Windsurfing is a sport that countless people across the world are fascinated by. But only seasoned windsurfers truly know why windsurfing is the best sport out there.
To help water enthusiasts understand why veteran windsurfers wholeheartedly believe that windsurfing is the best sport, I have compiled a list of the top reasons that makes this sport so remarkable. By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of why windsurfers adore the sport as much as they do.
1.) Takes a Day to Learn, But a Lifetime to Master
People are surprised to discover that getting up and riding on your first windsurfing session is not that difficult if the weather is agreeable. It can be the perfect endeavor for those that want to enjoy nature in its rawest form while not having to devote hours and hours of practice to actually enjoy a totally unique water pursuit.
This is alluring for many people because not everyone is looking to become the best windsurfer in the world. The majority of people just want to notch a new experience under their belt.
What is unique about windsurfing is that although it is fairly easy to grasp the fundamentals, it takes multiple years of commitment and dedication to really be considered an expert windsurfer. For this reason, windsurfing is able to accommodate a vast audience of people, from individuals that are purely looking to experiment with something new to die hard water enthusiasts that want to get out on the water every single day.
No one person can truly say that they have a reached a point where they don’t have any room left to improve. Windsurfers can always go faster, challenge themselves with harsher conditions, and try to master more complex maneuvers.
This may seem discouraging. But many windsurfers view this fact in the complete opposite light. This perpetual learning curve is what keeps windsurfers coming back for more. It provides windsurfers with something to strive for day in and day out.
This accommodation of both first timers and seasoned windsurfers is one of the many reasons why windsurfing is the best sport.
2.) There are Race, Freestyle, and Surf Competitions!
This sport is teeming with a number of various disciplines that can specifically cater to whatever a person most wants out of a sport.
If a person simply wants to get out there and try out something new for the weekend, windsurfing can be the ideal activity. There are many locations where you can rent equipment for a day or two and learn the basic fundamentals from a windsurfing instructor.
For those that seriously want to push the limits of their windsurfing skills, there are a diversity of opportunities available to do that as well. Windsurfing can serve as more than just a casual sport.
Windsurfers that have taken a liking to a specific aspect of windsurfing, whether it be speed or surfing or freestyle, can hone in on this one particular area through competition.
Individuals that want to see how fast they are relative to other windsurfers can enter slalom races. Slalom races are competitions where talented windsurfers congregate together and face off to see who is the fastest among them.
These races are a breathtaking sight to witness. The first time you see these speed junkies in action, you will hardly believe your eyes. I remember the first time I was ever exposed to a slalom race, I thought to myself, “How is it possible for people to use the wind to go that fast!?”
If you want to get a taste of how fast the top level windsurfers go during these races, click on the video below!
Pretty fast, right?
The last thing I want to mention is that slalom racing offers windsurfers that have a need for speed something to strive for. There is no greater motivating force than the fire of competition.
There is an alternative faction of windsurfers that are not so much obsessed with speed. Rather, they are obsessed with the opportunity for creative expression by means of windsurf freestyle.
This type of windsurfing has less focus on pure linear speed and a greater emphasis on complex aerial acrobatics. Some of the moves that these windsurfers are just radical. It is hard to fathom how to even go about pulling off some of these airborne maneuvers.
Freestyle windsurfing definitely lies on the flashier side when it comes to the sport, which helps to further draw casual water enthusiasts to windsurfing. People appreciate a showcase of real skill when the opportunity presents itself.
To see why exactly this batch of windsurfers fell in love with freestyle windsurfing in the first place, check out some of the gnarly tricks in the video below!
Windsurfers also have the luxury of being able to surf waves. This offers windsurfers yet another outlet if pure speed and aerial maneuvers are not their cup of tea. In essence, big wave provides riders with an unconventional means to spice up surfing and take the activity to a whole different level.
Some people question the possibility of surfing with a windsurf board. I can tell you that although surfing with a windsurf board is rather tough, it is very much possible to surf with a windsurf board. To learn more about why windsurf boards are viable option, check out my article Can You Surf on a Windsurf Board?
Windsurfers prove this phenomenon time and time again with their wild antics during big wave. The waves that these windsurfers take on look like a figment of the imagination sprung to life. The sheer size of these waves are incredible.
Words don’t really do these waves justice, so I have included a video below to help you understand how miraculous of a feat big wave windsurfing really is.
In summary, all of these different windsurfing disciplines help people find whatever it is they are really passionate about in the sport. With so many windsurfing activities available, there genuinely is something for everyone to enjoy. This is a huge reason why many windsurf veterans can say with confidence that windsurfing is the best sport.
3.) The Breathtaking Thrill of Planing on the Water
The feeling of planing across the water is unlike any other feeling in the realm of water sports. For those of you that do not know, windsurf planing is the act of gliding across the very surface of the water at high speeds. You can learn more about this phenomenon by reading through my article What is Planing in Windsurfing? (Definition & Examples).
