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A Guide to the Different Types of Windsurfing Boards

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When you’re an outsider looking into the sport of windsurfing, you probably conclude there is one single board everyone uses. This is far from the truth. In fact, there are many types of boards to choose from! This can confuse beginners, so how do you know which one to purchase?

In this guide to the different types of windsurfing boards, we go over the factors that help you decide on the board and the different types that affect your style of windsurfing. One size board does not fit all. Let’s find out which one is appropriate for your skill and technique.

What To Know Before Purchasing a Windsurf Board

Choosing which windsurf board to use on your water adventures isn’t as simple as picking out your favorite color. You must consider quite a few variables before landing on the correct board for your windsurfing style. Let’s take a look at the important factors together before diving into the different types of boards.

Volume

The board’s volume is arguably one of the most essential variables when it comes to choosing one. The larger volume of your board, the more stability you will have in the water. However, as your skills develop and you begin to challenge yourself with higher wind speeds, a high-volume board can make it difficult to navigate through the water. For a beginner, start with a volume around 100 to 200l greater than your weight in kg.

Width

The width is how much room you have on the board to plant your feet. Generally, the wider the board, the more stability you will have. However, wider boards are more cumbersome, so you should consider a medium-width board for the best maneuverability if you’re not a windsurfing beginner.

Fin Size

Fins are typically positioned at the bottom of your board and help you to control movement in the water. The bigger your sail, and the higher the wind, the larger your fin should be. Beginners won’t use a large fin because they’re not going to be windsurfing through high-speed winds, so smaller fins can help you avoid accidents. Beginner boards will also include a center dagger board or fin to improve stability and tracking.

Keep these variables in mind with your own style and technique. Let’s examine the different types of windsurfing boards you could use for this water sport.

guide to windsurf boardsBeginner Windsurf Boards

Getting a feel for your balance on a windsurfing board when the waves are lapping on the water is extremely difficult for beginners. Therefore, the largest and most stable board is the best recommendation. However, you will need a smaller board once you hone your skills to better manouver through the water. A freeride board works great in low wind speeds and is beginner-friendly!

Wave Windsurf Boards

Do you frequent a body of water that sees larger waves? A wave windsurf board is exactly how it sounds—it’s made to ride or jump waves. People who choose this board usually find one in a low volume to help with manouverability. You can use this board configuration in almost all weather conditions, and it’s quite easy to use if the windsurfer has the proper experience.

Slalom Windsurf Boards

Do you have a need for speed? Slalom boards are not for beginners, but they can provide an exhilarating experience for highly skilled individuals in windsurfing. Maybe you want to get into the competition side of this water sport; in that case, slalom boards are perfect for racing! While they are more unstable with less control, you can reach past 30 knots when the wind conditions are in your favor.

Freestyle Windsurf Boards

When someone loves to show off their skills and perform stunts in the water, a freestyle windsurf board is your best friend! Like wave boards, the freestyle configuration is slightly smaller in volume and width. You will need to use your skills to stay on this board, but they can be very invigorating when jumping, spinning, and doing other movements through the water.

SUP Windsurf Boards

When you can’t choose between the water sports of stand-up paddle boarding and windsurfing, why not choose a board that allows you the best of both worlds? Windsurf paddle boards will enable the user to switch between using the board for SUP adventures and attaching a sail to a mast for windsurfing adventures. Choose between an inflatable version that is compact and easy to travel with or a hard or epoxy SUP windsurf board.

Tandem Windsurf Boards

Nobody said you had to go on your windsurfing trip alone! If you and a friend or your partner both have experience with this water sport, you can enjoy the excursion together on a tandem board! These boards are slightly longer and larger in volume, with two sails.

Stand next to your windsurfing buddy on the same board so that you can enjoy the water sport together. Please note, however, that you both should have experience and skills in windsurfing to ensure you don’t have difficulty maneuvering through the water together because it will feel different than when you’re on a board alone.

What Type of Board Should You Use?

The type of board you choose to use for windsurfing depends on your skill level and what you plan on doing on the water. Do you enjoy a leisurely float down a river? Or do you love to get your adrenaline pumping by jumping waves and increasing your speed?

If you’re a beginner, stick to the larger and wider boards until you can get the hang of balancing on the water. As your skills develop, you can begin challenging yourself more. SUP windsurf boards are a great choice because you can alter what sport you’re using the board for. Browse through our inflatable options on the Green Water Sports website.

So, do you have an idea of what type of board you’ll use? Windsurfing provides many different experiences for users of this sport. One day you might perform stunts on the waves, and the other, you could be racing your friends in a competition. You’ll never know what style of windsurfing you enjoy the most until you give it a try! Remember, start with beginner gear if this is your first adventure on the water.

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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.