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SnowToSurf 27th April 2012 01:04 AM

Going from snowboarding to windsurfing advice wanted
Hi all,

I love snowboarding and have realized that windsurfing is probably the best summer equivalent. Thought about surfing but the idea of continuously moving (via wind) seems more enjoyable. Also I live in the Northeast (USA) and big waves are not that common.

I'm trying to figure which board is right for me. So any advice from fellow snowboarder or anyone for that matter would be helpful. I have used the board selector but not having not done much WS it's a little hard to really figure out what style to choose. So again I'm asking for your opinions.

My snowboarding style;
Level: Expert. There's not a whole lot of terrain that I wont try.
Type: I like turning/carving. Trees are my favorite area. Steep and you have to turn. Top speed is not something I generally good for.

So windsurfing I figure I want a board that is good with turns, tracks well. If there are good waves then I'll want something that is good in them, bouncing off of them.

Again, I live in the Northeast (of America) so big waves are not that common, except when there's a passing hurricane.

The boards that come up, based on my perception of the styles that would best fit (Wave freestyle or Evolution wave), are the Kode XX wood carbon and Quad XX wood Carbon. Does this figure?

I do plan to go to a couple shops but they are 3 hours away and would like to get some ideas before they try to sell me what they have in stock.

Finally, how do you figure size? Obviously it relates to buoyancy but it has to relate to rider weight (150 lbs) and I have yet to read anything on how to factor that in to the equation?

Thanks for any help.


tonymatta 27th April 2012 01:54 AM

If it is possible for you, start by taking some lessons with hire gear. It will all make more sense to you after that.
Go to your loacal sailing spot and talk to those who are windsurfing there. See what they are using.
They may even have some gear to get you started.

Roger 27th April 2012 12:00 PM

Tony has given you great advice here.
While there are some similarities between snowboarding and windsurfing, do not be fooled into
thinking that the transition is going to be easy and simple.
Taking some lessons, on good beginner gear at a reputable school is the fastest and best way to
get started in windsurfing.
As Tony suggests, the school will have the right gear to get started on, but if you are a quick study/fast learner, you will want more advanced gear very quickly.
The boards you have mentioned are wonderful boards, AFTER you have several months of experience, but would be totally inappropriate to learn on.
Hope this helps,

Ken 27th April 2012 02:26 PM


You are looking at it like a wake boarder on water moving into snowboarding (actually, there is probably a closer relationship here than snowboarding and windsurfing). Nevertheless, a wake boarder will not want to try the black diamond slopes until he has some lessons and spends some time on the green and blue slopes.

In windsurfing, there is slow progression that just takes time on the water to master, regardless of previous experiences.

While learning, the bigger the board, the faster your progression. If you try to learn on a small high performance board, it's just like a beginner snowboarder learning on a black diamond slope. It will be a bummer.

PG 27th April 2012 05:49 PM

The term "bigger board" here means that you at teh very minimum need some 50 liters above your weight in kg. Thus, for a 70 kg beginner a 120-130 liter board might work, nut anything smaller will prove to be quite challenging. It may make a lot of sense to start with a used board of more than 150 liters, and then sell it in order to switch donwn in size when you outgrow it. Do NOT assume that you can buy your dream board immediately, get the best possible gear for your skills, and then swap it for smaller or different material as you grow your skills.
Sailwise you are going to have to pick one or two sizes that matches the wind strength where you live, and where you are going to sail (is it sea or lake, where excatly?). Two sails with 5 and 6.5 m2 could be useful also when skills increase.
The thing with windsurfing is that it is much more difficult than it looks, but that is also the charn of it. There is always something to learn (even after 20+ years on board).

Unregistered 29th April 2012 08:21 PM

test from nakaniko, frustration at its very top

nakaniko unregistered 29th April 2012 09:01 PM

Hi from Nico (nakaniko), Venice Italy, I'm a snowboarder and windsurfer since about '96. Having started in the wrong way in snowboarding (175 cm hard old board, left knee not far from broken), I carefully looked for the correct board to start windsurfing, a big board with daggerboard.
Learning windsurf is not so difficult imho, but you have to keep in mind that at the end a windsurf is not far from a sailing boat, at the beginning. So you need a wide and stable board, the better are the ones of the rental and school centers, with a 90-100 cm width and a big volume. I keep on telling to friend who wants to try that an absolute beginner has to step on a board wide more than his weight in kilos, and with a volume much more than the double of its weight. Yes you could buy a modern wide-beginner board, but they are not so cheap and you will be bored of a such big and fatty board soon, looking for a smaller and more lively freeride board.
Believe me, the progressive but slower learning curve of windsurfing imho is a good thing, a lot of exciting steps, you will understand what I mean the first time your board will start planing over the water surface, and the first time you wind will pull you up from the water in a waterstart...
BTW my progression has been: 175 lt with daggerboard, then without daggerboard 138lt, 125 lt, and now various boards from 95 to 257 (Serenity) but mainly a 98 and a 112 lt
About sail: start with a freeride sail without cambers, light and small, if you want to buy a 6,5 if you are about 80 kg, but use it at the beginnign only with low winds under 10 knots.
My idea.

Darbonne 30th April 2012 02:28 PM

I traded my Peter Lynn kite buggy and kites for a Starboard Start rig in Feb. Trust me, it is not the same animal. I have been teaching myself with the help of videos on the net. Jem Hall at is a great source. I would try a big stable board before juming into an intermediate or advanced board. The Start is a great board for learning, it is big, stable and planes early. Also get a good sail. I bought a used Ezzy Wave 5.3. Pay close attention to rigging details. Good luck.

James 1st May 2012 12:51 AM

Hi SnowToSurf-

At a high windsurfing skill level you will feel thrilling speed and carving sensations comparable to snowboarding, and your snowboarding style preferences and experience may come into play at that point.

Unfortunately, your snowboarding skills will be totally useless at first, because the beginner stages of windsurfing are NOTHING like snowboarding. Learning to windsurf is more like learning to sail a sailboat than it is like learning to "ride" a board. Your challenges will be: 1) Pulling up the sail without falling off, 2) Making the board move in the direction you want, 3) Getting back to where you started from. You will be just as clumsy and awkward as someone who has never snowboarded.

As you get better and learn to go faster there's a gradual transition to where it feels more like you're riding a board than sailing a boat. Only at that point (when you're thinking about buying your second board) do you need to start thinking about what style and size would suit you.

For now, go for a big-ass aircraft carrier style board like the Start, GO or Rio. Or go for a stand-up paddleboard that you can also sail, like the Starboard SUPer, or the Exocet WindSUP.

Good luck,

PS- I also live in the Northeast and ironically learned to snowboard for the first time last winter! This winter was definitely better for windsurfing than snowboarding. :)

nakaniko ungistered 1st May 2012 05:12 PM

... way better for windsurfing in northeast of Italy, my best score ever in 2011 in windsurfing 35 days, my worst for snowboarding this warm and nasty winter, 8 or 9 days on the snow
btw growing older friends reduced the time of snowboarding and increased the time windsurfing...

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