Windsurfing Safety

Important safety rules are as follows:

  • Always stay with the windsurfing board. Never leave the board to try to swim ashore.
  • Always wear a USCG life vest or jacket which has a whistle.
  • Never windsurf alone. Always have a buddy.
  • Do not sail in offshore winds (Wind blowing from the shore out to sea. In coastal areas, morning land breezes are offshore winds).
  • Always give a responsible friend ashore your sailing plan.
  • Always check the weather before going out.
  • Wear proper clothing. Know the signs of hypothermia and in warm weather, drink plenty of water to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Remember cold can kill. The first time you shiver return to shore.
  • Always check your equipment before you go out.

Rules of the Road:

A windsurfing board follows the same rules of the road as a sailboat. The windsurfing board, is the stand-on vessel when approaching most powerboats, except commercial fishing vessels and large vessels restrained by draft such as a ferry, tug, dredge or large commercial vessel. You must also stay 500 yards away from all military vessel.

A windsurfing board is the give-way vessel when overtaking any type of watercraft. This can easily happen since a windsurfing board is a planning vessel and can be propelled to significant speeds by the force of waves and wind. It also is the give-way vessel over all personal (human propelled) watercraft such as canoes, kayaks and surfboards.

When two windsurfing boards approach each other, the one a port tack, with the sail over the starboard side of the board, will give way to a windsurfing board on a starboard tack, with the sail over the port side of the board. If the two windsurfing boards are on the same tack, the windward board will be the give way craft.

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