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windsurfing equipment

All the Equipment You Need for Windsurfing

When you’re a beginner windsurfer, you need to get to know all your equipment before you start. This article will break down all the basic windsurfing equipment we most often have. This will only cover equipment that’s for beginners, but you can accessorize and customize windsurfing equipment as you improve your skills. Here is our list of all the equipment you need for windsurfing.

The Windsurfing Board

The board is, of course, the most important part of any windsurfer’s equipment. Luckily, EverythingWindsurfing already has an in-depth article on beginner boards and what criteria you should go by. You can find it here.

The best suggestion for any windsurfing beginner would be to buy a daggerboard with 130 – 180L of volume and a soft deck. Don’t know what this means? Read the aforementioned article and it’ll all be clear to you.

If you’re confused by all the lingo and new terms associated with windsurfing boards, I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary by reading The Parts of the Windsurfing Board: Understanding the Lingo.

The Sail

When considering your first sail, you should go with something small so that you can control it easier. You want to consider three factors: the size of the sail, the wind strength of the location you’re windsurfing at, and your level of expertise.

As a standard rule, I would suggest your first sail be between 4.5 – 6 meters in length. These sails can withstand wind forces of four or five. However, this depends on your own height. As you get more experienced with strong winds, you’re going to want to use smaller windsurfing sails for more finesse and speed. A good sail is one of the most important pieces out of all the equipment you need for windsurfing.

The Mast and Mast Base

The mast is the pole that the sail is attached to. Although often overlooked, the mast is crucial for windsurfing because it influences the sail’s wind range, the weight of your entire rig, and could easily hinder your windsurfing progress if you’re using a mast that’s unfit for your sail.

With the sail I mentioned earlier, you would want a reduced diameter mast which is common for smaller sails and has a slight curvature for the wind.

I suggest you check out this in-depth article on masts at Windsurfing Magazine, although it might have more information than you need.

The mast base is where the ingenuity that makes windsurfing possible happens. It is what connects the mast to the board and features a universal joint, a rubber piece that allows the sail to move the way it does.

The Boom

Windsurfing Boom
Windsurfing Boom

The boom is a core piece of equipment for any windsurfer. It is a piece that is attached to the mast. It provides support for the sail, but it also encloses the sail and is gripped by the rider. It effectively allows the rider to control the sail and maneuver with it. Early booms were tied to the mast, but recent more-modern ones are clamped onto it.

The past of the boom which is attached to the mast is called the inhaul and the part attached to the sail is called the outhaul.

The boom is crucial for maneuvering the entire rig, either through the part of the boom that’s gripped or through harness lines attached to the boom. Most booms are made with aluminum or carbon fiber.

Buoyancy Aids

Out of all the equipment you need for windsurfing, buoyancy aids are a must-have for beginner windsurfers and children. They give you an extra float while learning.

Some windsurfers would argue that buoyancy aids are not necessary because they tack more weight on you and a wetsuit offers you some float. Therefore, it’s up to you if you want to wear one. It’s not required, but having a buoyancy aid is much safer especially if you’re windsurfing close to the shore.

Wetsuits

Wetsuits are meant to keep you warmer, protects you against some injuries, and is designed for ease of movement. In some windsurfing locations like Namibia, where the waters are very cold, a wetsuit is a must-have.

As a windsurfing beginner, all you really need is a thickness of 2.5 – 3mm. This is thin enough so that you won’t even notice wearing it – and that’s exactly what you want. The modern wetsuit is warm, slimming and stylish, so don’t worry about being cold in the water.

I would suggest you try them so you know it fits snug. Do not worry about any accessories for the wetsuit if it doesn’t fit: it has to fit snug so that it’s mostly waterproof; any water that enters the wetsuit will form a cocoon around you, warming you with your own body heat and the texture of the wetsuit. If it’s too tight, it can cause stoppages of blood and muscle cramps; if it’s too loose, you’ll lose heat. So, choose wisely and try them on.

These are all the categories of all the windsurfing equipment you need as a beginner. Naturally, there are many accessories, such as the harness and helmet, and specificities for more advanced users, but these basic components are all that is needed to start windsurfing.