An inexpensive and safe way to get people of all ages to get active on the water is by trying out board sailing or wind surfing. Wind surfing is a kind of water sport that makes use of a board with a single sail and has elements of surfing and sailing with a freestyle level of athleticism.
The sailboard or windsurf board has a typical length of 2-5 metres long which has a sailing rig attached by a flexible joint called the U-Joint or Universal Joint. A sailboard is rudder-steered while a wind surfer steers their craft by rotating and tilting the sail and mast as well as carving the board.
The sport is safe comparatively on waters inland like lakes or rivers because it is not a problem to capsize and quite unlikely for collision damage because the boards are light and losing control results to a quick stop. On the open sea however, wind surfing has much greater risks. The waves undermine the stability of the surfer, as well as the rapid downwind drift and strength of the wind.
It is wise to check on the weather forecast for the area before heading out for a day of windsurfing. Watch out for any signs of ominous weather.
Equipment should be checked before surfers sail. The deck plate should be rigged properly and secure. The ropes should be checked for signs of wear. The outhaul and downhaul must be tightened and cleated off sufficiently, with the ends of the stowed away. The fin should be checked if it is securely fastened into place. When everything is ready and looks shipshape, inform someone about your sailing itinerary and your estimated time of arrival at home.
Take note of any local regulations on the beach such as no boating zones, or designated areas for bathing. If you are a less experienced surfer, take note of strong offshore winds because sailing back upwind can be dangerous and can prove to be very difficult.
Windsurfers should be protected from the dangers of the sun by wearing a hat and long sleeves and apply sunscreen. They must also be equipped with a personal floatation device (PFD) and wear a wetsuit.
By nature, wind surfing is a solo activity, it should not be undertaken alone. Surfers must sail in groups; this makes it safer in case somebody gets into trouble and more fun for all. Finally, a good wind surfer is aware of their own limitations; if there are any doubts about the weather conditions it is best to stay on shore.
Skimboarding is an activity where a baseboard which looks a lot like a regular surfboard is used. A smaller board is used because it makes is easier to glide on water. This sport is also called skimming because the person stands on the board and slides on the surface of the water. In ideal situations, water is supposed to be shallow. Skimboarding uses the similar technique to that of surfing. But you’re at a safe distance, on shallow waters instead of battling with big waves. Just throw your board on the water, run quickly and get on it to skim.
The first thing you need to purchase your board. You have a choice of a wooden or fiberglass skimboard. It is important to remember your height and weight are factors when considering the right board for you. Your board will not glide but sink instead if you pick a board which is too small for you. Visit the nearest store for sporting goods and ask for help finding the board that is right for you.
Laguna Beach in California is the best beach for skimboarding. But if you don’t live within California, you might try skimboarding in a lake instead. Choose a lake where the water is still and it needs to meet the sand. Pick an area where there aren’t many rocks so that it won’t block the way.
You also need to understanding the wind pattern and speed. The speed is the key to skimming. Whatever the wind speed is, always remember not to jump on the board. When you run to climb on the board, your speed won’t decrease and you can actually move it closer to the waves in less time.
Regular waxing of the board is believed by many skimmers can make the board go faster. When you use the right kind of wax, it can actually make your board glide faster depending on the temperature and frequency of use.
Lastly, be conscious of your standing form. It is important that you keep in mind that this can only keep you away from being a better skimmer. Keep your back foot at the back of the board and the front one up close. This will keep you balanced on the board and reduce the chances of falling off or sinking the board.
Riders who are more experienced can perform tricks like the moves done by skateboarders. Other riders take this one step further and ride out into the waves. The tricky thing to do on a skimboard are aerials and it takes practice until a rider is able to do it. If a rider meets the waves they just skim up it and then back on to the shore.