Windsurfing is a mix of sailing and surfing, which can be enjoyed by everyone from kids upwards. It’s can be as sedate or as crazy as you like as well as easy or technical. There really is something for everyone, when it comes to enjoying windsurfing and this is the reason, I personally have been windsurfing for over 40 years now.
If you’re thinking of getting into windsurfing the first question you’re probably wondering is “Do I need lessons to windsurf?” Read the following article by Surfs SUP Watersports and we will give you insight into this amazing sport and why it’s important to start off right.
A Quick Intro
Windsurfing started back in the 80s and it was so cool, that on a summers day, cars were covered in boards and people flocked to the water to enjoy windsurfing as well as surfing.
As the sport developed at a super fast pace, the kit began to get more technical
The right Windsurfing Kit
As a beginner Windsurfer, you’re going to need suitable kit, which will make progression fast and easy so let’s check out our list.
Choosing the right board is the first thing to consider. If you go onto ebay you’ll find loads of cheap windsurfing boards. You’ll be drawn to the colours, names and fin setups, with logos looking super cool, but they’re mostly going to be too advanced for your needs. It’s not a case of they’ll be a bit too tricky – You simply won’t be able to use them full stop.
What you need is a board that is wide (offering stability) and long (so it’s not too tippy)
The Fanatic Viper is a prime example of a good beginners board, coming in at about 3mtrs long, 240 litres volume and 87cm wide.
In that board you have volume, which equates to how much weight it can carry and this amount of volume would see it being very stable.
Whilst we’re discussing volume, if you start looking at boards of the 120 litres and less, then you need to know, they may well sink if you stand on them when not moving as they’re designed for going fast.
The rig comprises of the mast, the boom and sail as seen in this picture.
You’ll quickly learn about the other parts of the sail and the role they play, but for now keep it simple.
As a beginner windsurfer, you’ll want to have a basic sail, something around 3.5-4.0 mtrs in size. There’s no point going bigger, as it is more to uphaul and more to balance and control if you find the wind picking up whilst you’re out on the water.
Depending on the sails size would determine the size/length of mast and boom, but in general you’d be looking at a mast of about 370 to 400cm and a boom that is adjustable, so it can be used on multiple sails.
For the sake of a few pounds, it might just be worth buying something off the shelf that is ready to go, save you trying to cobble bits together. I’ve seen it many a time, where someone has bought bits off ebay and it’s so old, nothing works or bits are missing.
A harness is not worth worrying about in the beginning as it is mainly used when the winds get much stronger, but that said, it is great to reduce the strain on the arms, so if you’re really keen and cracking on , there’s nothing wrong with buying a harness.
The most important thing to realise is they’re all different and what I mean by that is they’re made to fit different shapes of body, so you really need to go and try some in a shop.
Keeping safe is important as we always suggest you get a buoyancy aid. This will give you extra flotation if needed and help you to relax in situations. Note: a harness is not a buoyancy aid.
Windsurfing Lessons in Chichester
We’ve been windsurfing for a very long time and to be honest, as a child I had one lesson, then went on my merry way.
That said, it took me so long to progress, compared to my students, who join for lessons at the school.
You will learn about safety, the wind, the kit, the proper methods along with ongoing training ideas.
Unlike Kiteboarding, Windsurfing is not dangerous, but there are so many things going on that you will never guess, but with our help and use of bluetooth headsets, we can tune your skills even at the basic level, so you’re kept on the right path.
Reading the weather
Any watersport is at the mercy of the weather, and the wind and tide is a dominant factor over windsurfing.
It is important to understand the basics at least and there are phone apps that can help deliver the info we need, when considering if it is right or wrong to go on the water.
At Surfs SUP Watersports, we use windy.com and their phone app, alongside “Tides Near Me” for a 7 day forecast on the tidal ranges.
Booking in for a windsurfing lesson
Going back to the original question and why you’re here – Do you need to have windsurfing lessons?
To be honest you could give it a go yourself and see how you go, but it’s going to take you a lot lot longer, and you’ll be missing so many vital pieces of info.
We’re not claiming to turn every person into a pro after a windsurfing lesson, but we do guarantee to leave you with the right tools an info to make sure you’re on the right track.
Surfs SUP Watersports offer windsurfing lessons for all levels, from beginner to advanced sailor in Chichester Harbour, Bracklesham or Hayling Island. Check out our Windsurfing lessons here.