Planing is the basic foundation for speed on the water. It is what every novice windsurfer strives to do once they touch a sailboard for the first time. Everyone wants to see where their individual speed threshold lies.
It is stunning when the wind coarses over your skin and the water padders underneath your board. In my opinion, it is the closest thing to pure freedom that you will ever be able to achieve out on the water. It practically feels like you are flying once your board gets going!
Although reaching the level of planing does require at least an intermediate skill set, it provides novice windsurfers with something to work up to. The work leading up to successful planing makes it all the more sweeter when they do finally meet this goal.
The thrill of planing is hard to put into words, so I won’t harp on it too much. But just know that it is one of the key contributors to why many windsurfers claim that windsurfing is the best sport.
4.) Get to Travel to Windsurfing Hot Spots Around the World
The prospect of traveling around the world to experience some of the most renowned windsurfing hot spots is also a major reason why this sport is the best.
Why Many Passionate Windsurfers Travel Around the World
A large part of the windsurfing experience is attributed to getting in touch with nature. People are drawn to the idea of enjoying the great outdoors while perfecting the windsurfing craft.
Although windsurfing can be performed in a variety of different environments, like an ocean, lake or a river, there are several particular locations throughout the world that are just ideal for this water activity. In these windsurfing locales, the wind is strong and steady and the water conditions are pristine. To top it all off, these locations also have beautiful scenery!
The Mecca of Windsurfing… Maui, Hawaii
To give you an idea of what a windsurfing hot spot is, just take a look at Maui, Hawaii. This island is widely considered the mecca of windsurfing.
This island has everything a windsurfer can ask for in terms of weather. There is rarely ever a day where the sea breeze does not yield sufficient for windsurfing. It is not far-fetched to say that you could windsurf there every single day for weeks on end.
Maui is also home to the most notorious waves on planet Earth, what many people refer to as Jaws. If you watched the big wave video earlier, you saw Jaws in live action. Needless to say, tackling Jaws is not for the faint of heart.
Windsurfing may give you the extra push you need to venture out of your comfort zone and travel the world like you have always dreamed of. How many other sports can you name that do that?
5.) Get to Embrace the Challenge of Battling the Elements
As aforementioned, the weather plays a crucial role in the windsurfing experience. Many people are excited about the prospect of continually progressing up the skill ladder to be able to handle harsher conditions.
Nature adds an entirely new layer of complexity to the sport of windsurfing. There are so many variables associated with the elements that is hard to judge how to exactly prepare for the oncoming weather. Learning how to adapt to the shifting conditions of the wind and water is an important skill in itself.
This leads to further excitement and fickle outcomes in terms of the quality of a windsurfing session.
With indoor sports, you never really have to factor in the elements. Some athletes prefer this, but I think it is rather boring. I would much rather prefer the uncertainty of not knowing when the next sudden gust will come or where the next rogue wave is going to hit. This sort of stuff keeps windsurfers on their toes and prevents them from lulling themselves into a state of tedium.
6.) You Can Windsurf on Your Own, or with Friends!
In addition, windsurfers have the option of venturing out with friends or embarking on a solo mission. This is a huge reason why water sports enthusiasts put windsurfing above the rest.
With water activities that require more than one person, it could get to be a hassle to assemble a group of people to participate on a consistent basis. Life can get in the way sometimes. The issue is that if not enough people show up, then any potential plans for this water activity is dead in the water.
Take water skiing for example. You cannot go out on your own to water ski because you need someone else to drive the boat while you ride. You’re essentially at the mercy of whoever you initially planned to drive the boat. If for whatever reason they cannot pull through, your water skiing session will be a no go.
Windsurfing has no such problem. A windsurfer can venture out on the water with or without companions. They are not bogged down by having to frequently seek out someone else to tag along with them.
Windsurfers revel in this fact because they can still yield all the social benefits of partaking in a sport while retaining the capability to perfect their craft whenever the weather permits. The more flexibility, the better.
7.) The Exciting Prospect of Experimenting with Brand New Equipment
Windsurfing features a massive selection of equipment that is uniquely specialized toward various areas of the sport. Believe it or not, this equipment can make a tremendous difference in overall performance.
A massive part of properly adapting to the ever changing conditions is obtaining the appropriate windsurfing kit and correctly tuning said kit.
Why Investing Into New Equipment Is So Exciting
The size of the sail, board dimensions, and amount of fins are just some of the aspects of windsurfing equipment that play a predominant role in how an individual will perform on the water. There really is no one size fits all method with equipment, especially at the higher competitive tiers.
It all depends on the build of the rider, their particular windsurfing style, and their personal ambitions with the sport. A windsurfer that is focused entirely on linear speed will have a contrasting windsurfing kit than a windsurfer that is concentrated solely on freestyling, for example.
