Like many other water sports, windsurfing can be dangerous if you ignore basic safety rules. To help beginner windsurfers stay safe as they learn, we go over five must-know windsurfing safety tips that anyone new to the sport should know.
Wear Proper Attire
Your clothing protects you from hypothermia and other dangers, so make sure to wear proper windsurf gear out to sea. Most surfers will wear a wetsuit. That said, it isn’t a necessity. So long as you dress in clothes that are breathable, easy to move in, and insulating, you should be fine. In addition to your base clothes, you’ll want to wear a buoyancy aid, ideally a USCG life vest or jacket with an attached whistle.
Don’t Go Alone
You should never windsurf alone. Even if the wind is blowing favorably sideshore or onshore, if your equipment fails or you hurt yourself, you could get swept off course. And without a buddy to keep an eye on you and help you to safety, this can be extremely dangerous.
Double-Check the Weather
Always check the weather before you head out. Just because the sky is blue and the sun is shining in the morning doesn’t mean that conditions will remain like that all day. If it’s rainy, too windy, or very cold, you should postpone your trip for another day.
Don’t Surf at Night
Another beginner windsurfing safety tip you should know is that you should never windsurf after dark. Visibility is limited at night, and being unaware of your surroundings while you surf is risky. Avoid night surfing even if the area is well lit.
Know Water Traffic Rules
Understanding basic windsurf traffic rules can help you avoid accidents. Here are a few to follow:
- Starboard tack has right of way over port tack. In other words, the person who has their left hand to the rear of the board in windsurfing stance, ie. the wind coming over the right side of the board, has the right of way
- When overtaking, keep a distance of at least one mast length from the other surfer and pass in a big arc.
Using reliable and high-quality equipment can also help keep you safe on the water. For top-of-the-line windsurf paddle boards and other windsurf gear, you should come and shop with Green Water Sports. We provide paddle boarders and windsurfers with the equipment they need to surf safely and powerfully.