Windsurfing Categories

Freeride

This is the most common of all the styles of windsurfing, freeriding doesn’t require you to ride in any particular fashion but rather any way you like, just at the name suggests. This isn’t a competition category for the sport but made primarily to simply have fun out there on the waves. Freestyle sails are manufactured in a sort of ‘jack of all trades’ manner so that riders can concentrate on whatever type of surfing they please, whether that’s reaching high speeds or aiming for some slick tricks. It’s a great way to practise or simply have the time of your life.

Freestyle

Freestyle is a thrilling style to watch, it is usually carried out on calm waters and really shows off the capabilities of the sport in all their glory. Surfers, using a combination of board and sail rotations, pull off a stunning array of jumping tricks on the flat water. Due to the nature of the style the sails are made to be light in order to pick up on the lower windspeeds. Though they may be light they’re also built to be sturdy and agile, in order to pull off some of these tricks they need a decent manoeuvrability and they must be strong because with jumps and tricks often comes a fair number of tumbles.

Slalom

Forget you tricks, this style is all about speed. There are several variants of the Slalom style, the first being a familiar affair, set up much like a regatta. A circuit is set up on the waters and a large number of surfer’s race around the track, taking over each other in hopes of being the first to reach the finish line. There is also a version in which surfers individually race through a channel and have their speed recorded, those speeds are then compared and the fastest of the bunch wins.

Wave

the wave style is much like the freestyle category, only rather than tricks being performs on flatter waters (you guessed it) they are instead performed on the open waves. Much like freestyle this is an excellent sport to spectate, seeing surfers cruise and jump from the waves is truly a sight to behold. The sails here are smaller than usual and are built to be as sturdy as possible. They are heavier than most, this is because they are reinforced to protect them from breaking either through the crashing of the waves or a falling surfer.

Jason Polakow windsurfs huge Nazare, Portugal on Februar 02, 2016

RS: X

This is the style used for windsurfing in the Olympic games. The style itself is much like the Slalom style only with certain changes made to the boards and sails in order to make the competition a fair one. Each competitor must use the same vehicle in order to test them entire on their ability, as is the theme of the event. The kit is lighter than your average slalom board and the rudder is made to be larger. Men and women each have specific sail sizes that they must use, for women sails are 8.5m2 and for men they’re 9.5m2.

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