Windsurfing for Beginners

Windsurfing is a great sport, imagine being able to skim across the top of the water without the sound or smell of an engine, seeing dolphins and manatees around you, balancing against the power of the wind! It is like flying and has a great sense of freedom on the water. Tampa Bay has a great expanse of water, go explore it!

In our beginning lesson you learn the basics. It is quite similar to learning to snow ski, you learn on the bunny hill, then progress to the green slope, while staying off the double blacks. You start off on a light wind day with calm water, and a smaller sail, then as your abilities and desires increase, the sail size (and the power) increases as well. Book your beginner lessons here!

When you take a lesson from North Beach Windsurfing, you are sailing around in the first hour or so and coming back to where you started from, and the fun does not stop there. All the basics are covered.

The next lesson is typically a harness lesson. A harness allows you to use your weight to hold the sail so the pressure is taken off your arms. Typically these advanced lessons can happen after you've had a chance to practice what you learned in the beginning lessons for 5 or 6 hours. Harnesses are good as they allow you to use bigger sails in more wind and/or not get as tired. These lessons are 1.5 to 2 hours long and can be scheduled any time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to learn to windsurf?

Our beginner lessons are 3 hours long, and almost everyone is windsurfing on their own before the lesson is over. One lesson gets you a solid foundation in the basics. You may want more lessons as you progress to learn how to use a harness and sail in higher winds.

Where do the lessons take place?

Lessons take place in Boca Ciega Bay (see the directions tab), but you generally will meet your instructor at our shop - located at 4227 Gulf Blvd. on St Pete Beach and then follow us to the lesson location.

What should I wear and bring?

You will be in the water and being active - so dress for comfort. Bathing suits and board shorts are fine, you may want to wear a rash guard or t-shirt you don't mind getting wet for sun protection. In the winter months the water may be chilly - we do have wetsuits to fit most people if they are necessary. You may want water shoes, but it is fine to go barefoot too. You will want to bring sunscreen and water.

What if I don't have a lot of upper body strength?

No problem! We emphasize technique and balance when learning to windsurf and we have specialty beginner gear that is light weight and easy to handle.

Can kids and/or older folks learn to windsurf?

Of course! Windsurfing is a great sport for people of all ages. The only requirements are that you be comfortable in the water, able to get from a sitting or kneeling position to standing, and that you want to learn to windsurf. Click here for more specific info about kids windsurfing.

Do I need to know how to swim?

Yes. You do not have to be a fantastic swimmer, but you do need to be able to swim a short distance and most importantly be comfortable in the water (i.e. you won't panic if you fall into deep water). Often, our lessons take place in areas that are only 2 to 4 feet deep - but you may also be in water that is over your head. We provide life vests if you request them ahead of time.