Being a Mum and a Windsurfer

Windsurfing through pregnancy and breastfeeding between sessions? Sounds like the ideal way a windsurf girl imagines becoming a mum! Meet Fanny Tysland a 32-year-old windsurfer from Oslo, Norway. She works as a deputy judge. Her hobbies are windsurfing, skiing, and climbing. She became a mom 7 months ago to a girl, I asked her how she combines family life and taking care of a new born baby with her big passion for windsurfing.

Article by: Oda Johanna Broedhold

How did you get into windsurfing?

My father used to windsurf when he was younger. I remember as a kid that I borrowed his gear, but it was very heavy 80´s gear. I always wanted to start windsurfing, but I didn´t have the proper equipment growing up. As a student, I went on exchange to Sydney and started wave surfing. I really enjoy watersports, but realized when I came home that the Oslo-area was not a good place for wave surfing, and started windsurfing instead. I began sailing in Oslo by myself with beginner gear. It didn’t take a lot of time before I got hooked on windsurfing. In the following years, I went on several trips to warm windsurfing destinations around the world. This has really improved my sailing.

How was your windsurfing life before becoming a mom?

I started windsurfing about five years ago. Before becoming a mom, I usually went on at least one overseas trip a year. I also spent a lot of time after work windsurfing back home. I windsurf throughout the year, but of course more often between April to October. After I started windsurfing, checking the wind-forecast has become a daily routine. To check the weather forecast is very common for Norwegians.

Could you windsurf while being pregnant? Any tips for other pregnant women?

I was lucky and had a good pregnancy, and was able to windsurf in the first four months before the winter arrived. I didn’t use any special equipment, but I borrowed my boyfriend’s harness and I had a flexible wetsuit. When I was pregnant, I mostly enjoyed easy freeride sailing, foiling and easy wave sailing in Varberg, Sweden.

It’s hard to give general advice because people have different pregnancies. If you are used to windsurfing and feel ok, it’s no problem to enjoy windsurfing during the pregnancy. I would, however, recommend avoiding pushing limits and catapults.

How do you combine being a mom, windsurfing, and work? What is your biggest challenge when it gets to sailing after your daughter was born?

I am still on leave, so I haven’t tested the working-life with a baby yet. After becoming a mom there has been less sailing outside Oslo during the weekdays, but I have been able to foil many times in Oslo. I have also brought her with me on day trips close to Oslo. I really look forward to introducing her to the sport when she gets older.

So far, I don´t feel that it has been a big challenge to combine being a mom with windsurfing. However, it is, of course, difficult to have enough time and to combine windsurfing with breastfeeding.

Tell us how the feeling was being back on the water for the first time after giving birth. And how long time after giving birth was that?

My first windsurfing experience after birth was a foil-session at the beginning of May, two months after she was born. I was afraid of breast infection since the water in Norway is cold, but it went fine. The first couple of times I used a dry suit. It was really nice to be able to windsurf again. It felt like before, but more liberating and I appreciated it even more than I used to.

How do you deal with a windy day now compared to before having a baby. How do you manage to sail?

I have either brought her with me to the windsurfing spots or carried a breast pump. I try to plan trips in advance, and have everything ready and packed for when my boyfriend is ready after work. I have also been lucky to have good friends and family to look after her while I sail.

You used to travel to windsurf when you had holidays. How is that now with a baby?

We have recently been on a trip to Tenerife, El Medano. This was a great place to combine windsurfing and vacation with a baby. We have also brought her to Varberg in Sweden. I really enjoy having her with me at these destinations. I am however more efficient when I sail, meaning less time for hanging around. When I sail, I sail.

Your favorite board and windsurf discipline?

I love both my Starboard iSonic and my UltraKode, but I have used the iSonic the most since Oslo is less windy than other windsurfing destinations. I recently also tried out the new Starboard iGnite and I loved it for a fun bump and jump session at home. My favorite discipline is easy wave riding in Varberg-waves.

What is your biggest windsurf goal?

I want to do a proper forward loop! I was close to landing one before I got pregnant.

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