Essential Windsurfing Equipment for Beginners

Essential Windsurfing Equipment for Beginners

Windsurfing is a sport that has been around since 1948 and continues to evolve. Ready to start windsurfing but not sure what you need to get started? Luckily, we’ll recommend some essential windsurfing equipment for beginners that’ll help you get started.

Picking a Board

An essential windsurfing piece of equipment for beginners is a board you can feel comfortable learning on. Your first board can often make or break your experience with windsurfing. The most important factor for a good beginner board is a larger size. A wider width makes your board more stable, and a longer length will allow you to track better. You also want a board with a daggerboard or center fin in the middle of the bottom. Keep the volume of your board high (over 180L). The board volume determines how much weight it can support while still floating. As a beginner, your primary concern is maintaining your balance and getting comfortable with the sport in general. The learning curve can be steep, so don’t purchase an advanced board right away. Narrow and short boards are great for maintaining control in windier conditions and gaining more speed, but only if you’re an advanced windsurfer.

Windsurfing Sails

Next, let’s look at the windsurf sails themselves. Picking out a good beginner sail actually boils down to two factors: the size of the sail and the presence of cams (it should not have any). Sails are measured in square meters, and a typical beginner sail is between four and five meters in size. You can go a bit larger if you’re a bit larger yourself but shy away from the 10- and 12-m sails. The larger the sail, the more difficult it is to balance and uphaul. A common mistake some beginners make is buying a massive eight- or nine-meter sail because they saw a good deal. It will simply be too unwieldy for a beginner to handle.

Cambers, or “cams,” are fittings on the ends of a sail’s battens. These additions provide much more technical control over the sail of your board, but actually rigging them is a massive headache for beginners. They’re simply unnecessary because you won’t be doing anything too extreme or fancy while you’re learning.

Mast and Boom

The sail you choose will have a luff and boom length written on the sail bag to help you determine what size mast, extension, and boom you’ll need. You can get a rig package like an Vision Rig Set for beginners that includes the mast and boom with the sail. This will ensure all your parts are compatible. Otherwise, a critical factor you’ll want to consider is the carbon of the mast. More expensive masts have a higher carbon content and are more sturdy to support larger sails. As a beginner, however, a simple zero-percent carbon mast will do you just fine. Similarly, an aluminum boom is adequate and even recommended—even experienced windsurfers typically use aluminum booms.