You’ve hit your local windsurfing spot more times than you can count. While it's still fun, you want something different. Now what? Take your passion on the road (or by plane) and treat yourself to adventure! Grab your gear, pick your destination, and have fun exploring the world through windsurfing.
Where in the world do you want to windsurf?
Consider where you want to travel and what fits your budget. Do you want to stay within your country? Or perhaps go somewhere a little more exotic? If you can brave the colder water, the Columbia River along the Oregon/Washington border in the American Northwest is a must-surf location. For more fun in the sun options, the Hawaiian island of Maui, the Spanish beaches of Fuerteventura, and numerous Carribean Islands are the perfect combination of wind and crystal clear waters.
Need some inspiration? Check out these top windsurfing places, including several US spots.
Pick your season.
Do a little research before your trip and find what time of year is best for your style of windsurfing. If you enjoy wavesailing, make sure it is typically wavy where you are going. If freeriding or tricks are more your style, a constant wind with little-to-no surf is ideal. Not all locations have the same wavy/wind season so make sure you know when to go.
Use a handy wind-tracking tool like Windfinder to help keep you informed of the current conditions.
Should you rent or bring your equipment?
Many popular windsurfing locations will have a place to rent equipment from. In most places, the cost of renting gear is less than the airline baggage fees if you are just staying for 5-7 days and you don’t need to worry about any potential damage during transportation. This is also a great option for more casual windsurfing fans who may not have their own equipment. However, if you are lucky enough for a 10-14 day trip you may want to consider bringing your own gear (but only if the gear you own is suitable for the conditions at your destination). If you are used to windsurfing with a high-quality carbon boom and have strong opinions about your harness line length, you will probably want to at least bring your own boom with you since it is rare to find carbon booms on rental gear.
If you do decide to bring your gear, make sure you plan accordingly beforehand. Look into the fees for checking oversized sporting equipment at the airport and make a plan of action for transporting your equipment once you land. Also, make sure your gear is properly protected in its bag–there is always a chance it could be mishandled.
For more information about flying with your board, check out these tips.
Come with a backup plan.
On the off chance the wind isn’t picking up that day, your travel destination is sure to have plenty of other opportunities for adventure. Before you leave, read up on alternate activities or discover what the locals do for fun. Don’t let the weather stop you from having a blast! Some locations have more reliable wind, so you can count on a high percentage of days on the water. Hood River, Oregon in the summer months, the island of Bonaire, south Texas or Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in the spring are locations where you can be pretty sure you will have wind more often than not. Other locations (like right here on the west coast of Florida) can be awesome places for a vacation that might also include just a day or two of windsurfing.
Use travel sites like TripAdvisor to help you figure out other cool nearby activities.
A windsurfing vacation is a great opportunity to advance your skills. Getting concentrated, on-the-water time is super helpful when you are learning, and you can pick a location that has the conditions that are appropriate and the instruction that you are looking for.
Not everyone can plan a vacation around their passion, but windsurfing can take you so many places. Whether traveling within your country or internationally, get ready to expand your horizons and soar along the waters of a new destination. Pack your bags and get going already. What are you waiting for?