Fast track your windsurfing in just 2 hours

If you want to learn how to windsurf in just 2 hours, read this beginners guide.

Windsurfing, the amazing sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing, is often perceived as challenging to master. However, with the right approach and guidance, you can be up and windsurfing in just 2 hours.

It’s true

Step 1: We meet at the beach, with kit all setup (15 minutes)

So, it’s not something you have control of right now, but having the appropriate gear is essential. We make sure we have the right kit for you during your lesson with us, but let’s outline  what you need:

  • Windsurf Board: Beginners should opt for a larger, more stable board with a wide base.
  • Sail: Choose a smaller sail, ideally between 2.5 to 4.5 square meters, which is easier to handle.
  • Wetsuit: Depending on the water temperature, a wetsuit will keep you warm and buoyant.
  • PFD: Safety first; always wear a personal flotation device and make sure to read our Risks article.
  • Boots: some people prefer wetsuit shoes, especially if you’re sailing at pebble or stony beaches.

During your windsurfing lesson we’ll spend a few minutes getting familiar with the equipment. You’ll be talked through how the kit is put together and things to look for.

windsurfing lessons chichester harbour with surfs sup watersports

Step 2: Learn the Basics on Land (15-30 minutes)

Before you get on the water, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals on land:

  • Stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet placed in the right place to trim the board, knees slightly bent, and weight centered.
  • Uphauling: How to uphaul the sail making your life easier to sail away quickly.
  • Grip: Hold the boom with a relaxed grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Balance: Practice balancing on the board, first without the sail and then with it, to get a feel for the center of gravity.

During your windsurfing lesson, the instructor will demonstrate this on land and on the water, whilst using constant comms such as the BBTalkin headset to talk to you whilst sailing.

Step 3: Getting on the water and sailing a straight course (30-60 minutes)

Now it’s time to get on the water. Follow these steps:

  1. Uphaul the sail: Using our unique uphaul technique, you should be able to bring the sail into place.
  2. The secure position: We maintain that secure position for a few seconds and aim to get sailing away quickly.
  3. Point the leading hand: As we’ve learnt on land, point the front hand to identify where you aim to go, then transfer it onto the boom.
  4. Position the front foot: Immediately draw the front foot back so it is now alongside the mast base.
  5. Raise your head: By raising your head and chin, your shoulders draw back and out and this gives you a stronger frame, whilst looking over your leading shoulder.
  6. Back hand power up: Place the back hand, just 2 fingers, on the boom about 30 cm behind the front hand and then apply a small pull in until you feel resistance. You’re now sailing.

Spend 30 minutes repeating these steps until you feel comfortable with uphauling, secure position and sailing away.

Step 4: Catch the Wind (60-90 minutes)

Managing the wind and control is down to a few basic movements:

  1. Powering up with the backhand: Angle the sail to catch the wind, but use a very backhand so you don’t kill the power.
  2. Steer the Board: To steer, shift your weight and adjust the sail’s position. Lean the sail towards the back foot to turn upwind and towards the front foot to turn downwind. Copycat the instructor when on the water to get a good feel for the movements involved here. Note that the movements, body positions and control is the same if you try the wing sup or wing foiling lessons.
  3. Start Moving: Once the sail catches the wind, you’ll start moving. Keep your knees bent and look where you want to go, not at your feet. Keep your chin up and look up and out so your shoulders lean out. This will help to keep your body away from the rig.

Spend 30 minutes practicing sailing in a straight line, turning, and stopping. You may fall a few times, but that’s part of the learning process.

Step 5: Practice and Adjust (90-120 minutes)

The final 30 minutes are about refining your technique:

  • Control Your Speed: Adjust the sail’s angle to control your speed. Lean back to increase speed and forward to decrease.
  • Practice Turning: Master basic turns by shifting your weight and adjusting the sail.
  • Seek Feedback: If possible, have an instructor or experienced windsurfer provide feedback on your stance and technique.

By the end of two hours, you should be able to balance on the board, lift the sail, catch the wind, and steer. While you won’t be an expert yet, you’ll have the confidence and basic skills to continue practicing and improving.

Tips for Success

  • Stay Relaxed: Tension can throw you off balance. Stay relaxed and flexible.
  • Be Patient: Falling is part of learning. Each fall teaches you more about balance and control.
  • Enjoy the Process: Windsurfing is as much about the journey as the destination. Enjoy each small success.

With this guide, you’ll be windsurfing in no time. Remember, the key is to practice regularly and enjoy the learning experience. Happy windsurfing!

Check this out

This was a private windsurfing lesson in Chichester Harbour in about 12 knots of wind. Perfect conditions, allowing us to sail together.

Constant communications with the BBTalkin headset made life so much easier for the student.

The second video shows lesson 2 and the fast progression into a more dynamic stance and turning.


We run regular beginner to improver wing sup surfing lessons.

With over 35 years experience, we are fully insured and certified with: