Phil Meade was out windsurfing on the Whanganui River on Saturday - the windiest day in September so far. Gusts got up to 87km/h, but the Wanganui man said that was nothing to him. "I've been out in winds at least another 15km/h stronger than that."

The feeling was incredible, he said. "It does feel like flying." He said it wasn't cold if he wore a wetsuit, and he had to concentrate so much that it wasn't hard on his body. "There's too much involvement for that. You have to be on the case."

On Saturday, he was using a wave board and a mid-size wave sail. If the wind had been stronger he would have needed a smaller sail. He's had some close calls in the adrenalin sport. "My philosophy is, if your heart's not in your mouth, you're not trying hard enough."

Mr Meade, of Windriven Watersports , will be back teaching windsurfing when the equinoctial gales abate, and he isn't in it for the money. "I would like to have other people out there. There used to be enough people to race here," he said.

To contact Phil about lessons email him at: