Boards at the ready, it's time to catch the breeze and go windsurfing! Wave riding on a wind surf is a great sport to learn. After some tuition to grasp the basics, all you need is your board, boom, sail and mast, some water and a bit of wind and off you go, cutting it across the water. But before you can go solo out there, some windsurfing lessons are in order.
That's where IntotheBlue comes in. We've teamed up with wind surfing schools to make sure you get the best start. The worst thing you can do is just head out onto the water to 'give it a go' - you're bound to fall off lots and get back ache too, so let the experts give you all the pointers you need. Read more...
• Head to Hover waterfront for windsurfing lessons • Excellent coaching at the lagoon-based school • A taster sessions give you a half day on the water • Learn to windsurf with 2 sessions over a weekend
It has to be said, from the comfort of the shoreline windsurfing looks easy. But once you're standing there looking at the rig at your feet, it's a whole different story. Fortunately, since the sport took hold a couple of decades ago, technology has come on in leaps and bounds, so if you have good quality gear to learn with, you'll soon have this wind surfing lark sorted.
Modern, high-tech gear makes windsurfing a lot easier
So what you have at your feet is a board. Back in the day, beginners often found just clambering up on the thing as it bobbed around in the water hard enough. Trainer models today are super lightweight, stumpier and fatter versions, making them really stable. There's even a special grip surface to help stop slipping feet.
Then there's the mast. This is mounted into the base of the board and with the boom (that's the elliptical handle that you hold onto) at shoulder height and the sail attached, your rigged and ready. You budding windsurfers won't be going near the water yet though, as there's an on-land briefing and training session first.
Onshore windsurf briefings
This is where you'll learn the essentials such as launching your rig (with your back to the wind, fact fans!) and understanding wind direction and what it does to your board and sail. You'll then be shown how to haul the sail up from the water. The key here is to use your legs and not your back. Once you and the sail are upright, time to adopt the crossover stance and out your front foot in the strap. As you start moving off and the balance is good, it's time for the rear foot to go in its strap and away you go sailing!
We won't tell you how to change course or how to tack (that's when you turn against the wind), we'll leave that to your skilled instructors to share with you. What's more, once you're on the water they will be lurking out there too so there's always someone keeping an eye on you who is ready to give you hints and tips to make the most of your windsurfing lesson.