Windsurfing, from the board to the lessons: tips for getting started

With the right precautions, an hour is enough to be able to go windsurfing independently. An interesting perspective, achievable, however, paying attention to every detail: the choice of equipment, knowledge of the winds, an excellent balance. And it all starts from the lessons: trying to tackle this discipline independently, without relying on a qualified instructor, is an operation that can lead to nothing. Here, then, are the tips to be able to approach windsurfing and immediately acquire basic autonomy on the board. To suggest them is Andrea Papa, federal sailing and windsurfing instructor, and coach of the Italian youth windsurfing team.


Let’s start with the equipment. This discipline offers a huge choice, with a wide range of board sizes available and a large variety of different sails. To start, you have to start with the simplest possible equipment: the wider a board is, the easier it will be to steer. Even the sail must be proportional to your level, but also to your weight and the power of the wind. The sails range from one square meter to ten: the difference is considerable, which is why the choice of instrumentation is fundamental, especially when taking the first steps. Clearly, a wide board and a sail to start will not be as performing as those used by experts, but if the choice is made correctly already at the first lesson you will be able to see excellent results. For speed, there is time.


Here is another fundamental point for those who want to approach windsurfing: it is absolutely necessary to proceed step by step. It takes a soft progression, you have to slowly build a good technique before you can think of leveling up. The technique is in fact a fundamental aspect of this discipline, you cannot absolutely miss this step. Furthermore, in proceeding step by step, you must be good at adjusting your improvements with instrumentation that keeps pace: it is, therefore, essential to change the sail from time to time based on the progress that is being made on the board. You need to have more and more power in your hands, always progressing by step but without staying still at the previous point.


The beauty of windsurfing is that no particular physical preparation is required to get started. Clearly going forward the body will be stressed more and it will be increasingly essential to have an excellent balance, trainable with special platforms and paths. A good exercise in this sense, especially for beginners, can be to remain standing on the board in the water without a sail, as suggested by Andrea Papa. And also as regards the relationship with water, a high level is not required. of water: hardly, especially in the early days, you will be at the mercy of the waves. And to stop, even if you want to rest, just aim the sail in the water and stop.


In conclusion: the centers of the Italian Sailing Federation for windsurfing are those that have the characteristics we have listed. For a beginner, the advice is to ask the school which sails fleet is suitable for teaching and the choice must fall in the centers that have more equipment.


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