Wanna start windsurfing?

Then Wellington is a great place to live! In case you didn't know Wellington is one of the windiest cities in the world, and that means tons of fun for the sport of windsurfing. The regular northerlies means more time on the water and the capital of New Zealand has a thriving community of wind addicted sailors so come and be a part of it!

What's it like?

Windsurfing is a bit like sailing a boat, but much faster and with so much more freedom. It mixes the excitement of surfing, snowboarding or skiing with the satisfaction of getting all your momentum from nothing but the wind. You can make huge jumps, ride the waves, rip across the harbour measuring your speed with a GPS or perfect freestyle spinning and sliding tricks. There's nothing quite like it. Check out our local spots on a windy Wellington day to see just what we're talking about.

Isn't it difficult?

Once upon a time it was. But not anymore. Thanks to advances in the design of windsurfing equipment, its no longer all about falling off, and its quicker and easier to learn than ever before. Thats not to say you'll have it mastered it over a weekend, no way, but you'll be having fun from day one. Ask a windsurfer about the first time they got a board planing....they'll tell you it's like a religious experience.

Anyone can do it

Can anyone do it?

As long as you are a decent swimmer and are confident in the water you can windsurf. Men, women and kids from about 6 years old all windsurf in Wellington. You don't need superhuman strength to windsurf (although the sport is great exercise). Technique plays a much greater part than just strength. Modern equipment is much lighter than the early days making the boards and sails easy to carry and manoeuvre in the water.

Yep keen as. What should I do?

The first thing you should do is get a windsurfing lesson. Its a better idea than rushing out and buying equipment and charging out to Lyall Bay on your own. Wellington Ocean Sports in conjunction with Wild Winds in Wellington provides a Learn to Windsurf Course on the weekend beginning in October, usually at  Oriental Bay or at Pauatahanui Inlet. Lessons are great because all the equipment is provided, the instruction will get you windsurfing (instead of struggling) immediately, and you'll meet other people at the same level as you which makes it more fun.
Kids from as young as 6 can try windsurfing

Should I buy some gear?

Wait till you've had some lessons. Its much more cost effective and you'll get a much better idea of what you'll need to buy when you are ready, and probably some good advice too. The right equipment makes a massive difference so don't be tempted to borrow that old gear from your Uncle who windsurfed back in '83, until you've been out on the water a few times. When you are ready to shell out on some equipment you'll need:
  • a board (much more stable & wider now than the early windsurf boards)
  • a mast (usually a two piece, for easy transport)
  • sail(s) the larger the sail the lighter the wind it is used for.
  • boom (the part you hold on to when sailing along)
  • extension (extends the mast to fit the sail size you are using)
  • universal / base (joins the board and rig together)
  • wetsuit (3/2 steamer for Wellington summer, & 4/3 for winter)
  • harness (so your body weight can counter the pull of the sail)
The size of board and sails will depend on your height and weight so get advice. As you progress you will probably replace your first big board for something a bit smaller, and you will also want to build up a "quiver" of sails so that you can windsurf in a wider range of conditions.

Join us

The next thing you should do is join the WWA! The WWA has a beginner board that members can hire for themselves, friends or family for really cheap. The WWA also runs events, both on and off the water for windsurfers of all levels so get involved and meet the locals. We always welcome new members, and there is so much to learn from the talented windsurfers here in the capital of NZ.
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