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The Most Common Mistakes New Windsurfers Make

Starboard SUP Windsurfing FranzOrsi 01

Nobody is perfect in any sport they perform—we all have bad days and good days. When it comes to water sports like windsurfing, a beginner might encounter more errors or problems because of inexperience. Learn from the most common mistakes new windsurfers make so you can begin your journey on the right wave! Know the errors so you can avoid making them in the future.

Learning on a Small Board

When your skill level is well above beginner, you will typically use a windsurf board that is quite small, enabling you to do more tricks and maneuvers in the water. However, learning how to windsurf on a small board is much more difficult if you don’t have a handle on the technique. The point of the water sport is to have fun, so give yourself the benefit of practicing on a larger board first; you can always downsize once you’re comfortable and confident.

Rigging Your Sail for the Wind Forecast

It might seem wise to predetermine your sail based on the weather predictions for the day. You don’t want to make this mistake because forecasts are never entirely accurate, and wind speed could change on the water. The best windsurfers know to rig their sail for the current wind conditions, not what it’s predicted to be—following this method will save you a trip back to land to exchange for a smaller or larger sail.

Keeping Your Body in a Bent Position

Have you ever noticed that it looks like some windsurfers are hunched over when surfing? Now, ask that same windsurfer how their back feels after a few hours—they’re probably in agony.

When you stand hunched over on your board, you’re not efficiently transmitting the power of your sail, and you’re wasting energy. If you’re sailing with a harness, you have to trust the equipment to hold your weight. Lean back and let the harness do the work for you; your back will thank you later.

Not Enough Downhaul Sail Tension

Rigging your windsurfing equipment improperly is a common mistake new windsurfers make, but you can easily adjust it with the correct information. If your sail doesn’t look or feel right once you’re on the water, you likely need more downhaul tension on the sail. It becomes an issue when your battens don’t rotate from side to side when you jibe or tack. Another way to tell is if the sail has horizontal wrinkles.

Fix this problem by adding tension to the sail line at the bottom of the mast. Pull as hard as you can on the line while keeping your feet on the base of the mast to add tension. You will notice a difference and enjoy yourself more.

If you make any of these mistakes when beginning your journey in windsurfing, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes, but how you learn from them matters the most! Green Water Sports is here to help—start your windsurfing adventure right with one of our high-quality boards.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.