SURFSKI: Paddling Downwind is directed at individuals keen to unravel the secrets of surfing ahead of wind driven swell. It takes considerable skill to anticipate the swell patterns and then exploit the heaving peaks and troughs, but the outcome is being able to link one run with the next. When surfing swell, you can move as fast as its energy travels through the water, sometimes faster. The sea has unrelenting power, demanding courage to negotiate a safe downwind passage. Many complex factors come into consideration, including the swell speed, direction and size, and the interaction between wind and ocean swell. The wind direction, strength and gust strength are further factors. A downwind activity in unfavourable conditions will test your full range of competencies, including your mental resolve. Proficiency in downwind might seem a distant goal that you strive for, but find difficult to realise. With competency, you can experience the freedom offered by the open ocean, with its never-ending challenges.