Windsurfing is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board 2 to 3 meters long powered by wind on a sail. It is said to be a combination of the laid-back culture of surf sports and the more rules-based environment of sailing. The sport is predominately undertaken as a non-competitive sport although it is a recognized Olympic sport. Disciplines for competitive windsurfing include, speed sailing, slalom, course racing, wave sailing, superX and freestyle .Windsurfers can perform jumps, inverted loops, spinning maneuvers and other freestyle moves that cannot be match by any sailboards.
Windsurfing has been one an Olympic event since 1984. In Olympic windsurfing events, all sailors are required to use the same type of boards, daggerboards, fins and sails to ensure competitors are on an equal playing field
Formula windsurfing is a class of windsurfing boards that have the principal characteristic of a maximum 1m width. Each board has a single fin of a maximum length of 70cm and carry sails up to 12.5 m². Unlike the Olympic class, sailors are allowed to choose boards produced by multiple manufacturers as long as they are certified as Formula boards and registered with ISAF. This class is popular in many locations around the globe especially those with predominantly light winds and flat waters as the boards have excellent upwind and downwind ability.
Raceboards are longer than normal windsurf boards and have a daggerboard and movable mast rail. This features allows the sailor to be efficient on all points of sale. Since the introduction of shortboard racing, the popularity of this class has been greatly reduced.
Slalom is a high-speed race in which sailors use boards that are narrow and small. Racing this boards often require high winds. There are typically two types of slalom courses, Figure of eight and downwind.
In big air, competitors compete to record the highest jump with his board. The height of the jumps are recorded by a 3D accelorator worn by each competitior.
Super X, is a combination of freestyle and slalom. It is a new discipline in windsurfing competitions. Competition sailors race down a short downwind slalom course while performing several tricks and ducking obstacles. This class has been in decline since its peak in the early 2000s.
In speed surfing, competitions are made up of heats sailed on a 500m course. Each heat is typically open for 2 hours and the average of each sailor's best 2 timings on the 500m course competitors during the heat are taken as the speed for that heat.
Freestyle windsurfing is a timed event and competitors are judged based on the number of stunts they complete within the time frame as well as the difficulty of those tricks.
Fun Fact - Finian Maynard, holds the record as the world's fastest speed surfer. The record stands at 90.2km/hour.
Fun fact - Windsurfers, were the first to ride the world’s largest waves.
Try out Windsurfing today!
Here are a few tips to get you started.
WHAT TO WEAR
- Cotton t-shirt and board shorts (optional)
Closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting wet
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
- Windsurfing boat (available for rent)
- Life Jacket (available for rent)