Is Windsurfing Dangerous?

is windsurfing dangerousAre you having concerns about learning how to windsurf? There’s no need to. It’s easy to learn and once you know how to control your gear there’s nothing more addicting than steering your gear downwind and going for a speed record.

Knowing that windsurfers are the fastest people on the water one question arises more than any other question about windsurfing.

And this question is: Is windsurfing dangerous?

Today I’m going to tell you all about the safety matters about windsurfing, so if you are curious about how safe this sport is then read on and get all your questions answered.

Is Windsurfing Dangerous?

Windsurfing is an extreme sport and therefore it can be dangerous but only if you don’t know what you are doing, or if you can’t control your gear in the given conditions, or if you’re searching for extreme boundaries and are willing to cross them.

On the other hand, if you know what you are doing and take the right precautions than the risks can be kept under control.

Of course, there’s always a possibility that you get yourself in a dangerous situation, you don’t even have to create it yourself but the conditions or the other people on the water can create a hazardous situation.

As mentioned before with the right precautions the risks can be brought back to a minimum but there can always happen something unpredicted.

However, the risks don’t weight up to the adrenaline rush windsurfing can bring you.

What Can Go Wrong When Windsurfing?

Windsurfing in out of control conditions.

When you’re a beginner you normally are windsurfing in low wind conditions and if not I strongly suggest you learn how to master your gear in these light breeze conditions before challenging the elements in more demanding conditions like rougher waters or stronger, gustier wind speeds.

It’s much safer to learn how to windsurf in light wind conditions, this way you don’t drift downwind too much and you don’t get thrown over the board so hard as when you would be windsurfing in stronger conditions.

Learn how to master light wind completely before getting out in stronger winds.

Going out all alone without anyone knowing where you are.

Another issue a lot of windsurfers might experience regarding safety is that things can get ugly when you’re all alone on the water without anyone ashore knowing where you are.

It’s never a good idea to go out windsurfing on your own even just for an hour.

Always let someone know where you are and let them know regularly that you’re okay. For this, you can send a text message with your smartphone so now and then.

Using gear not right for the conditions.

Another common thing causing windsurfers to get into unsafe situations is going out on the water with anything but the right equipment.

A too-small board or sail can get you into trouble sooner as you might think.

On the other hand, too big equipment can also result in unsafe situations.

Then there’s wrong equipment that can get you into nasty situations. as a beginner who is used to beginner boards or big freeride boards it’s not wise to go out on a board so small you never surfed before.

Always use equipment you’re used to and if you might doubt about equipment choice always take a wider or more volume board.

Going out in too extreme conditions.

windsurfers in a storm

Are you used to 10 to 15 knots windspeeds and perfect flatwater conditions? Then stick to that until you have the skills to start challenging more demanding conditions.

Stronger winds are more difficult to control and result in more wind chop.

Stronger winds are mostly gustier too, making it harder to control your board and rig.

Not wearing the right safety equipment.

Another thing to mention is the protective gear you should wear.

In the middle of summer, it’s attempting to wear only boardshorts and a harness when windsurfing but windchill and sunburn are a big concern even in summer.

Always wear a wetsuit or at least a neoprene body over your boardshorts.

It protects you from sunburn and windchill but also functions as an extra layer between you and the water when you crash hard.

Water is soft but hitting it after jumping from a wave and landing on you back or belly makes you realize how hard water can be.

Also in shallow waters with rocks or shells on the bottom, a wetsuit and windsurfing shoes or booties are often a must.

It might not be cool looking and you might argue because of the lack of contact with your board and foot straps but once you’ve cut your feet open at coral or lava reef, have been standing in a sea urchin or hurt your toes at razor-sharp shells at the ocean bottom you wish you had your booties on.

Windsurfing is Safe Enough!

Now you might be worried about all the issues I just addressed but don’t let them keep you away from windsurfing.

As extreme sports windsurfing can be dangerous but when you take the right precautions, know your level and go out windsurfing in conditions and at locations that are safe for the level you have than windsurfing is a safe sport.

Simply said, enjoy windsurfing at spots and with conditions your gear is caple of handling and never go out if you think you’re not up to the challenge.

And if you are on the water always look out for others around you, swimmers, stand up paddle boarders, kiteboarders and other windsurfers just to name a few.

They might look like they are under control but always keep your distance from them so in case something does happen you are at a safe distance from them.

One last thing I like to mention is that for safe windsurfing it’s really important that you know the safety rules on the water.

Always help others in need of help or go ashore and let people at the beach know where the one in stress is and let them call for help or a lifeguard.

When you are all alone with broken gear you would be glad as well when another watersport fanatic provides you help.

Take these simples rules with you and you’ll be fine.

