Beginner Windsurfing Mistakes to Avoid: Steering Clear of Common Errors

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Navigating the waves can feel like a bit of an ordeal, can’t it? You’re not alone. Standing on that board and maintaining your balance isn’t always smooth sailing, especially when you’re just starting out.

But hey, everyone’s been down this road of trial and error – myself included! Through a lot of effort, countless wipeouts, and digging into heaps of research, we’ve pinpointed several common slip-ups that most newbie windsurfers tend to make.

Consider this article your trusty roadmap to dodge these newbie errors while boosting your windsurfing skills. It offers practical tips you can instantly implement during your next watersport adventure.

Ready to glide across the water with greater ease? Let’s dive in!

Common Beginner Windsurfing Mistakes

Beginners often make the mistake of not keeping their front arm straight while windsurfing, causing them to lose control and stability.

Front arm not straight

Keeping your front arm straight is key in windsurfing. It can be easy to bend it, especially when you start to tire out. But this is a mistake! A bent arm can mess up how you move on the water.

Also, it makes it harder for you to control the sail. To avoid this, always check your stance and keep that front arm nice and straight!

Body not straight

When windsurfing, it’s important to keep your body straight. This is a common mistake that many beginners make. If your body isn’t in the right position, it can throw off your balance and make it harder for you to control the board.

Keeping your body straight helps you maintain stability and allows you to maneuver more easily on the water. Remember, a straight body not only looks better but also improves your overall performance and reduces the risk of falling off or injuring yourself while windsurfing.

So, keep that posture in check and enjoy the ride!

Rigging sail for forecast wind not what’s on the water

When rigging your sail for windsurfing, it’s important to pay attention to the actual wind conditions on the water, rather than relying solely on the forecast. Relying solely on the forecast may lead you to choose an inappropriate sail size or set it up incorrectly.

This can affect your ability to control the sail and maneuver effectively on the water. By observing and evaluating the current wind conditions, you can make adjustments to ensure that your sail is rigged properly for optimum performance.

Remember, getting it right will make your windsurfing experience much more enjoyable and successful.

Carrying the board with the nose to the wind

As a beginner windsurfer, it’s important to know how to properly carry your board. One common mistake is carrying the board with the nose facing into the wind. This can make it difficult to control and maneuver the board.

Instead, try carrying the board with the tail facing into the wind. This will help you maintain better balance and control while walking towards or away from the water. By avoiding this simple mistake, you’ll be able to focus more on your windsurfing skills and enjoy a smoother experience on the water.

Standing the sail up in the sand

One mistake that beginners often make in windsurfing is standing the sail up in the sand. This can easily damage the sail and make it harder to launch. Instead, it’s important to find a safe spot in shallow water or on grass to set up the sail properly.

Taking care of your equipment will help you have a better windsurfing experience and avoid unnecessary repairs. Remember, always keep an eye out for potential hazards and make sure to take proper care of your gear before hitting the water.

Standing on the board on the sand to adjust the harness lines

When adjusting the harness lines, it’s important to avoid standing on the board while it’s on the sand. This can put unnecessary strain on the board and potentially damage it. Instead, find a stable surface or use a rigging area specifically designed for adjusting your gear.

By doing this, you’ll ensure that your board stays in good condition and will be ready for your windsurfing adventures. Remember to always take care of your equipment properly to prevent any accidents or mishaps while out on the water.

Happy windsurfing!

Too short harness lines

One mistake that beginner windsurfers often make is using harness lines that are too short. Harness lines are the straps that attach to the boom and help you control the sail’s power.

If your harness lines are too short, it can be difficult to find a comfortable position and use your body weight effectively to steer the board. This can lead to fatigue and frustration while windsurfing.

To avoid this mistake, make sure your harness lines are long enough so that when you hold onto them, your front arm is almost completely straight and extended. This will give you better control over the sail and allow you to steer more easily.

Wasting time on the beach

One mistake that beginners often make when windsurfing is wasting too much time on the beach. This can happen when you spend too long getting your gear ready, adjusting harness lines, or just standing around unsure of what to do next.

It’s important to remember that every minute counts when you’re out on the water, so make sure to be efficient with your time. Instead of lingering on the sand, focus on practicing your skills and enjoying the experience of windsurfing in the ocean.

By minimizing wasted time on the beach, you’ll have more opportunities to improve and have fun out on the water.

Gear To Wear When Windsurfing

When windsurfing, it’s important to wear gear that will keep you protected from the elements. A rashguard and leggings are essential for protecting your skin from sunburn and chafing.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen as well!


When you’re out windsurfing, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and water. That’s where a rashguard comes in handy. A rashguard is a lightweight shirt that helps shield your skin from harmful UV rays and prevents irritation caused by the friction between your body and the board.

It also keeps you warm when the wind picks up. So don’t forget to wear a rashguard before hitting the water to keep yourself comfortable and protected throughout your windsurfing adventure.


Leggings are an important piece of gear to wear when windsurfing. They provide protection and comfort, especially in cooler water temperatures. Leggings can help prevent chafing and sunburn, while also keeping you warm during long sessions on the water.

It’s a good idea to choose leggings made from quick-drying material that will keep you comfortable throughout your windsurfing adventure. So don’t forget to pack your leggings before heading out for a day of fun on the waves!


Sunscreen is an essential gear to wear when windsurfing, especially on sunny days. The sun’s rays can be harsh and can cause damage to the skin if not protected properly. Make sure to apply a high SPF sunscreen all over your body, including your face and any exposed areas.

