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Mark Smith of Bangor Uni

Student Loan, an Investment for the Future in more ways than one! Mark Smith of Bangor Uni reports of his experience at a Jem Hall clinic...


Student loans - nothing quite compares to that feeling of joy when you check your bank balance to find you’ve got money in your account. This is swiftly followed by that sinking feeling as the money starts seeping out of your account, on things such as your rent, bills and food. There is however always a little left at the end of the year providing you’re careful – not too many pints! Leaving you thinking you could spend the money on a three day bender of gargantuan proportions which at the time seems most appealing, but there is an alternative, one which won’t have the police knocking at your door demanding that you return all the road signs from the high street.

Recently I was in this unusual position (most of the road signs were already gone so decided against the three day bender as having no real point) and was trawling the internet when I came across a link to Jem Hall's website and I began reading up on the clinics on offer. After a bit of research into windsurfing clinics I decided to invest my meagre resources in a clinic with Jem. A month later I was on a plane bound for Rhodes not knowing what to expect, wondering if this really was the best choice I had made. However the first meeting with Jem alleviated any doubts I might have had as he assured me that by the end of the course I would be ‘gybing like a LEGEND’ and I might even have time for a few other skills as well.

During the course of the clinic my skills were taken back to the complete basics, every stage of my skills was analysed, taken apart and put back together by Jem. By the end of the course I was making fully planing gybes, duck gybes and downwind 360’s! So was it worth it? Definitely, getting taught by Jem is like getting taught by a slightly balder version of Yoda, he’s got the wisdom and I'’m pretty certain he’s got the force (no-way can someone do loops that high). As opposed to having the worst hangover on the planet after a three day drinking spree I got to hang out with some top people, improve my windsurfing and have a lot of fun along the way. In a way I didn’t really spend my money I invested it, I would recommend investing in your windsurfing future, the best money you’ll ever spend.