If you’re looking to get out in the water in something a bit smaller than your boat, then windsurfing into the ocean may be just the adventure you’re looking for right now.
Don’t worry if you’re new to windsurfing because we’re going to give you a quick beginner’s guide below to help you get started.
From what it is to the gear you need to safety considerations, we’ve got everything you need to know in this guide.
Windsurfing can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s also an extremely exhilarating experience.
Keep reading to prepare for your adventure on the sea.
Intro To Windsurfing
Windsurfing is a water sport that combines both sailing and surfing, so you end up getting the best of both of those water sports.
In essence, it’s a surfboard with a sail that you hold onto.
As a result, windsurfing is also known as sailboarding.
When you go windsurfing, you use the power of wind to propel your board forward under your feet so that you skim across the water.
What’s nice about windsurfing is that you can sail the rig in the open ocean, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and even indoor swimming pools.
As you get more into this sport, you’ll find that it offers several disciplines: slalom and course racing, (big) wave sailing, freestyle, and speed sailing, and hydro foiling.
Sailboarding enables riders to perform huge jumps, carve the waves, and accelerate on flat and bumpy waters.
Did you know that windsurfing became an Olympic sport at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics?
The first-ever Olympic sailboard was the “Windglider,” the one-design windsurf board manufactured in Europe by Fred Ostermann.
Your essential windsurfing equipment is a board, sail, mast, and a boom.
You will discover that there are small and large boards and sails for different wind conditions, and types of sailing, and levels of experience.
Generally speaking, there is a lot of windsurfing gear that you can buy, but for beginners there is no need to overcomplicate things.
Here’s the basic list of essentials:
- Windsurf Board
- Harness Lines
- Mast Foot
Once you gain some experience, there are some other items that you may find a useful addition to your gear list.
- Surf Ear Plugs
- Gloves and Boots
- Surf Camera
- Mast Extension
- Downhaul Tensioner
- Pulley Hook
- Sail Repair Kit
- Floatation Vest
- Board Bag
- Sail Bag
Because it is a very technical sport, you should get an instructor to teach you how to windsurf when you’re just starting out.
You can watch the video below to learn the basics of getting started windsurfing as a beginner.
Windsurfing Safety Basics
Since you need winds in order to do this sport, the windsurfer does end up in a potentially dangerous situation out in the water.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid windsurfing in offshore winds.
Definitely don’t go windsurfing alone.
Make sure that you dress to avoid hypothermia in the event of ending up in the water for a while.
Before heading out into the water, check your windsurf gear to make sure it isn’t faulty and breaks while on the water.
Where Can You Go Windsurfing?
Would it surprise you to learn that there are great places to windsurfing all over the world?
Canary Islands, Egypt, France, Florida, North Carolina, California, Netherlands, Greece, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia offer some of the best windsurfing spots on the planet.
You Can Go Pro
As previously mentioned, windsurfing is an Olympic sport.
That also means that you can become a professional windsurfer and compete in windsurfing competitions.
The International Windsurfing Association (IWA) is the world governing body for the sport. The competitive circuit is run by the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA).
The official windsurfing classes, as sanctioned by World Sailing, are Formula Windsurfing, Kona, RS:X, Speed Windsurfing, Formula Experience, Funboard, RS: One, Raceboard, and Techno 293.