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Posted by on May 1, 2020 in Technique |

TOP 5 beginner windsurfing MISTAKES – and how to solve them!

Windsurfing is an amazing sport that is surprisingly easy to pick up! However, there are a couple of ways in which you could be hindering your progress, without even knowing. Don’t make it hard for yourself! Here’s our breakdown of the 5 windsurfing mistakes you will make as a beginner – and how to avoid them!

#1 Getting your cousin to teach you!

OK, not specifically picking on your cousin here! The point is, even if someone is an amazing windsurfer, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to teach. Just being shown how to do it is not enough – a qualified instructor will breaking down the basics and explain WHY things are done the way they are! Also, they will be able to advice you on the equipment to use, on the conditions and your safety. Spotting and correcting your windsurfing mistakes early will also help you to not develop bad habits that can be a pain to get rid of in the future! Overall, going with an instructor will make for a more pleasant time altogether.

Beginners lesson on a simulator - Used at Poole Windsurfing to spot any windsurfing mistakes before you even get on the water!
Beginners lesson on a simulator at Poole Windsurfing

#2 Being scared of falling in

Let’s make it clear: you will fall in on your first lesson. Possibly even on the second, and third… Every windsurfer falls in when they’re learning new skills. Simple as that.

Falling in is not one of windsurfing mistakes- it's part of learning!
Falling in is not a windsurfing mistake – it’s part of learning!

Thing is, falling off your board is not particularly dangerous or scary! Water will happily take you into its wet embrace and provide you with a nice and soft landing. And that’s it!
If, on the other hand, you’re holding onto the boom for dear life, paralysed with fear, it’s going to be super difficult to enjoy what your windsurf and to progress!

Relax, prepare yourself to get wet, and laugh when you do – it’s part of the fun!

#3 Buying your own equipment too early

When you’ve already had a couple of lessons, it’s really tempting to “save money” and buy your own equipment instead of hiring it at a local windsurf school. And whilst that’s not always a bad idea, in most cases it will be a mistake you should avoid!

When you begin your windsurfing adventure, you’ll most likely start on a big training board with a relatively small sail. Those provide an amazing, stable platform for taking your first steps into windsurfing. However, as your skills progress, you’ll likely quickly have the urge to swap down to a smaller board and take on a bigger sail. But if you tied yourself to a set of beginner kit, that won’t be possible without a significant investment!

Beginners equipment - We buy it so you don't have to!
Beginners equipment – We buy it so you don’t have to!

Now, if all you wanted to do is learn the basics and then buy a board for use during the holidays, you can ignore all I just said! A “family” board for occasional splashing around can be amazing to take with you on holiday. However, if you want to progress beyond the very basics of windsurfing, this common windsurfing mistakes is the one to watch out for!

There’s little point in sinking a couple of hundreds of pounds into beginners kit. Instead, it’s better to use that money to fund hire time and Improver Windsurfing Courses.

#4 Buying the wrong equipment.

Tying in to the previous point, here’s one of common windsurfing mistakes: buying the wrong equipment. Online auctions are full of Complete Kit Special Offers, oscillating within the £200 mark. For many people, this seems like a price low enough to be attractive, but not low enough to trigger the “too good to be true” warning light. Many of those will be old-school equipment dating 20+ years. While using it still can be a lot of fun for an experienced windsurfer with a severe case of nostalgia, they are not particularly beginner friendly.

Shooting for a board produced within the last 8-10 years is the way to go. As for sizes, consult your instructor/experienced windsurfer for advice, but between 160-130 l is the general ballpark.

#5 Using massive sails

|CarbonRib Sail Design|

There’s a bad tendency that affects every single windsurfer at some point in their career: measuring your skill with square meters. This is one of the most common beginner windsurfing mistakes and is arguably the most harmful one of them all. Being able to take on big sails is great to get yourself up and planing in low winds… But even then, there’s a lot of fun to be had doing Light Wind Freestyle with smaller sails. This is more likely to make you an overall better windsurfer rather than wrestling with a monstrously sized sail.

On the other side of the wind spectrum, being too proud of the number on the sail to go down a size in strong winds is also going to be counter-productive. The feeling of the boom trying to rip your arms out will just make you hurt and not bring any progress or fun at all!

Sails are meant for specific conditions – use them wisely! A bigger one won’t always be better.

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