Windsurfing in the UK is often at its best in the winter months. While the air might be colder, the wind power that comes with it is sure to offer thrill seekers an exhilarating time on the water.
So, how do you keep up the momentum, keep active, and keep improving over the colder months? To help you conquer windsurfing this winter, the RYA shares our top tips both on and off the water…
When it comes to windsurfing there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. With colder weather, you need to ensure you have the right personal equipment. Do your research and use the expertise in windsurfing shops to invest in a good wetsuit, gloves, hat, and boots – ensuring they fit well.
Winter is the ideal time to get some coaching or try something new. The conditions are perfect for short, focused sessions, so concentrate on a couple of key things you want to work on and achieve. If you’re keen to learn something new, windsurf foiling provides a great alternative, helping to enhance your core windsurfing technique, as well as widening the wind range you’re able to get out on-the-water in.
There’s plenty of opportunity to increase knowledge through some winter reading. The RYA Windsurfing Handbooks, are packed with top tips and advice for all abilities. With everything from buying kit, to technique and scenario-lead coaching, you’ll be raring to get back out on-the-water with your newfound knowledge.
Most importantly, keep yourself active. Staying fit and healthy will help your windsurfing in general and keep your body ready to get back out there - especially if you decide to take a winter break.
The RYA’s network of affiliated clubs and training centres offer great opportunities to continue windsurfing throughout the winter. We spoke to The Official Test Centre (OTC), Weymouth and Portland about their winter windsurfing activity.
Situated within the grounds of the Olympic Sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the OTC cater for every ability, from grassroots, to windfoiling, pro-clinics and coaching all year round.
Director, Tris Best says: “We’re really lucky to have such fantastic facilities and try to organise regular events to keep people active and out on-the-water over the winter period. It’s all about community, it keeps everyone safe but there’s also that added camaraderie and encouragement that comes from having other people to windsurf with.
“The best advice I can offer is to gear up so you’re ready for the colder weather. Our climate is fairly temperate compared to other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean the chilblains won’t set in when those north-easterly winds come through. The level of kit available today is seriously impressive and wetsuits are now more flexible and warmer than ever before.
“Without a doubt, the best part of windsurfing in the winter is the wind! You can use the same board and rig, but bear in mind with low pressures coming through, the conditions can change very quickly. Get a good forecast, make sure you stay safe by going out with other people and keep an eye on what’s happening throughout the day.”