Combining parts of both sailing and surfing, windsurfing is a surface sport done on water. The boards are typically 2-3 metres in length and 60-250 litres in volume. They are moved by means of a sail attached to the board via a mast with a 2-sided boom. The sail area depends on the rider’s skill, conditions and type of windsurfing, but typically is 2.5 m2 to 12 m2. Core stability and balance are necessary as well as basic understanding of the theory of sailing. Beginners must master these before they can move from simple sailing to planning. The process is not dissimilar to learning to ride a bike. Muscle-memory automatic reactions must be developed, that include:

1.       Learning to hold the sail while standing on the board. This includes learning how to balance the sail and rider’s weights by leaning away from each other.

2.       Learning how to turn the board by using the sail, adjusting the positions of the central weight of both the rider and the board, and the centre of the wind’s pressure in the sail.

3.       Learning to use one’s own body to counteract the pressure in the sail.

Children from the age of 5 are able to participate in windsurfing and there is even a range of specially designed boards for children known as “Kids Rigs”. In some countries, children can also participate in racing through the RYA ‘zone squad,’ which is a club-style and semi-formal environment.