Additional Windsurfing Competition Types
Speed sailing is more generalized and can take several forms. The ISA (International Speedsurfing Association) organizes competitions in various locations around the world known for conditions suitable for good speeds. The events are made up of heats, which can last an hour or two, sailed on a 500-meter course. The average of each sailor's best two speeds on the 500-meter course is their speed for that heat. Because of these requirements, it is possible for the sailor with the outright fastest time not to win the heat if his second best time pulls his average down, and points are given for the placings in the heats and overall event winner is the sailor with the best point score.
With the advent of cheap and small GPS units, sailors have been able to organize impromptu competitions amongst themselves, as well as formal competitions such as the European Speed Meetings and Speedweeks/Fortnights in Australia. With over 2,000 windsurfers registered to date, it is possible for windsurfers all over the world to compare speeds.
Freestyle competitions are timed events that are also judged. The competitor who has the greatest performance or manages to complete the most stunts wins. Freestyle is about show, and competitors are judged on their creativity. Both the difficulty and the number of tricks make up the final score. These competitions can take place anywhere, from sound waters to the Atlantic Ocean, as the loose requirements allow organizers to have some leeway in deciding their particular rules and venue.
For more information on windsurfing competitions and lessons, a windsurfer's best bet is to check with local sail shops in the coastal area. Large, nationally recognized companies like Kitty Hawk Kites and REAL Kiteboarding usually have a schedule available at the shops and online with new and exciting events, but even the smaller sail shops can fill a newcomer in on the local windsurfing scene.
Many vacationers to North Carolina or newcomers to the sport hear a tidbit or two about windsurfing that might dissuade them from joining in the fun. Despite what you heard before your vacation or first attempt, there is not always truth surrounding the common rumors.
For example, many folks might know that North Carolina is one of the best spots for windsurfing, but they may still be deterred because they think it is an expensive sport. As it turns out, a sailor can generally get a new set-up for around $1,000, and many local shops offer equipment rentals by the day or by the week so beginners can try out the sport at a minimal cost before deciding to invest in the equipment.
Beginners also fear that strength and perfect balance are a prerequisite, when the fact is that with the modern windsurfing equipment of stable boards and light sails, windsurfers can catch on quickly, relying on just their instincts and a little practice.
With hundreds of miles of sound and ocean waters to explore and accommodations that offer launching points right off the back deck, it is no surprise that the waters of coastal North Carolina have attracted windsurfers from all over the world for decades. What is a surprise, however, is the accessibility of the sport for windsurfers of all skill levels from a variety of regions to venture out into the water and enjoy a smooth sail. For coastal locals and visitors who are anxious to try their hand at something new, windsurfing is a great way to experience the North Carolina Coast from a fun and exciting point of view.