Want to learn how to windsurf but have no clue where and how to start?
Do you need a recap on the windsurfing basics to refresh your memory?
Worry no longer because you finally found the right website!
Windsurfing is such a great sport and I’m sure, once you master the basics, there is no holding you back anymore.
However, it is a technical sport and might take some time to master, but don’t let this hold you back. I’m here to help you on your way and help you avoid mistakes most people would make when figuring out how to windsurf.
Trust me, in my 30+ years being a windsurfer I’ve made about any mistake there is to be made (and some even more than once). The good thing about this is that you don’t have to make those dumb mistakes yourself as I’m about to show you how to stay away from those mistakes and guide you along to what you’ve always wanted to do…Learn how to windsurf in the shortest time possible!
So, what will you learn today?
Oh, wait, one more thing before we start…
Though I have learned the basics on my own there’s no reason for you to do the same. Actually I would strongly suggest you to take some windsurfing lessons. It’s the safest way to learn the beasics. You don’t need windsurfing gear of your own and a instructor can coach you and show you what you do wrong and let you see how to do it better.
- How to be safe when learning how to windsurf
- What wind strength is best for beginners
- Where to windsurf
- How to uphaul the sail
- How to sail away
- How to make your first turn
- How to windsurf back to where you came from
So, as you can see, there is a lot to cover today, So I suggest to start right away
Learning how to windsurf and always be safe
I know it might sound boring to you when I want to teach you the windsurfing basics and right away I start to talk to you about safety.
But it really is necessary to tell you a thing or two about safety before we really dive into the good stuff.
So, there we go… Windsurfing is a great sport and once you’ve mastered the basics there is no reason why you should not be able to go out and practice with stronger winds. At the end, it is true that learning the basics and windsurfing the first meters on your own is a great feeling but the real addiction kicks in when you are past the beginners stage and start to plane.
But to get there we need to master the beginning first.
No matter if you are a beginner or a more advanced windsurfer, safety should always be your top priority and if conditions seem to rough for you, they probably are!
- Better safe than sorry. So, only go out on the water when you think you are up to it. It’s always, and I repeat myself here, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Don’t go windsurfing alone. With windsurfing being an extreme sport it’s always best to not go out on your board alone. When something happens there’s always someone near to help you and besides that, it’s also much more fun to go windsurfing with someone else.
- Let others know where you are. If you can’t find someone to go out on the water with (and I understand that, I’ve been in that situation more than once myself) than make sure you tell someone where you are and at what time you’ll check in with them to let them know you’re okay. With everyone nowadays having a mobile phone there’s really no excuse anymore to not be able to let your person of contact know where you are and how things are going.
What wind strength is best for beginners
When being a beginner things are complicated enough without strong winds and choppy waters to get you off balance and throw you into the water.
When you are a beginner (and if you weren’t you wouldn’t be on this page I guess) it’s best to go out windsurfing with a gentle breeze.
It’s best to go out in a force 1, 2 or 3 as a maximum (on the Beaufort scale). With light winds like these the water is flat and the wind is strong enough to get you to enjoy your first meters windsurfing on day 1 (that’s a promise) and on the other hand, the wind is light enough for you to uphaul the sail from the water without being exhausted after your first trials.
Where to Windsurf
Now that you know with what wind strength it’s best to practice, it’s also wise to know where to get on your board as a beginner.
I think it’s best (no, I know it’s best) to go on a lake or a spot with no waves or currents on the sea/ocean when there’s no lake anywhere near you, but a lake would have my preference.
Make sure that where you go out on the water, that it’s a shallow place and that the wind is not blowing offshore, winds parallel to the beach or slightly onshore are best and safest to start with.
Locations with shallow and warm water are best because there’s no current and you can always get off your board and walk back to the beach if you need to.
Places like Lac Bay on Bonaire are perfect for your first windsurfing experiences.
How to uphaul the sail
So, now that we’ve got that covered it’s time to get you actually windsurfing.
Are you ready to get on your board? Are the mast and board connected? Cool! Then you place the board in the water at a 90-degree angle to the wind and have the sail lying downwind in the water.
Get to the upwind side of the board and climb onto it. Have one foot in front and one foot behind the mast foot, bend your knees and have your back straight now reach for the uphaul and start pulling the sail out of the water hand by hand.
How to sail away
Are you standing straight with the sail clear from the water? Cross hands and have one hand on the boom near the mast and the other hand a little further down the boom.
Make sure your front foot is pointing to the nose of the board and the rear foot is pointing off the wind (to the side where your sail was lying in the water before.
Straighten your front arm, slightly pull on your backarm, have your back straight, look at the nose of the board and you’re windsurfing your first meters ever! Congratulations, you’re a windsurfer now!!!
How to make your first turn
Now that you’re windsurfing away from the beach it’s time to learn how to turn your gear around.
Move your front arm from the boom to the mast or the uphaul rope close to where it’s connected to the mast and let your backhand of the boom as well.
Now, with a straight front arm move the sail slowly to the nose of the board and with small steps walk around the mast until you reach the other side of the board.
Now the hand on the rope will be the hand further down on the boom and your former hand down the boom will be placed on the boom near the mast on the other side of the boom. So not on the same boom arm you were holding before.
After you’ve done that you move the hand from the rope down to the boom and grab it there. This was your first ever perfect windsurfing turn.
How to windsurf back to where you came from
Now the drill is the same as before…Straighten your front arm, slightly pull on your backarm, have your back straight, look in the direction of the nose of the board.
But not at the nose of the board, but only in the nose direction. Always look in the direction you are wind surfing. As this is where other people could be and that is where you’re going to be in a few seconds.
This way you can always steer away from danger and avoid hitting people, animals or other watersports “vessels”.
You’re now windsurfing in the opposite direction as before. Meaning you’re windsurfing back to the beach. It took me days on the summer holiday where I started to windsurf to figure this out and I’m sure you can do this on your first day on a windsurfing board (within the first hour or two).
Do you have any questions on how to windsurf?
Of course, there’s more to teach you about learning how to windsurf but with these basic beginners techniques, you should be able to windsurf your first meters away and back to shore in a safe way.
I hope this helped you on your way to master the first steps on your windsurfing gear.
If something is not clear or you have any questions, please post them in the comment section below and I’ll come back to you with an answer.
Have a nice day and happy windsurfing with lots of fun!
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