WindsurfingNSW at Sydney Festival of Boating
Welcome to our stand at the 2021 Sydney Festival of Boating.
WindsurfingNSW is a volunteer-run sports association, the governing body of windsurfing in New South Wales, Australia. We oversee a number of windsurfing events for all types of windsurfing including Wavesailing, Windsurfer One Design, Raceboard, GPS and Foiling. We also liaise with government, sailing clubs and manage public liability insurance across NSW. We welcome everyone with an interest in windsurfing, at all levels. Get in touch with us.
About the equipment on display
How do I start windsurfing?
Learning to windsurf used to be hard, but not any more. These days, beginner equipment is lighter, more stable and easier to use than ever before, making it a breeze to get started. If you take a lesson, you will be up and sailing within your first 10 minutes on the water.
Buying a cheap board on ebay or borrowing equipment from a friend and trying to teach yourself is not a good way to get started on your windsurfing journey. You wouldn’t try to learn to snow ski on 1970s-era wooden planks you found under your grandfather’s house; nor should you try windsurfing because you found an old board in council-cleanup. Old boards are heavy, unstable and usually missing crucial parts which can be difficult to replace. Do yourself a favour and learn windsurfing the easy, fun and safe way, from an expert, using their specially-selected, beginner-friendly equipment.
Lessons are a great way to get started. In Sydney you can learn at commercial operations including, Balmoral Sailing School or Rippers Watersports Academy, or at one of several sailing clubs around the harbour and Botany Bay in their learn-to-windsurf programs. Sailing clubs can be more cost effective and you will meet other windsurfers to sail with; we’re a friendly bunch! Where to learn windsurfing
After you have had a few lessons you will be ready to buy your own equipment and start heading out on your own. Ask your instructor or an expert windsurf store for advice on which board is best for you. Most people start with an entry level board, but upgrade to something faster after one or two seasons. Buying second hand equipment is a great way to get started, but be warned: there is lots of excellent used equipment available, but lots of rubbish too: don’t buy second hand equipment without seeking expert advice on your planned purchase from your instructor, sailing club member or windsurfing shop.
How do I get back into windsurfing?
So you used to windsurf in the 1980s but then, somehow, life got in the way? Perhaps your kids are getting older and you find yourself with a little more free time? You’re not alone; many people in their 30s, 40s and older have returned to windsurfing in the last few years. Welcome back! You will find modern equipment is lighter, easier-to-rig and more fun to sail. Even better; recreational sails and boards are better value than ever before.
Depending on how rusty you are feeling, you might want to take a lesson as your first step to reconnecting with windsurfing. Alternatively, Balmoral Sailing School hires intermediate equipment at reasonable hourly rates. Then, go and talk to Sam or Chris at WSS Boards. They have demo boards you can try before you buy. Or pop down to your local sailing club to connect with other sailors and maybe borrow a club board. Keep reading for a list of clubs with windsurfer fleets.
Connect with others online: join the conversations around windsurfing on Seabreeze which has multiple very active forums for windsurfers, as well as great forecasting and equipment classifieds.
Where can I go windsurfing in Sydney and NSW?
You will find people windsurfing almost every day of the year in Sydney, with conditions dictating where people sail and what equipment they choose to use. Perhaps you have seen windsurfers from the window of your plane while taking off at Sydney airport? That particular stretch of water is a popular place to sail in a strong North-Easter, a summer afternoon seabreeze. On other days, there won’t be a single windsurfer in sight!
If you go to the beach on a windy day you might see wavesailors in the surf at Wanda, Maroubra, Bondi, Manly, Long Reef, Newport and Palm Beach, but usually only if the wind is blowing from the North-East or South or South-East. When the wind is blowing strongly from the west, which is more common in winter, you are more likely to see people windsurfing in closed waters rather than surf beaches. In strong westerlies Foreshore Road at Botany Bay, Kurnell, Pittwater side of Palm Beach and Narrabeen Lakes are the most popular spots.
On week days you might see single or pairs of windsurfers sailing around Rose Bay, Balmoral or Manly. These might be our youth sailing team training for the Olympics, or a foiling sailor practicing for their national championships.