Check, Check, Double Check…

What I want to add to this is always check your gear before heading out.

Use the folling checklist…Always!!!!

  • Is everything in one piece?
  • Is everything safely connected together?
  • Is your sail rigged the right way?
  • Are your harness lines still allright?
  • Are your footstraps screwed good at the board?
  • Is your mastfoot showing no signs of tear and wear?
  • Do you have extra rope in your harness stash pocket or mounted at your boom?

Is everything okay? Then nothing stands in your way of going out at the water and enjoying the best sport in the world.

 

4 Best Windsurfing Blogs To Follow

best windsurfing blogsAre you looking for the best windsurfing blogs? Then you might have discovered that our sport isn’t that popular among bloggers.

As much as we love our sport, there simply aren’t that many blogs or at least not that much that seems to understand Google and end up at the first few results pages.

This is a shame as it makes it harder for them to get readers to their blogs and on the other hand, is it much harder for you to find them.

When you’re looking for blogs and websites of windsurfers that love their sport just like you and who have decided to dedicate some spare time to their online presence than it’s hard to find new ones.

I’ve found it hard as well to discover them so I’ve decided to give you the ones that I think are of value for you.

So, here they are, a small sum up of the blogs I like.

Before I present you the list, I have to tell you that most of them are blogs and websites from pro riders who have them as an online presence (which is a good idea if you ask me).

You might wonder why they have a blog or website of their own when they have social media portals like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest where they can connect with the windsurfing brands, other pro’s and their community.

The answer to this is that you don’t own your social media presence!

I’m not going into this too deep right now as it’s something for another time but gambling on social media only as your personal branding is a huge mistake.

Sponsors might think otherwise and that’s fine.

But look at it this way…

When your personal branding is important to you and your sponsors (especially the ones outside of the windsurfing community) why gamble on a few online profiles which can be taken offline or being closed when the owners think you don’t play by their rules?

The least you can do is have an online presence that you own like a website combined with a blog.

This way you own your content, show brands that you know how to promote them outside of social media channels and on top of that when you know a thing or two about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) you could outrank them on keywords for their products which brings a lot of new visitors to your website which makes your website a valuable asset for you and the brands sponsoring you (or the ones that might sponsor you in the (near) future.

Anyway…

Let’s head over to the blogs and websites as I promised to deliver to you.

Jimbo Douglas Windsurfing Blog

When you have been windsurfing for quite a few years and have been on the search for blogs about your favorite sport than the blog of Jimbo Douglas might be no stranger to you.

It’s one of the blogs I check out regularly.

The Peconic Puffin Windsurfing Blog

The peconic puffin is another blog that has been around for ages and is one to get back to regularly.

It’s a great personal windsurfing blog which also covers stand up paddle boarding as well. I love paddleboarding and I guess there are more windsurfers that are paddleboarders too so why not read about what others have to say about it as well.

Pritchard Windsurfing

Though this one is more or less a website/blog to promote their windsurfing coaching, windsurfing holiday information for windsurfers going to Maui and the gear you can rent from them it still is a great one to read.

Matt en Kevin Pritchard are former PWA pro riders and have an incredible windsurfing knowledge to share.

Check out their site and blog here.

They don’t blog very often but the posts they write a fun to read and most of their videos are great ones to dream away with on a cold, rainy winters day.

Phil’s Windsurfing Blog

Another one to watch is the blog of Phil, an South African windsurfer.

In wintertime (when you live in Europe or the states this is from November up until April) it’s summertime in South Africa and this time of year the spots around CapeTown are hot and happening.

A lot of amateur and pro riders are in Cape Town from December till March so expect a lot of updates from Phil in those months from around Langebaan as he has a lot of previews and information from the testing pro’s from the big brands.

You can find his blog here.

 

Fanatic Freewave 2020

Fanatic freewave 2020Have you seen the all new Fanatic Freewave 2020 boards already?

My last post was about the new Fanatic range for 2020 but I couldn’t give you much new information as there simply wasn’t any to be shared.

As of today the new Fanatic wave and freestyle boardrange is online.

Fanatic Freewave 2020: What’s new?

Now that Fanatic has released the 2020 gear there is a lot to discuss about it.

The big news however is that the freewave stubby version is no longer available in their program.

I have been missing the more traditional version of the freewave, basically the shape / outline that made this board the best sold board of the Fanatic range for ages.

It’s also this “traditional shape” that made it the absolute benchmark and testwinner in all magazines for ages.

So, I’m happy with this change in design and would love to test the 85 liter version.

As I have a Fanatic Triwave 81 and a Skate 99 I did not see the benefit of owning a stubby freewave but the new shape makes me wonder if I should buy an 85 liter as one solution board or the 95 liter version as a substitute for the Skate I wanted to change for another board anyway.

