend or someone you meet at the beach. If you’re unsure about the risks, ask someone on the beach who can advise on the local challenges.

Q6) What is the best way to improve your skills once you’ve mastered the basics?

A6) Time on the water 😊


Local knowledge

Q7) What makes Poole Harbour a unique place for watersports?

A7) Whitley lake is a very safe, shallow bay in the harbour. You rarely need to worry about offshore wind and falling off/getting back up is made easier by the depth. However, just across the road, if you would like a wild time Sandbanks beach allows you to experience the full force of the English channel!

Q8) Are there any hidden gems or lesser-known sports in Poole Harbour you’d recommend exploring?

A8) The harbour offers many different spots for different watersports/levels. For example, Hamworthy and Bramblebush bay are great alternatives for advanced wing/windsurfers looking for a change of scenery, but still a relatively easy-going spot. For adventurous paddlers there is a whole world of beauty on the south side of the harbour waiting to be explored.


Equipment & The future

Q9) Are there new trends or advancements in watersports equipment that you find exciting?

A9) I am definitely excited to see the advances in winging over the next few years as it is still a new sport with lots of room for experimentation.

Q10) What gear do you recommend for beginners, and what should they look for when purchasing equipment.

A10) Paddleboarding:  To start off with you want something stable and light. Don't go for the cheapest options as they won't last and you will end up buying again. Reliability is super important as you want to be able to trust your equipment, a brand like 'Red' is a good one to start off with.  

Red ride 10'6" SUP package - currently discounted to £649.00



Wingfoiling: When deciding on your board, foil and wing its important to note that your height and weight should have a large influence on your decision. Brand-wise, I would recommend brands that have experience in the industry as they have years of research and development behind the products. For example, a traditional windsurfing brand is a good shout. Packages tend to be better value and popular with beginners as you don't have to worry about kit compatibility.

Popular beginner equipment at Poole Harbour includes the RRD Y27 Beluga Complete Wing Package at £1,699.



Windsurfing: Do's and don'ts, Do push yourself to bigger sails. Don't go too small on the board too soon, it won't help your progression. Do make sure you practise different points of sail and manoeuvres to improve your skills.

Beginner kit recommendations for windsurfing are very dependant on your weight, ability and aspirations. However, we currently have a good deal that we would recommend:

Starboard Go/ Go Windsurfer 2023. Comes in a variety of sizes from 142-185 with prices from £1449. 



Although I have given some kit recommendations, if you are considering buying beginner equipment I highly recommend that you give us a call/message to discuss your options. We have experts in store that will be more than happy to recommend options that will be best for you, given your aspirations, experience, and body type. These factors are super important to consider when buying kit!


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