Start Windsurfing Right: The Windsurfing Safety Code

Being safety conscious at all times, both on and off the water, is an attitude you will develop with your instructor’s help. It will pay off many times over in safe, fun, relaxing sailing.

Safety encompasses many things: dressing properly, wearing a life jacket, being courteous toward other boaters, being observant, sailing by the “rules of the road,” making sure your equipment is in good order, and checking existing weather conditions and any possible changes. Your instructor puts safety first and will pass his or her knowledge and philosophy of safety on to you. Listen to your instructor’s advice and become familiar with the safety code.

An important part of enjoying the sport of windsurfing is a seamanlike attitude toward your equipment. Check your gear for wear or breakage before you go on the water.

The Windsurfing Safety Code

1. Consider local weather and tidal forecasts.
2. Always advise someone of where you plan to sail and when you expect to return.
3. Wear clothing that suits the conditions.
4. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacked (PFD) with a whistle attached.
5. In hot, sunny, humid conditions, drink plenty of water.
6. Check your equipment for signs of damage or fatigue.
7. Sail with a buddy.
8. Do not sail in offshore winds.
9. Cold can kill. The first time you shiver, return to shore and warm up.
10. Always stay with your board – never try swim ashore.

Before launching:

11. Double check your safety leash.
12. Be wary of dark clouds on the horizon – storms strike fast.
13. If in doubt, don’t go out.
14. A smart sailor will always try to take the safest course of action before rescue is the only way out.