This site is designed to help beginners get started windsurfing by choosing the right windsurfing gear. Even intermediate and advanced enthusiasts may pick up some tips they can use when shopping for windsurfing equipment. Choosing windsurfing equipment that is safe, durable, and appropriate to your skill level is the essential first step in getting started with this sport. If you are looking for the best price, be sure to shop around online as you’ll find the prices are much cheaper than buying from a local retail store.
The Basic Components of Windsurfing Equipment
- Windsurfing boards: These are typically constructed of polyethylene foam which is then coated in epoxy. The size and weight can vary depending on the windsurfer, their windsurfing style as well as wind conditions. Many people choose to have more than one windsurfing board.
- Windsurfing sails: You won’t be getting anywhere if you can’t catch any wind.
- Windsurfing booms: The boom encircles the sail and connects to the mast. This is what you hang onto while windsurfing.
- Windsurfing mast: This is want connects the sail to the board and may either be two separate parts or one complete mast.
- Mast bases: The part where the mast meets the board allows you to actually steer and is a critical bit of windsurfing equipment.
- Adaptor: This is what connects the boom to the mast.
- Windsurfing fins: These keep your board from drifting and can be found on the bottom of the board close to the stern.
- Windsurfing Harness: While not technically required, this recommended bit of windsurfing gear will allow you to spend more time on the water by connecting you to the boom, thus relieving some of the weight from your own muscles.
- Foot straps: These keep you in control of your board by securing your feet onto the board while you ride.
Choosing the Right Windsurfing Gear
In addition to learning the basics of how to windsurf we will also be giving you pointers on choosing windsurfing boards. You should know what size you need to get and what to look for in build materials. When shopping for windsurfing sails size is also a big consideration. We’ll also talk about what material you should look for when you’re considering a boom for your sail. And we will discuss safety too. Adding a harness to your windsurfing equipment package could be an important step in keeping yourself safe while participating in this potentially dangerous sport. You will also find some information on wetsuits. It’s true that you may not need a wetsuit through the whole year. When the water is warm, it is not necessary. But for the cooler months you will definitely want a wetsuit to keep yourself warm and extend your surfing season.
Windsurfing is a really exhilarating sport! When the wind is strong you can really fly around and even catch some air while having a great time. Unfortunately windsurfing can be a pretty expensive sport. When you’re just getting started don’t feel like you have to buy a bunch of different boards and an assortment of different sails. You really only need a little bit of windsurfing equipment to get started.
Beginners should definitely check out our how to windsurf page. It covers the basics and gives you a good idea of what to do when you’re first starting. Like anything, it can be frustrating when you’re trying to do it for the first time. Really the best way to get started is to look for lessons from a local instructor. That way you get hands-on feedback on what you’re doing and they can get you up and surfing on your own faster. Another reason it’s a good idea to look for an instructor is because you can often rent windsurfing gear from them or borrow the gear they already have. This allows you to get started without a big investment. Once you know that windsurfing is the right sport for you, then you can begin to purchase your own windsurfing gear.
Different Windsurf Styles
- Waves: This style has two separate parts which are “wave riding” and “wave jumping”. Riding is simply cruising along an unbroken wave by making cutbacks and top turns. While jumping involves catching some air from unbroken waves and executing various tricks. Obviously the two go together as you will generally be wave riding and then wave jumping. Since you will be leaping from the water you’ll want to make sure that all of your windsurfing gear is as light as possible so that you can jump higher. Windsurfing gear tip: choose a carbon fiber mast and boom to cut down on weight.
- Freestyle: Freestyle windsurfing is similar but doesn’t necessarily require any waves. You can even ride on an open lake. As long as there is enough wind it’s still possible to perform jumps and tricks. Windsurfing equipment tip: you’ll need a board that is light, short and a bit wider.
- Regatta: It’s similar to traditional sail boat races and involves going both upwind and downwind several times. It requires expert skills at reading the wind.
- Slalom: If you like to race then slalom windsurfing is for you. Have you ever watched slalom skiing in the Olympics? It’s similar. You’ll be winding around buoys and trying to be the first across the finish line. It requires a lot of control and expert steering skills. This is best practiced on windier days.
Tips on Buying Windsurfing Gear
When you’re ready to take the plunge and get yourself set up with your own windsurfing equipment, you might want to talk to some friends that also windsurf and see what kind of equipment and which brands they are using. It’s always better to have a recommendation before you invest a lot of money into equipment that might not work out well for your needs.
Should You Buy Used Windsurfing Gear?
Since it is a large initial investment. Some people think it’s better to buy used windsurfing gear rather than new equipment. While used windsurfing equipment can be a good deal, the problem is that you really don’t know how the previous owner treated that equipment and there might be problems with it that your untrained eye won’t notice. Also, older equipment doesn’t tend to have the technological features that the newer gear does, so the used gear might make it harder for you to get started.
Shopping for Windsurfing Equipment Online
Instead of buying used, if you want to save some money, try shopping for windsurfing gear online rather than at a local surf shop. Online retailers cater to a larger audience and can have lower overhead rates than retail establishments. Wherever you do your shopping, just make sure that the staff is knowledgeable about the product you’re buying and has a readily available customer service lines so you can speak to someone if you need help. You should also review the return policy just in case equipment is defective or doesn’t suit your needs as you thought it would. A lot of online retailers offer windsurfing packages. By getting your windsurfing board, sail and boom all in the same package, you can really save a lot of money. I found some really good deals on windsurfing packages from The House. You could also check the links at the top of this page too.
Stay safe, have fun, and go catch some wind! Windsurfing gear can be a big expense at first but once you get yourself set up, your gear should last you for years to come.