How To: Prevent Damage

Speedsurfing is a lot of fun and very exciting when going faster and faster, step by step. But be careful not breaking yourself or to much gear. One time I was totally down after breaking 1500,- euro's of equipment in 8 weeks. This was not fun!?!

Best thing is to prevent all drama + damage. It is not a problem to crash sometimes, since I follow the rules below I haven't had any big damage. I will share this experience to safe yourself and your gear 99.9% of the times. This is an essential part of speedsurfing, take it serious!

These tips are only good when going 100% out of control (does anyone has a nice catapult crash picture??):
  • When you crash, try to keep your sailhand on the boom, it is no problem to release your masthand. This will make sure you will crash in front of the equipment. Much more safe compared to crashing into your equipment.
  • Superstrong harnasslines are not favorite, these tend to break the boom when crash hooked in. The neilpryde race vario lines do a good job breaking in hooked-in crashes. Speedsurfingblog is searching for more good working harnasslines for speedsurfing. This is most important when sailing into a sandbank, the lines have to break, otherwise everything else will break.
  • When you crash and get in the air mode, try to relax. (most of the time there isn't much time to stress)
  • Once crashed I try to protect my face for sharp incomming objects
  • After you crashed hard, check some vital gear. Example: When you crash hooked in and the harnassline&boom didn't break==> check out the boom for small cracks. You don't want to crash the next run because of gear failure.
These tips are about preventing damage in general:
  • Windsurfing gear is good for specific conditions, when going in stronger winds than the gear is designed for you can damage the gear. Sailing always to big can be expensive, especially when you constantly are sailing on choppy places. I have broken a few things without crashing.
  • Check at least once per month the mastfoot/extender system.
  • When windsurfing on the edge it is needed to be fit, if you are tired and crash it is not good. Often I had slow reaction and no musclepower to throw myself over the gear, which resulted in a crash into the gear. There are 2 solutions, safe energy (wait a few minutes) for every run, or get into good shape.
  • When you go really fast and there is no place to brake, just safe yourself, sit down on the water and release the gear. 
  • Helmet and Crashvest are recommended, when you don't get enough time (really strong gust) to respond it is impossible to prevent crashing into you windsurfing equipment.
Insurance solution for speedsurfers in the Netherlands
Since last year I was insured by sportzeker, this was my only luck. Otherwise I would have ended without windsurfing gear ;). Sportzeker offers very good insurance for a very good price, I am insured for 7500,- euro. This keep my confidence a bit higher, knowing I can't loose all my money on 1 crash ;)

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. Professional in construction dewatering. He likes adventures and challenges. During his life he is trying to create a better world, inspire or help others to get the best out of themselves and have respect for the earth and nature.