Experienced Improver and Fast Learner
Windsurfed before? Been on a course abroad and are now harnessing? If you’ve got some windsurfing experience or you’re a super-fast learner and want to get into planing windsurfing, it’s well worth renting / trying a few large freeride boards to see what volume you can sail. Then when you do buy one, you’ll be that much more experienced and can get away with a slightly smaller board (125-150L) depending on your weight. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE and can sail in a harness, as you need to be able to use larger rigs to get the most out of them.
Worried about sailing without a daggerboard?
Vision: Look upwind.
Trim: Tilt that windward (upwind) rail and point the front foot forward.
Stance: Adopt a nice ‘straight-7’ stance to cruise upwind.
Freeride Board Q&A
Volume? Sailor weight of 45-60kg = 125-135L / 60-80kg = 135-145L / 80kg+ = 140-150L
Soft deck? Not necessary
What About the Rig?
Most board packages come with a standard rig and choice of one sail. For now, if you’re under 80kg go for a ‘rotational’ sail sized between 5m and 5.5m. If you’re over 80kg go for a 5.5-6.2m sail.
Non-planing: A term related to lighter winds when the board is travelling slowly, pushing through the water.
Planing: This is when stronger winds encourage the board to accelerate, fast enough to ride on its own bow-wave like a speedboat. (Happens at about 12-15mph).
Upwind: Sailing diagonally towards the wind and not drifting or being blown away from it – or ‘downwind’, as it’s called.
Daggerboard: Retractable ‘keel’ in centre of the board.
Freeride: Category of board that is predominantly used for sailing back and forth as fast and comfortably as possible.
Whatever your category, don’t buy something too small, ultra-light or anything that has ‘race’ written on it. Volume is good for your first and largest board! It’s safer, easier, keeps you on the water and acts as a good partner for smaller boards.