Sailing is one of the oldest sports there is, having been used for centuries as a method of transportation and travel. From dinghy racing to yacht cruising, windsurfing and Olympic racing, sailing encompasses a huge range of disciplines and activities.
Often regarded as an extreme water sport, windsurfing combines elements of surfing and sailing, and in reality can be as sedate or as extreme as you wish it to be. Windsurfers stand on a board, usually 2-3 metres long, to ride along the surface of the water with a sail powered by the wind. The sail is connected to the board by a mast and has a bar to hang on to for control and balance.
Whether you’re ultra-competitive or just want to relax and unwind, sailing has something for everyone.
Sailing is both mentally and physically stimulating, the perfect way of combining intense cardio and clearing your head.
You can hit the water with a group of friends or you can go solo and enjoy some tranquil time alone with just the sea for company.
Windsurfing is an aerobic workout so it’s great for your cardiovascular health, and can help improve strength, balance and coordination.
Spending time out on the water can be a great way to leave your daily stresses behind and improve your mental health.
Many clubs and centres offer pay as you play deals, allowing you to get on the water with all the necessary equipment for just a few pounds a session.
Club memberships can start from as little as £35 per year for juniors and from £100 per years for adults.
Windsurfing equipment can be hired from any windsurfing school be it on the sea, reservoir, lake or river. Lessons are encouraged for beginners, with a starter session costing around £50, but once you know the basics, the cost of riding the wind and waves is absolutely free, so go for it!
To get started, many clubs have boats and equipment you can use for free.
If you want to invest a bit more time and money into the sport, talk to your local club about what you might need. And don’t forget, you can buy lots of things second hand to cut down on costs!
To get started you’ll need some swimwear, a wetsuit if you have one, a towel and warm, dry clothes for afterwards. Everything else will be provided for you.
The RYA is the UK's National Governing Body for all forms of recreational and competitive boating. They represent sailing, motor-cruising, sports-boats, windsurfing, inland boating, powerboat racing and personal watercraft, coordinating competition and development of these sports.
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NW Regional Development Officer,
Royal Yachting Association
M: 07771 642933
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