Choosing windsurfing gear is a daunting task especially for beginners. But even advanced windsurfers need some help when making a choice.
This has to do with the fact that in windsurfing different levels of skill require different kinds of equipment. Think of it like training wheels on a bicycle. A pro will not likely have any fun on the board they learned on, and a beginner is likely to give up on the sport out of frustration if they are handed pro gear from day one. That’s why choosing the right gear for every level of skill is essential. Here, we will help you navigate the ever expanding landscape of windsurfing gear. The best way to begin your journey towards buying windsurfing gear is renting windsurfing gear. Your learning experience is likely to happen with rented equipment anyway, with the instructor providing you with everything you need. Once you have the basics of windsurfing under your belt, which shouldn’t take longer than a week of daily practice, ask the gear renter for a few different kinds of boards and masts. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Renting the wrong gear is the best way to prevent you from buying the wrong gear. Also, look for a reputable windsurfing equipment retailer with good reviews. Initially, it is advised to go to a brick and mortar store that is well liked by the community rather than buying online. A good retailer will not only sell you what you need, but will also advise you on what best to get given your size, level of skill, surfing environment and personal goals. Don’t be afraid of asking what might seem like dumb questions – we all started from knowing nothing, and the retailer will be happy to see a newcomer to this awesome sport.
Don’t buy an old cheap one online because the probability that you will be happy with the purchase is rather low. Cheaper boards sold online can have hidden damage that won’t be evident in pictures or even on first inspection. Also, newer boards are genuinely worth their money. Unlike smartphones, where most of the time a new model is an incremental improvement on the old one, the new boards have progressed leaps and bounds over the last years. Mainly the improvements were focused on balance and equal distribution of volume. These are key attributes especially if you are a beginner.
When choosing the board, the general rule is to take your weight in kilograms, add to that number between 60 to 100, and you will have the approximate number of liters that the volume of your board should be. So, if you weigh 75 kg, then you add to those around 75 more, which will equal a 150 litre board. There is some variance here, but it is important to remember that lower volume boards are generally harder to handle. Also, for added stability choose a wider board, especially if you are tall and your center of gravity is relatively high. Lastly, the daggerboard (that little fin at the bottom) will impact stability. Beginners should go for a large rectangular one that will help them at low speeds.