Windsurfing 101 - Page 2 of 4 - Boards Windsurfing

Windsurfing Magazine



Windsurfing 101

What is windsurfing?

Windsurfing is a sport invented in the late 1940‘s, but it was not until 1968 that Hoyle Schweitzer (a surfer) and Jim Drake (an aeronautical engineer and sailor) applied for a patent for the “windsurfer”. Windsurfing is also known as sailboarding, and although this term is not commonly used now, the expression ‘sailing’ with reference to sailing on a windsurf board rather than a boat is used across the windsurfing world.

A windsurfer basically consists of a board, mast, boom and sail. With some good tuition it is easy to learn to rig the board and get out on the water safely, for the first time. The principle of windsurfing is simple; you stand on the board, with your feet roughly shoulder width apart, and hold the sail up with your hands. From this position the aim is to control the board and execute all the different manoeuvres with a variety of techniques. When you learn to windsurf it will be in a safe, calm environment where you can get to grips with the theory and techniques of the sport. After mastering these you can move onto sailing in more challenging conditions and continually improve your windsurfing ability.

There are many different types of windsurfing, from blasting along or learning tricks on flat water, to surfing or jumping in waves, there is an aspect of the sport that everyone can enjoy and excel in.

Why windsurf?


The number one reason for doing any leisure activity should surely be the enjoyment you get from it. The feeling you get as you are floating across the water is quite hard to explain, or fully understand, until you experience it for yourself. The buzz you get the first time you pick up enough speed for your board to plane over the water is beyond belief. You can chose to make your windsurfing as challenging or as easy going as you like, progressing at your own pace and setting your own achievable goals.


Windsurfing is a complete body workout, it naturally tones your back, arms, stomach, bum and legs. A session on the water will use your cardiovascular system too, but unlike most exercise you won’t be clock watching, an hour or two windsurfing can fly by and rival any gym workout.


Windsurfing is an incredibly social sport, any spot you go to you are bound to meet lots of like minded people to spend time with both on and off the water. As windsurfing inevitably becomes a significant part of your life, acquaintances met through the sport quickly become good friends. There is so much you can learn from other windsurfers you meet, particularly females, which is why this website aims to provides a center of communication for women that windsurf in the UK.


Your local lake is by far the best place to start, providing easy access to learn and progress in the sport, and where ever you are based in the UK you are sure to be near enough to an RYA accredited centre. As your windsurfing level improves you may seek out more challenging conditions, and it becomes possible to travel to some incredibly beautiful locations across the UK, Ireland and the rest of world in search of that perfect spot.

How easy is it?

It is a common misconception that you have to be big and strong to be able to windsurf, and although strength may help at the top level of the sport, it is in fact technique that is paramount.

Equipment, particularly for beginners, has advanced a great deal in recent years. Boards for learning are now big, stable platforms that are easy to use and still light carry. Sails are made from hightec lightweight materials, and with the production of specific ranges for women, beginners, and children there really is something to suit everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Read on to find out about how to get on board!


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