There are large groups of windsurfers who meet each week during summer to race their boards around buoys, similar to a yacht race. The boards used are typically longer, with centreboards which allow for racing in light winds. The races are run and hosted by sailing clubs. You can see these races during weekends on summer on the harbour, Georges River, Lake Macquarie, Lake Illawarra, Narrabeen Lakes and further afield. Locations include Hunters Hill, Dobroyd Aquatic Club at Rodd Point (Iron Cove), St George Sailing Club, Balmoral, Rose Bay, Narrabeen Lakes, Saratoga, Toronto, Gosford and Illawarra Yacht Club. More club info here.
While racing a windsurfer might sound difficult, it’s a great way to increase your skills and meet other sailors. Windsurfing is better when you do it with friends! If you would like to try racing, we recommend DAC Twilight Sailing, which happens in Sydney’s inner west every Wednesday of daylight savings. This friendly group caters to beginner racers, with a generous handicap system, safe enclosed waters and no equipment rules. It’s a great way to spend a Wednesday evening in summer and a fantastic introduction to windsurfer racing. Get in touch with us to learn more, or pop down to Rodd Point and say Hi.
Location guides for recreational sailing in NSW
Weather forecasts for windsurfers
Where can I buy windsurfing equipment?
There is one bricks and mortar store in Sydney, WSS Boards. They have a huge range of excellent equipment and more than 6 decades of combined windsurfing experience. If you want great advice about your equipment purchase, or if you want to try before you buy, using a demo board, then Sam and Chris at WSS Boards are a great place to start.
You can also buy new equipment online and there are a number of suppliers who will deliver to Sydney. Many also have great expertise available at the end of the phone line, so be sure to get on the phone to them before you make a big purchase.
Second hand equipment
There is lots of excellent used equipment available, but lots of rubbish too: don’t buy second hand equipment without seeking expert advice on your planned purchase from your instructor, sailing club member or windsurfing shop.
WSS Boards has a great range of second hand equipment. You can also source second hand equipment from ebay and gumtree. However if you know what you are looking for, we recommend the used gear classifieds on Seabreeze.
Sails, boards, packages and boats on display
The Windsurfer LT is windsurfing re-imagined; the perfect all-rounder and the cheapest way to get sailing this summer. It’s a great flat-water paddle board, can be sailed comfortably in 3 to 20 knots and makes a superb beginner, family and cruising board. The LT is also the fastest-growing sailing one design competition class in the world, and the second largest one design sailing fleet in Australia (after Laser). With 3000 boards sold worldwide in the last year year, there’s plenty of fans sailing this board at all levels. The Australian LT fleet dominated at July 2019’s World Championships in Italy with a huge medal swag collected by Australian men, women and juniors. The overall world champion for 2019 is Nick Bez of Melbourne. Learn more about the LT here
Windsurfer LT rrp: $2499, includes sail, mast, board and all accessories (limited time only at this price)
To order, email email@example.com. Pick up from Sydney Northern Beaches or Melbourne or delivered.
The O’pen Skiff has blown a big breath of fresh air through our sailing world, close to the new-generation skiff concept, very fast and very simple. 100% open, self-bailing, rapid and responsive, with an up-to-date versatile rig, the O’pen Skiff offers kids a machine that delivers maximum fun while helping them learn the skills and reflexes to enjoy racing on current, high-performance equipment.
Techno 293 OD is the single biggest windsurf class with 10 000 young riders sailing worldwide. The Techno 293 OD is an official World Sailing international Class which covers six categories (age/gender division) : U15 boys and girls, U17 boys and girls and Open age boys and girls. The board and fin size are identical in these divisions. The only variance is in the rig sizes sanctioned in relation to rider size and weight : 6.8m² for Under 15s and 7.8m² for the Under 17s/open. Learn more about the Techno 293 here.
Techno 293 OD can be used:
* To start windsurfing
* To race in One Design at all levels (local to international)
* To race in Youth Olympic Games
* Techno 293 OD is the pathway to Olympic Games as most of the international RSX top riders come directly from the Techno 293 OD.
Barracouta Race Sail 9.5m
This is a specialist raceboard sail, designed to go very fast in light to moderate breeze on a board with a long waterline. Raceboard sailing is an exhilarating, semi-open class. Unlike ‘one design’ sailing, where every person uses the same equipment, in raceboard class you may choose sails, boards and fins to suit your size, style and budget, as long as they fit within the rules of the class. The sail on display is the largest size allowed in Raceboard and is designed to be faster than just about any other sail craft in light breezes. Buy one from Barracouta Performance Sails in Carringbah, Sydney. To learn more about Raceboard Class, get in touch.