Rules, equipment, clothing, and technique to get on the board, raise the sail and start windsurfing by learning to use the wind
It is true that kitesurfing is enjoying increasing success among practitioners in spite of windsurfing but the “sailboard” is always a great classic that every true outdoor enthusiast should try once in a lifetime. Windsurfing became vintage before it went out of fashion, it is very “eighties” but it remains the best sport to experience the dimensions of nature “water” and “wind” in close contact, even tighter than on a sailboat.
The top 6 things to learn
1. First, you need to know what a windsurf is like
“We can consider it a real miniature sailboat, without a rudder but very reactive and performing. We’re just talking about a surfboard, a mast, a boom (an aluminum tube attached to the mast and sheet angle of the sail), and the sail itself! Unlike kite surfing, which allows for quick learning without requiring knowledge of sailing theory, windsurfing teaches you to be a sailor. The same theory that I have to learn to conduct windsurfing (without which I go out to sea but then never come back) I also need to conduct a sailing boat!
2. After the vehicle, let’s talk about the equipment. What do you need for those who want to start windsurfing?
“Someone, even in the summer season, likes to wear neoprene shoes to improve grip on the board, despite the fact that the surface is already made in such a way as to be non-slip. The wetsuit, also known as sealskin, evidently serves to keep us warm while we are in the water and each surfer decides whether to wear it or not according to their perception of cold and according to where they want to sail. The waters of Lake Garda will certainly always be warmer than those of the Atlantic. Sunglasses? Better to let it go. In windsurfing, you get wet, fall, glide, and fly! It is true that there are glasses with water-repellent lenses that get rid of water droplets in an instant, but if you don’t have good technique, you end up losing them quickly ”.
3. Do you always need a life jacket?
“By law, after the pleasure boating reform, it is necessary to wear a buoyancy vest when sailing over 300 meters from the coast. Since the law requires sailing vessels (including windsurfing) to navigate beyond this limit, in the absence of delimited areas and/or hauling lanes, the surfer should always wear a life jacket, even if unfortunately it is rare to see it wearing!
4. How do you learn the various wind speeds?
“The paces are about the direction we windsurf with respect to the wind. To understand the gaits you must first have a good knowledge of the wind rose. Keeping in mind that the wind ‘comes from and the current ‘goes towards’, we need to divide the gaits into carrying when we sail down with the wind (wide traverse, great reach, stern) or in the direction of the wind and the gaits to go up the wind (cross, upwind). I recommend everyone to take at least one lesson in sailing theory and wind theory to have clear and essential concepts for navigation in mind “.
5. How do you start? How do you get on the table?
“First you position the board with the sail down, then you stand up and then you raise the sail. Let’s start from the beginning: to start I always recommend placing the board sideways to the wind with the sail downwind perpendicular to the board (therefore in line with the wind). I stand up on the table keeping the same feet to the right and left of the tree, equidistant from it, and look downwind. I bend my knees, lower my butt, take the elastic attached to the mast in my hand and, keeping my torso straight, use my weight to pull up the sail.
Once the whole sail is out of the water, I take the boom with the bow hand, rotate the pelvis and the bow foot projecting myself in the direction I want to go. So I bring the mast forward over the bowed knee and place my stern hand on the boom in front of me. The windsurf will remain unstable and stationary until I have given some pressure to the sail by punching or closing the boom with the stern hand, just as much as it takes to have a bit of headway that allows us to reposition the feet more aft and navigate by increasing your speed. That said, know that it is much easier to do than to say ”.
6. What are the best conditions for learning to windsurf?
“Wind that blows from the sea to the land (to avoid shipwrecks!), Flat or slightly rough sea, a wind with an intensity not exceeding 8-10 knots (meters per second), preferably constant and homogeneous. It would be better to avoid very gusty (and busy) days as they complicate learning since, in these cases, the direction and intensity change constantly ”.
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