This will help protect your skin from harmful UV rays and reduce the risk of sunburns. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every few hours, especially if you’re spending a long time out on the water.

Stay safe and enjoy your windsurfing adventure!

Starting Out on a Small Board

Starting out on a small board has its pros and cons, but the aim for beginners should always be to achieve planing on the water.

Pros and Cons

Starting out on a small board is a common approach for many beginner windsurfers. However, like everything else, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. It’s important to consider these aspects before deciding what’s best for your adventure on the water.

Pros Cons
Small boards are more responsive, this can give beginners a feel of control. Smaller boards require better balance and can be a bit tricky for beginners to handle. It might cause more falls and discourage newbies.
Lighter boards are easy to maneuver and can be a fun way to learn new tricks. As these boards are light, they get easily affected by strong winds making it difficult for a beginner to manage.
Small boards are usually cheaper to buy or rent, which can be a plus for beginners not wanting to invest too much at the start. Using a small board can limit your progress. As they’re less stable, beginner windsurfers may struggle with the basic techniques.

Remember, every beginner’s experience is different and what works for one might not work for another. It’s best to seek advice from experienced windsurfers. And most importantly, practice caution, as windsurfing can be dangerous if common mistakes aren’t avoided.

Aiming for planing

To aim for planing in windsurfing, beginners should focus on building up speed and getting the board to glide smoothly across the water. The key is to find a balance between keeping enough pressure on the back foot to maintain control and shifting weight forward slightly to lift the nose of the board out of the water.

By doing so, you can catch more wind and increase your speed. It may take some practice to get it right, but with patience and determination, you’ll be gliding over the waves in no time.

Remember, staying balanced and maintaining a steady posture are essential for successful planing. So keep practicing and don’t give up!

How to Rig a Windsurfer

To rig a windsurfer, start by setting the sail and making sure it is properly aligned. Then, check the outhaul and downhaul to ensure they are adjusted correctly for optimal performance.

Next, balance the harness so that you have proper leverage while sailing. Finally, set the outhaul to your desired tension to maximize control and speed on the water.

Setting the sail

Setting the sail correctly is a crucial step in windsurfing. It determines how well you can control the board and catch the wind. To set the sail, start by placing it perpendicular to the wind.

Then, adjust the outhaul, which tightens or loosens the sail’s bottom edge. Make sure it’s not too loose or too tight. Next, check the downhaul, which controls the shape of the sail.

Adjust it according to wind conditions – more tension for strong winds and less tension for light winds. Finally, balance yourself by adjusting your harness lines, so you can maintain stability while sailing.

Check the outhaul and downhaul

When rigging a windsurfer, it’s important to check the outhaul and downhaul. These are two important adjustments that affect the sail’s shape and performance. The outhaul controls how tight or loose the bottom of the sail is, while the downhaul adjusts the tension in the luff of the sail.

Properly adjusting these settings can make a big difference in your windsurfing experience. If the outhaul is too tight, it can make your sail feel heavy and unresponsive. On the other hand, if it’s too loose, you may have difficulty controlling your board when sailing upwind.

Similarly, if the downhaul is set incorrectly, it can affect both power and control. Too much tension can cause excessive mast bend and make steering difficult. Conversely, not enough tension can result in a lack of power and reduced speed.

Balance the harness

To balance the harness while windsurfing, it’s important to find the right position for your body. The harness helps take some of the strain off your arms and allows you to use more power from your legs.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on the board and keep a straight back. Lean slightly back into the harness, making sure it is snug against your waist. This will help distribute your weight evenly and give you better control over the sail.

Remember to adjust the harness lines if needed and practice finding that sweet spot where you feel balanced and in control.

Set the outhaul

To set the outhaul on a windsurfer, you need to adjust the tension in the sail’s foot. This affects how flat or round the sail is and can help control your speed and power. If the wind is light, you’ll want more tension to flatten the sail and catch as much breeze as possible.

In stronger winds, loosen it up a bit to allow for more power. It’s important to find the right balance that suits your skill level and conditions. Remember, making small adjustments can make a big difference in your windsurfing experience! So keep practicing and experimenting until you find what works best for you.


Avoiding common mistakes in windsurfing is crucial for beginners. By keeping the front arm straight, maintaining a balanced body position, and rigging the sail correctly, you can improve your technique and reduce the risk of injury.

Remember to wear appropriate gear, start on a smaller board, and seek advice from experienced windsurfers. With practice and caution, you can enjoy the thrill of windsurfing while steering clear of common errors.


1. What are some common mistakes to avoid in windsurfing?

Common errors in windsurfing include poor steering techniques, not understanding the wind’s direction, and lack of balance.

2. How can a beginner avoid these common errors in windsurfing?

Beginners can steer clear of these mistakes by following proper steering tips for windsurfing beginners like learning how to hold the sail correctly and practicing balance exercises before getting on the board.

3. Why is it important for beginner windsurfers to know about these mistakes?

Knowing about the potential pitfalls helps beginner windsurfers understand better what could go wrong and gives them valuable insights into avoiding such situations thus making their sails safer and more enjoyable.

4. Do beginners get any useful tips during their initial training sessions?

Yes! During initial training, beginners learn many tips including correct handling of equipment, right body mechanics while sailing and mostly how to avoid common errors that most beginners make; this empowers them with skills to enjoy this fantastic water sport confidently.

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