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Land Windsurfing: Blending Disciplines

For those who want to enjoy the allure of traditional windsurfing without the possibility of getting wet, land windsurfing provides a perfect opportunity. It's a relatively new sport that sprung from conventional windsurfing. Using the wind for propulsion, riders are thrust forward across land on boards that are mounted with strong sails. While the sport originally gained popularity in beach locations that boasted long stretches of open shore, it's now performed in many other areas. Land windsurfers are now enjoying the activity in parks, parking lots and other places where the terrain is smooth and long.

Below, we'll take a closer look at land windsurfing. We'll discuss the gear used, a few basic moves and some similar sports that have been inspired by land windsurfing.

Necessary Gear For Land Windsurfing

The boards used for the sport are typically large and well-supported for shock displacement. Some boards have foot restraints attached to prevent the rider from losing his balance. Because some of the terrain ridden by land windsurfers is rough, the boards come with inflatable tires that are designed to provide high-level shock absorption. Usually, a hole is drilled through the board in order to insert the mast.

Most land windsurfers use smaller sails than those used in conventional windsurfing. This is due to 2 reasons. First, the rig has a tendency to roll much more easily on land than on water. The smaller sail helps mitigate the increased roll. Second, the boards don't have brakes. Using a small sail helps the rider to limit speed in order to slow down quickly, when necessary.

Those riders who are particularly interested in speed racing should invest in a good helmet to prevent injury. Where the terrain is especially rough, consider buying pads for your elbows and knees.

Basic Moves On The Board

Beginners should learn how to slow down first. Because the boards have no brakes, the most effective way to stop (other than dismounting) is to turn the board. Of course, doing so too sharply can cause your board to overturn. So, beginners need to learn how to anticipate when they're running out of room to turn.

Unlike surfing, the positions of your feet won't change while you're on your board. There's no need to raise or lower the nose like you normally would while surfing. Instead, your feet should always remain in the same position.

Derivatives Of Windsurfing

There are many derivative sports of windsurfing. Most of them spread at a grassroots level amongst friends. So, it's difficult to know for certain when these other sports were officially invented. That being said, it's likely that land windsurfing inspired a few of them. While land sailing has been around since the 1950's and skate sailing was practiced throughout Europe during the 1700's, both have received renewed attention in the wake of land windsurfing's popularity. Other sports, such as kite landboarding, seem to be a direct derivative of land windsurfing.

The Need For Speed

One of the most popular forms of land windsurfing is speed sailing. Many enthusiasts claim the sport was invented in France as an alternative to traditional windsurfing during the winter months. Today, speed sailing is enjoyed around the world. During these events, riders race along a predefined course. Their goal is a simple one: beat the other riders by achieving the fastest course time.

Land windsurfing (in all of its forms) is a fun, easy-to-learn sport that blends the excitement of conventional windsurfing with the quick pace of skateboarding. Its quick accessibility ensures it will be enjoyed by a large fan base well into the future.