To get started you need a board, rig and a buoyancy vest. Alternatively you can join a Club and use their equipment. A significant feature of the windsurfer class has been durability. Even 20 year old boards occasionally win at the National championships!
The tough plastic board construction will give years of maintenance free service and will normally survive drops and racing collisions with only scratches, so there is no need for repairs.
Some boards are available at some Clubs for training purposes. A small hire fee additional to membership fees may be charged if the board is used for racing. The fee will used to periodically purchase new sails so the boards remain competitive.
Second hand boards are ideal for trying out, learning and for beginning to race. You can buy either a Windsurfer or Windsurfer One Design. One part that you should expect to replace occasionally is the sail.
The original Windsurfer recognisable by their black fin, dagger centerboard, blue tapered mast and triangular dacron sail and can be bought from $150+ but be aware that these boards are now over 30 years old, so;
- they are likely to have had multiple owners with different levels of treatment
- the boards may have been modified (bent) to prevent nose diving or suit local conditions. Bending may be carried out by wrapping the board in black plastic and applying a load, such as bucket of water whilst left out in the Sun on trestles. Although it works the practice damages boards and is not recommended.
- they may be brittle after a lifetime in the sun and can crack
- there may be soft spots (delamination) on the deck caused by hard knocks or heavy heels
- their sails are likely to be worn, stretched and “blown” out of shape and missing eyelets
- if bought as a complete set make sure all parts are there otherwise you may be scouring Ebay and Gumtree for non-existent spares
- board parts (such as the boom, sails) may be have been cannibalised from other boards as genuine spares have been unavailable for decades. Having non standard parts will prevent you racing at State and National Levels.
- be aware that the original windsurfer is harder to maneuver and handle than the Windsurfer One Design and is only really suitable for light winds.
The Windsurfer One Design can be bought from $500+ and are recognisable by their red fin, swinging centerboard, black mast and mylar sail. The boards were also produced in various colours. Similar warnings to the above can be given for the Windsurfer One Design however all parts can be replaced as it is still supported by the manufacturer.
New Boards, Rigs and Spares
If you prefer not to buy other people’s problems then a new kit will cost you around $1900, which is not much relative to other sailboards and sail craft.
*Note some original components have been replaced by “off the shelf” alternatives that are selected by the manufacturer to ensure consistent class performance specifications equivalent to the original parts.
Clothes and other Merchandise
Get yourself into some Windsurfer clobber from this on-line store http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/site/index.html