When you start windsurfing, the learning process is physically demanding enough so that you don’t have to face additional difficulties due to unsuitable equipment.
The board models available on the market allow you to progress very quickly and have fun without forcing, before buying your board, don’t forget these few conditions, and also think about buying smart when buying a second-hand board.
Whatever your size, man, woman or child, you will start with the same type of float.
The most important thing is to become familiar with the sail because it is this element that allows you to balance, move forward, steer and stabilize the board. An undersized board is unstable and you will spend unnecessary energy to stand before you even get up. The volume should be more than 200 litres and the width should be at least 80 cm. The length should be between 2.60 m and 2.90 m.
Seen from above, the float must be almost rectangular in shape. In profile, a constant thickness over three quarters of the length means that the volume is evenly distributed. If samba is not your favourite dance, you will turn into a dancer anyway the first time you set foot on a windsurf board.
Wearing or raising the sail is a demanding exercise so it must be very light to begin with. Beginner models are usually sold with a small diameter mast and boom. More than your height or wind strength, it is your weight that determines the choice of surface area.
Whether it is to move the sail forward or to raise the sail at the jib furler, it is the effect of counterweight that comes into play. It is very important to be lightly canvassed for comfortable learning. On the other hand, if the sail area is much too small, you will have no feeling and this will limit your progress.
Adjusting the wishbone height
The right height is at shoulder level, or even slightly below, in order to have the arms horizontal. This is the standard setting for starting and progressing. Too low, it is impossible to play with the counterweight effect.
The sail is held just at arm’s length and does not serve to balance you. And it hurts very quickly. Conversely, if the boom is too high, the arms are higher than the shoulders and this position quickly becomes tiring.
Extreme conditions are of course to be avoided! To start windsurfing, you can practice raising the sail and move to the right position with zero knots of wind.
On the other hand, it will be impossible to feel the slightest pull in the sail and in this case you will find yourself a little too tense (backache). A force 2 beaufort wind with a smooth liquid surface is paradise.
To be avoided at all costs: the onshore wind, even if it is very light, which pushes you out to sea and the sea breeze which blows you down onto the beach.
To start windsurfing you should know that wind is your best ally to save energy or at least lose as little as possible. On the beach, learn to play with the wind to carry the sail.
A windsurfing sail works on the same principle as an airplane kite and, when well placed, it flies by itself.
If it seems to weigh tons, it is because the wind is picking it up and in this rough game, Eole wins every time. If it is in line with the wind, it will become light as a feather and two fingers are enough to keep it in the air.
Before starting windsurfing it is necessary to know the right method to get the sail out of the water: the legs are straight and the upper body is bent forward. In this position it is impossible to use counterweight to lift the sail out of the water, so the arms work. In addition to being ineffective, you are also forcing on the lumbar vertebrae (lower back). If you can see the bottom of the sail and the fish greeting you, it is a sign that you are looking down. Take time to breathe well, look around you and there you go again! Never forget the importance of looking down.