One of my goals for this summer was to try kite boarding. After checking out local outfitters and Craigslist for gear , I've realized that I'd have to put that goal on hold ( too expensive ). But instead, I found a cheaper and no less exciting water boarding sport - windsurfing.
One of my readers ( Thanks Paul !) generously donated his old windsurfing gear to me. He also gave me the book " The beginner's guide to Zen and the Art of windsurfing " dated...1985. You can guess that the gear was as old as the book. After reading the book, watching Youtube ( is there anything you can't learn from Youtube ?), and trying to figure out "how-to", I gave up.
Just like many other outdoor sports, the basic skills of windsurfing, steering, and turning can be learned within a few hours. The sport has a potentially shallower (longer) learning curve when compared to other so-called "extreme" sports, like snowboarding, surfing or even climbing. Beginners would need to develop their balance and core stability, acquire an understanding of basic sailing theory, and learn a few basic techniques before they can progress to planing windsurfing.
Normally, you would start on a land-based practice board, known as windsurf simulator. It is an apparatus which makes it possible to learn to maneuver windsurfer on dry land. After literally 10 minutes of "theory", you are ready to hit the water !
For beginners it's very important to start with the right gear ( board, sails ) and favorable wind conditions. Like I said, with the right coaching ( and favorable conditions ! )the sport of windsurfing can be learned withing a few hours. A competent instructor will provide a proven, step-by-step approach to learn windsurfing safely and quickly, help you find the right gear, and make rapid progress.
Strength and balance are only part of the equation... all it really takes is persistence and determination !