A board in windsurfing is almost the same as a board in surfing. Well, almost. You need it to stand on the water, to catch the wind and to move with it, but because of the sail and the different kinds of boards everything looks a bit different in windsurfing. As with the sails, there are five main windsurft boards types. Let's look closer at each of them in this article.
Windsurfing boards for beginners are quite large, from 160 to 210 liters. They are quite heavy, wide and not very maneuverable. But such dimensions make the board very stable, which is very important for beginners who still don’t know how to balance on the water.
Windsurfing freeride boards are designed for comfortable riding at low speeds. They are great for beginners to ride on flat water. The board has an average size of 100–170 liters, thanks to which it lends itself to good control. Freeride boards are especially popular and are most often offered for rent to tourists.
Windsurfing slalom boards are used for speed riding and only by experienced windsurfers. They are very difficult to control and are unstable. Slalom boards and wave boards tend to be the lightest. Their weight ranges from 4.5 to 7 kg, while the rest of the boards weigh from 16–35 kg and are much more stable.
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Freestyle boards are similar in weight and maneuverability to wave boards. But at the same time they are designed to perform acrobatic jumping stunts. This type of board has limited control, it all depends on the skill of the rider. They are wider than other boards and have a volume of 80–100 liters.
Windsurfing wave boards are lighter, smaller and more maneuverable than others. Their volume is 60–90 liters. They are designed for high jumps and tight turns. The wave board is very easy to use if the windsurfer knows what he is doing. They can be used in almost all weather conditions.
Separately, we can mention boards that may be of interest only to professional athletes or extreme enthusiasts: these are Formula Windsurfing boards and Super X boards. They are used for an advanced level of speed skating, mainly for racing competitions, providing a quick exit to gliding.
In addition, there is also such a variety as a tandem board, designed for two people. The volume of such a board is about 360 liters, the length is 3.7 meters. There are two sails on it, while the front sail is set less than the rear. There is also the possibility of single surfing with a sail in the center.
A tandem board allows you to achieve high speeds, gliding on such a board is possible even in light winds. Sometimes it’s used for educational purposes, the student rides in front, the instructor behind. Although it’s hard for me personally to imagine how in this case you can learn to ride on your own.
Text: Natalia Kirasheva, a travel author and editor. She has a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Geography of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) with specialties in Economic Geography and Tourism, and Environmental Management. Her favorite sports are windsurfing and snowboarding
Cover photo: Thomas Couillard / Unsplash