2. Buying or Hiring kit
Top tips for purchasing equipment and examples
of beginner packages.
Every decent windsurfing shop will have beginner
packages for sale which include: the board,
a sail, a mast,
a boom, a mast extension,
a mast foot . You can usually choose
what size of sail you want. All the equipment will
have been designed with the beginner in mind. The
sail should be lightweight and easy to rig. The board
will be heavier than most (due to its wide platform
and lots of volume) but should come
with carrying handles or hand holds to make life
Top tips for buying a beginners board
The best advice we can give is to go and seek
advice from your local windsurfing shop. They
will be able to discuss your individual requirements
with you such as which board will best suit your
weight, experience and local conditions. They
may even have some demo equipment for you to
try before you buy.
If it is not convenient to visit a local shop, we
suggest that you look for a board with the following
- No more than 3 years old as board design has
improved dramatically over the past few years and
modern boards will make windsurfing a much easier
- The wider the better. Wide boards offer more
stability through the learning stages.
- Daggerboard: A daggerboard is a necessity in
the early stages of windsurfing. Without
a daggerboard you will continually find yourself travelling
- High volume: the more volume a board has the
more stable it is likely to be.
Less than 60kg go for 145 - 170L board
60 - 80kg go for 160 - 190L board
80kg plus go for 170 - 220L board
You can have a look at boards that may suit that
criterion within the boardseeker equipment
directory (although you must make sure that they
have daggerboards when enquiring)
Top tips for buying a sail
Again, the best advice we can give you is to go
and speak to your local windsurfing shop. They
will be in a position to advise a sail that will
be suitable for you based upon your size and experience.
We would advise the following:
- Look for a sail of between 4.5m and 6.0m depending
on your size and weight
- Make sure the sail does not have camber inducers
- Get the lightest mast you can afford. A
light mast will make windsurfing a lot easier!
- Beware that very old monofilm sails (clear plastic
sail film) may be prone to damage as this material
deteriorates over time in daylight.
- Bear in mind that you will improve quickly to
the point that you may want another sail size (for
stronger winds) before too long. Make sure
that your first sail size will fit sensibly into
a 'quiver' of sails. For instance, if you
buy a 4.7m to learn on, your next sail could be
a 6.0m giving you much better light wind performance. However,
if your first sail is a 5.5m there would be little
point buying a 6.0m as your next sail, because
the size difference is too small. Ideally
you want about a 1.0m increment between sail sizes. Most
proficient windsurfers will have between 2 and
4 sails in their quiver between the sizes of approx
4.0m and 8.0m
You can have a look at suitable sails within the
Example of a Funboard Package:
Board: Mistral NTrance or F2 Discovery or Fanatic Viper
Sail: North Sail
Pro Limit boom
Package Price Summer 2006: £999
You can hire windsurfing equipment from shops,
clubs and some teaching schools.
Windsurfing teaching schools will probably not
let you hire kit until you have had a lesson, especially
if you are sailing at the coast. If you join a club,
they will often have a few sets of windsurfing kit
that you can use as part of your membership deal.
Click on this link for a list of RYA Schools & Windsurfing Clubs
Some windsurfing shops will hire out beginners
kit on an hourly basis. Those shops that hire often
provide windsurfing lessons as well.
Contact the following premier boardseeker shops
for more information on beginner deals and hiring
kit. From north of the UK to south...