Learning to windsurf is a relatively quick mission. Depending on your dedication and weather condition, yes, you may start windsurfing on single a weekend.
Ideally, you should book a few windsurfing lessons. Certified instructors will make sure you progress safely and steadily.
However, if you decide to learn how to windsurf by yourself, make sure you find a closed body of water or calm beach to kick off your first experiences.
Conservatively, you’ll need approximately 7 hours to become an accomplished beginner windsurfer, ready to move into intermediate sailing techniques.
As with everything in life, the more you practice, the faster you’ll learn. Let’s break the main lessons down:
1. Rigging and De-Rigging a Windsurfer | 90 Minutes
Windsurfing equipment can be complicated because there’s a lot of items – sail, mast, boom, universal joint, board, and fin(s) – you need to set up before hitting the water.
For first-timers, rigging can be as tricky as de-rigging. It’s all about memorizing the steps you need to take to get the windsurfing gear ready for action.
Rigging requires attention to the detail, so you’ll need to at least 60 minutes to get it right. De-rigging could be quicker – around 30 minutes – but has its guidelines, too.
2. Finding Balance on a Windsurf Board | 60 minutes
The first thing you need to train is balance on a windsurf board. Sailing involves gliding across choppy waters, so you need to get used to the instability of open ocean or windy lakes.
Depending on the size of the windsurfing board, you may need 60 minutes to find a comfortable balance. Losing the balance is the most common problem found by beginner windsurfers. Falling on the water happens all the time.
Spend 60 minutes getting used to the water’s instability before moving to the next stage.
3. Uphauling the Sail | 45 minutes
Once you’re relaxed and standing up on the board, it’s time to get your sail out of the water. This is one of the hardest moments when learning to windsurf.
Grab the uphaul, and while keeping your knees slightly bent and your back on a vertical position, slowly pull the rope and the sail up.
Uphauling can be exhausting, and you won’t master it in less than 45 minutes.
4. Staying in the Neutral Position | 60 Minutes
Now that you and your sail are in a vertical position, it’s time to learn the neutral, safe or secure position, in which the sail flaps like a flag.
In other words, in the neutral position, nothing happens. Which can be a good thing, especially if you’re starting to sail.
In the neutral position, the board faces directly across the wind, and the windsurfing sail is at right angles with the board.
Train it for an hour until you master it and rarely fall into the water.
5. Sailing Upwind | 60 Minutes
Now that you’ve mastered the neutral position, you’re ready to sheet in and sail away. In other words, you’ve got the let the sail catch the wind so that you can start moving forward.
You’ll notice that the equipment will force you to adopt a V stance in relation to the sail, in order to counterbalance the power of the wind.
Again, you’ll fall a lot until you get it right. Sail upwind for an hour and then step into the last chapter.
6. Turning, Steering and Tacking | 120 Minutes
Turning, steering and tacking are three windsurfing/sailing techniques that will allow you to change direction while staying up on the board.
They will also let you get back to shore effortlessly and without losing much speed.
You’ll need two hours to get it right, ideally, in a controlled environment with flat waters and low winds.