These little subtleties in equipment construction help windsurfers to unlock their true potential on the water. They can go faster, have more control over their board, and may even have more confidence in their abilities to take on more challenging endeavors. This is why windsurfers get so hyped up when they invest into some new equipment.
Why Experimenting With Different Equipment Setups Is So Exciting
The process of experimenting with alternative equipment setups is also exciting.
There are plenty of ways that an individual could potentially go about tuning their windsurfing kit. They could adjust the tension on the sail, the height of the boom, placement of the footstraps, and amount of fins.
Figuring out how to optimize the windsurfing kit for the present conditions takes time and effort. It is an ongoing experiment that has extremely rewarding results. Just like brand new equipment, correctly tuned equipment can take a windsurfer to new heights.
You can bet that a windsurfer will get excited when they finally find an equipment setup that flawlessly complements their particular style.
Put simply, the thrill of discovering better gear and superior equipment setups is just another reason why windsurfers treasure this sport so much.
8.) Simultaneously Works Your Strength and Stamina
In addition, windsurfing is a fantastic workout. Right now you are probably thinking, “Well aren’t most sports a good workout?” And you would be correct in your claim. But there is something about windsurfing that separates it from the rest…
This is why windsurfers are in such pristine shape. They are able to get the best of both worlds.
I don’t know about you, but I am always searching for any opportunity to get the most bang from my buck when it comes to working out. If I am dedicating the time to work on my fitness, you better believe that I am going to do everything I can to maximize efficiency.
With long distance running, you sacrifice strength for stamina. It is the exact opposite situation with weightlifting, giving up stamina for strength. Windsurfing offers a rare hybrid of strength and stamina that promotes the sort of efficiency that I am looking for in a solid workout.
Not to mention that the act of windsurfing activates nearly every muscle in the body when you are out on the water. You have to keep constant tension on the sail by utilizing your arm and back muscles to pull on the boom. Your leg muscles are forced to absorb the shock of choppy waves. Even your neck might receive a bit of a workout since your head always has to be craned sideways to see where you are going.
Many seasoned windsurfers enjoy this unique fitness rigor, which helps to solidify windsurfing as the best sport in their mind.
9.) Offers You the Opportunity to Uncover Your Extreme Side
As previously discussed, windsurfing can serve as a casual weekend outing, conducive to both family and friends.
However, windsurfing is considered an extreme sport for a reason. This possibility for the extreme lures many adrenaline junkies to the sport of windsurfing, which has helped to bolster its status as the best sport in the eyes of many individuals in the water sports community.
Once a windsurfer has a couple of years of experience to their name, there are an abundance of ways that people can push the extreme limits of this sport. At the onset of windsurfing, people dreamed of going airborne and doing flips with their sailboard. Nowadays, people are doing double flips!
And this is just one example! People can also take on the monstrous waves of Jaws, windsurf in near hurricane conditions, and glide along the water at over 60 mph (source)!
This just speaks to how the talent of the riders and the technology of the windsurfing equipment has grown over the years. This trend is only going to continue with the sport gaining greater traction and the equipment getting lighter and stronger. It seems that with every technological advancement, there is always someone there to push its limits.
In short, it is hard to find so many opportunities for the extreme within one single sport.
10.) The Welcoming, Homely Atmosphere of the Windsurf Community
Finally, the windsurfing community is extremely welcoming and supportive, which has helped create a comforting environment for those that are looking for a way to escape from reality for a little while.
Windsurfing Helps People Meet New Friends
There is nothing that bonds people together better than shared ambition. In windsurfing, everyone just wants to get out on the water as much as they can and have a fun time doing it. No matter if you are a novice or an expert, the windsurfing community is happy to welcome anyone into their fold.
This is why so many people rave about how they make new friends while windsurfing. Windsurfers revel in sharing their escapades with other windsurfers. After all, what good is accomplishing some miraculous windsurfing feat if you have no one to share it with?
Supportive Instructors Have Helped Foster the Next Generation of Windsurfers
The homely nature of the windsurfing community is also reflected in the personality of windsurfing instructors.
In many ways, water sports instructors are the gatekeepers for their respective sport. Many of the people that they teach have likely never been exposed to the water sport that their instructor is teaching them. For this reason, it is extremely important that water sports instructors leave a solid impression on their students to help them pursue their passion on the water.
The vast majority of windsurfing instructors are supportive in every which way. This has helped plant the windsurfing seed in places all across the world, which has raised awareness for the sport in the youth generation.
As you can see, windsurfing is a tremendous sport that has brought joy to countless people around the globe. The assortment of reasons listed above has led many windsurfers to claim that windsurfing is the best sport of them all. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
If this article piqued your interest in windsurfing, I highly recommend you go out and try it at least once in your lifetime. All it really takes is one quality session to uncover your windsurfing passion!