One of the most common questions for beginner windsurfers is picking a board. However, here’s a word of advice before learning how to choose a windsurf board: Don’t buy a board until you have had lessons or some type of instruction first.
You’ve discovered that windsurfing is an exhilarating sport, and you want to dive in. That is understandable, but if you end up buying that $80 board on Ebay, you will regret it. This is because you don’t have a concept for board brands, their sizes, and what you want from the board until you get your toes wet. Picking your first windsurfing board is no easy task – you want it to stick with you for a long time. So choose wisely.
That being established, you should know most boards are of similar length. If you’re a beginner, you will probably want to go with a wider board with more volume: 130 – 180L is a decent volume estimate for a beginner’s windsurfing board. These boards will offer your more stability on waves and work well with lighter winds and waters closer to the shore. If you’re an intermediate windsurfer, smaller boards would be your pick. These boards are generally 75L – 130L in volume and allow one to move agilely. Naturally, they require more technique.
I would suggest reading our article explaining the parts of the windsurfing board so you understand all the jargon before you make your purchase.
For windsurfing beginners, there are some tips and tricks you need to keep in mind:
- Make sure you buy a modern windsurfing board. Older models might have volume in all the wrong places. The technology has really improved in the last decade or two.
- The general metric is that for every kilogram of weight you have, your first board should be that plus 50 – 90L. Therefore, if you weigh 80 kilograms, your first board should be 130 – 170L.
- If you want to be more stable, buy a board with larger width.
- Handling a board with lower volume requires more skill and you’re better off buying a board that has more volume so that you have a good mount of reserve buoyancy to keep your balance.
Most beginner boards are known as retractable daggerboards. This is recommended for beginner windsurfers because:
- Greater lateral resistance
- More stable
- Allows one to easier stay upright in light wind.
- When planning, the “daggers” retract into the hull when speed increases while you are planning.
Hence, the best words of advice we here at EverythingWindsurfing can give you are: If you’re a beginner, buy a daggerboard with 130 – 180L of volume. Preferably, pick one up with bootstraps to ease yourself when you’re using the harness, consider a soft deck so you don’t hurt your knees, and get ready for one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life! We hope you found our guide on how to choose a windsurf board useful!