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What Age can my Children Learn to Windsurf?

27 December 2022

Windsurfing is a fantastic form of exercise that provides a real workout and a test for cardiovascular fitness levels. Due to the constant adjustment of weight on the board, to compensate for changes in the wind direction and speed, as well as the waves, it is possible to develop excellent balancing skills.

It is a highly physical sport but this is not to say that it is out of reach for children. It is entirely possible and reasonable for children to start learning from around 6 or 7 years old. This presupposes that they have acquired excellent swimming skills by this age as these are needed to ensure their safety on the water. 

Thoughts on the best age to start learning vary, with some people being adamant that children will get the most out of it if they are started a little later, when they will have more physical strength and therefore more rigid control of their sail and board. Those who take this view suggest somewhere between 8 and 10 would be the optimum age to start learning.

Some instructors may be more comfortable teaching slightly older kids, as their concentration spans tend to be better in general and their patience tends to improve as they get older. Both of these attributes are important parts of windsurfing and can make a tangible difference to the level of enjoyment and achievement gained from participating in it.   

It is possible these days to get very lightweight sails and boards and this can make a real difference to how difficult it is for younger children to windsurf. New technology in this area has made it far more possible for younger children to take part in the sport. 

One of the most important considerations though is whether your children want to start to windsurf. Children can gain and lose enthusiasm for hobbies very quickly as they grow. Windsurfing is maybe not on-trend just now but similar sports such as Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) or even hybrids such as WindSUP are now a real possibility. These can actually be a really good gateway into windsurfing as they grow up, having learned good balance etc through Stand Up Paddleboarding. 

Ultimately though, the decision is down to you as a parent. You will know what their individual maturity level is and whether they are likely to enjoy and be suited to windsurfing. If it is a hobby that you already take part in and enjoy and you would like to get your children involved in it too, you will probably have a reasonable estimation of their abilities by this point. 

It would be best to speak to a local watersports or sailing club to figure out the best option for learning. They may also give some advice on any local clubs for children where they can learn alongside others their own age. Many children learn better while surrounded by their peers and may be more enthused if they can make new friends while learning their new hobby.

Photo by HS Spender on Unsplash

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