The fastest and safest way to learn to windsurf is with tuition at a Club. Clubs typically have rescue craft on hand to retrieve sailors in trouble. Training is typically done in the mornings before the sea breeze builds.
At a Club you will :
- learn to windsurf to all the points of sailing (beat, reach & run) as you round buoys that force changes in sailing direction.
- learn basic sailing rules as you will share the water with others
- learn does & don’ts from the observations of others who are sailing in the same windsurfer class.
- meet like-minded people, make friends and have fun!
Off the water we recommend reading books (such as the windsurfer manual) and watching YouTube to pick up tips on maneuvering a windsurfer.
Learn to Windsurf at your own pace
It is recommended that you practice windsurfing in a location that suits your ability. Note that the suitability of locations will vary with wind speed, which for sea breezes is related to the time of the day, the wind direction and the tide. You should also be aware of the water temperature, wear the appropriate gear (rashsuit or wetsuit) and a buoyancy vest.
Ideally the windsurfing location is shallow, the wind is blowing along the shore, there is minimal tide and the shore is a beach (not rock platforms, etc). Avoid offshore winds and locations of great tidal influence or boat traffic. Windsurfing locations around Sydney that suit beginners are:
- Kyeemah, Botany Bay
- Palm Beach, Pittwatter
- Narrabeen Lakes
- Rose Bay, Sydney Harbour
- Myall Lakes, Smiths Lake
- Toowoon Bay, Central Coast
- Lake Munmorah, Central Coast
- Tuggerah Lakes, Central Coast
Self learning works, however unless you are very disciplined you will tend to sail reaches (fastest point of sailing) only and not much else hence joining a Club is recommended.
Race a Windsurfer and learn with Others
Your final lessons in Windsurfing are learned through racing and competition. By this time basic control of the board and sail will become second nature. Your focus will shift to:
- Learning the sailing (right-of-way) rules, to avoid collisions
- Learning to think tactically, set the rig/board to suit conditions and windsurfing techniques to gain an advantage over your competitors
- Learning to tack and gybe on demand
- Observing and copying windsurfing techniques of the fleet leaders
- Meeting like minded people, making new friends and having fun!