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The west beach in Sollas has a fine view over Vallay strand. It’s a beautiful part of North Uist. It’s also a favourite spot for windsurfers like Angus Johnson.

While the Western Isles don’t really get cold in the winter they do get plenty of wind all year round. Angus likes to go out in any wind up to a Force 9 gale.

He’s been following this hobby for a number of years now. In that time he has collected several different boards and sails. This means he has the right equipment for all kinds of weather.

Putting the equipment together before getting into the sea takes a little more time than it does for ordinary surfing. You have to choose the right mast and sail for the wind, and make sure everything is properly secure.

But once you get into the water your sport is not dependent on the waves. You’re active immediately, even if the sea is calm. And with a fair wind at your back you can build up an exciting speed on the water, once you’ve learnt the necessary skills.

For beginners a calm sea is probably better than stormy waves. And a shallow beach like this one helps too if you come off your board.

But for a skilled and experienced windsurfer like Angus waves are not a problem. In fact they’re an opportunity to practise more difficult skills, like jumping for example.

Then, when his time is up Angus quickly packs his equipment away. As well as windsurfing Angus likes a lot of other outdoor sports. Born to a Uist family and raised here too he has travelled widely in Europe and New Zealand. While he’s enjoyed those opportunities he is always glad to get back to Uist, where he can pursue a full range of activities in beautiful surroundings on his own doorstep.

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