So, to tell you what’s new I guess the big change is that it no longer is a stubby design but more of a traditional looking shape.

Fanatic Freewave 2020 video

Fanatic has released a cool product and action video of the new freewave line.

I’ve shared the video below and you should watch it right now.

It’s a great action packed video from the anual photoshoot of this spring in Maui.

Klaas Voget tells you all ins and outs about the new boardline in detail which I found to be very interesting.

I’ll stop talking about the new Fanatic freewave 2020 now and let Klaas and the actionshots convince you to try one as soon as possible (I know I will).

 

Fanatic 2020 Windsurfing Boards

fanatic 2020 windsurfing boardsAre you also desperately waiting for the new Fanatic boards to be released? As a vivid fan of Fanatic I can’t wait to find the new Fanatic 2020 windsurfing boards online.

Like all the other fans I’ll have to be patient as well and wait for the new products to come available.

You know, every year around this time I start to get nervous as the big brands are releasing their new gear and so I’m daily checking the sites and forums that normally have the scoop on new gear.

Read moreFanatic 2020 Windsurfing Boards

How To Use Social Media For Windsurfing Pro’s

how to use social media for windsurfing pro's

Windsurfing without social media is unthinkable these days. The pro’s use it as a marketing tool for themselves and their sponsors.

And we the end consumers of windsurfing gear, use it as well, so do the windsurfing companies sponsoring the pro riders all year round.

Some of the proriders are doing a great job with it but most, unfortunately, suck at it. It’s not that they are not interested in doing a better job at it, they just don’t know what they could improve in their social media game.

Read moreHow To Use Social Media For Windsurfing Pro’s

Windsurfing Sucked But Not Anymore

There was a time I simply loved windsurfing, it was all I did in my spare time. Even when I could not be on the water, I was reading windsurfing magazines or was watching windsurfing videos.

I’ve also spend hours and hours on thinking my pile of gear over and thinking about what waveboard or skinny mast I needed to add to my quiver.

I was more to be found in my favorite local windsurfing shop than I was in any other kind of store.

Life was good…

Read moreWindsurfing Sucked But Not Anymore

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging

how much money can you make blogging

How much money can you make blogging is a question I get asked…a lot on one of my other blogs where I blog about making money online.

And before we go into answering that one question let me tell you a little bit more before we dive into it.

You see, when I reply to the email these people send me in almost all cases it turns out that they’re actually asking the wrong questions.

Well, it’s not actually a wrong question to ask but what they actually have in mind is a question more like this one:

How do I start a moneymaking blog of my own and how long does it take me to make money from that blog?

As both questions might end up with somehow the same answer the mindset is totally different and that’s fine as I explain the mostly in the same email.

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

Read moreHow Much Money Can You Make Blogging

Where Should I Start

where should I start

This title should said it all…

Where Should I start…

You see, I’ve neglected this blog of mine for too long. Over the years I had several ideas in my head and some of them I shared with you guys, but not all of them.

Boardrebel.com has seen many changes over the years, and not only has the blog changed, I’ve changed too.

Transforming BoardRebel.com Into A Personal Blog

Read moreWhere Should I Start

Bonaire Windsurfing, A Perfect Windsurfers Destination

So you want to go on a Bonaire windsurfing holiday? We can’t blame you if that’s what you want. If there’s one location on earth that’s a true freestyle, slalom, freeride heaven for windsurfers than it must be that warm and sunny small island in the Caribean that listens to the name Bonaire.

Check any resource online you want when searching for the best location on how to learn to windsurf and Bonaire is probably among the topspots on the list if not on the absolute number one spot.

Being one of the Dutch A-B-C islands in the Caribean, Bonaire might be the smallest when compared to Aruba and Curacao (the other islands that together form the A-B-C islands).

Why Windsurfing on Bonaire Rocks

Read moreBonaire Windsurfing, A Perfect Windsurfers Destination

Finally Windsurfing in Tarifa Is Around The Corner

Tarifa Windsurfing

Windsurfing in Tarifa has been on my bucket list for ages. Somehow I haven’t been there before and it’s “only” 2400 km from where I live.

I’ve been to Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Leucate, Barbados, Crete, and Rhodos but never actually made it to Tarifa.

But that’s finally going to change and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

The weather is looking great and the wind predictions are promising as well.

Before taking a flight down there I’ll hope to first squeeze in some sessions at home before, and it’s looking like that’s going to happen as well.

But after that, in a few days, the warm sandy beaches of Tarifa are waiting for me.

What I Know About Tarifa…

Read moreFinally Windsurfing in Tarifa Is Around The Corner