We cover a lot of different topics on this safety blog. In some way, they all tie back to water. To that point, today’s post will address windsurfing safety.
Basic Windsurfing Safety
As you might expect, windsurfing can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it is also a water sport, and can even be considered an “extreme” sport.
Now, any activity that takes place in or near water carries heavy drowning risks. Windsurfing is no exception. No matter your skill level, it is always crucial to follow proper safety protocols and be as careful as possible. Throughout this blog post, we’ll talk about some basic windsurfing safety guidelines.
Worrying While Windsurfing?
Whether you are on a boat, a surfboard or a windsurfing rig, it pays to take extra precaution.
Start with Swimming Lessons
First and foremost, when it comes to the open water, swimming lessons will always be the best place to start. Even if you have a lot of experience, a wipe out means you’ll be dumped into the water. Therefore, windsurfing safety starts with swimming. Being a strong and competent swimmer can easily save your life. Proper training can teach you to navigate the waves and considerably improve your chances of avoiding drowning danger.
Use the Right Gear
Windsurfing relies on using specific gear to hit the waves. For example, the typical windsurfing board is, similar to a surfboard, specifically designed so that the top is relatively hard. This makes it easier for your feet to grab. The bottom should be much more slippery, to help the board glide through the waves. These boards are often made from fiberglass, PVC or other common surfboard materials.
Besides that, you’ll need a sturdy sailing rig. This rig should be firmly attached to the board, but easy enough to navigate the winds. Above all, never head out on the water without checking your gear. Be sure to check and double-check the rig. Doing so might just keep you out of some potentially dangerous situations.
Stay Warm and Dry
Beyond the board and gear, you’ll want to wear a windsurfing wetsuit. This clothing is specifically designed for both comfort and safety. Additionally, it is a good idea to use a helmet and swim shoes. These items can help prevent potential injuries from falls and keep you on top of the board.
Know Where You Surf
One key factor of windsurfing safety is knowing where to surf. Open water is best. As we mentioned in an earlier piece, don’t ever windsurf or swim at a marina or boatyard. There are far too many potential hazards that can cause serious harm to yourself and others.
Additionally, make sure the area is clear from any sharp rocks or obstructions. Above all, make sure to windsurf where other people are windsurfing. Don’t venture out into any water without a lifeguard present. Hitting the open water alone can be exhilarating, but it is also very dangerous. Avoid doing so whenever possible. Only windsurf in properly designated areas that have quick and easy access to a lifeguard or other water safety measures.
Planning and Weather
Just like any other water sport, windsurfing safety needs careful planning. Always check the weather before stepping outside. It pays to know if a potentially dangerous storm is predicted. That can ruin your whole day…and possibly end your life.
Additionally, always create an itinerary and leave a detailed plan with a loved one or friend. Having someone know where you are can easily save your life.
For further information, there are many sites that offer information about windsurfing safety. Check with your local authorities and take available training courses that can teach you the ropes. Good luck and happy surfing!