Florida Water Sports
Thanks to Florida's climate, you can take part in many watersports
and outdoor activities all year round, make the state a
top destination for all sports enthusiasts, from golfers and
tennis players to canoeists and deep sea divers; some people
even base their entire vacation around the sports opportunities
available. Water sports of all kinds are well represented, with
wonderful beaches on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Florida offers some great venues for water skiing, personal
watercraft, wake boarding and more! Most of these activities are
offered at Florida's resorts; water skiing can also be enjoyed
on freshwater lakes and inland waterways.
A growing Florida water sport is windsurfing (or sailboarding). Almost
anyone can learn this sport with proper lessons from a qualified
instructor with the appropriate beginner's equipment. And, like
everything else we do on and in the water, precautions must be taken to
Windsurfers should dress appropriately:
- Wear a personal flotation device (PFD), even if it is not required.
- Consider a wetsuit to avoid hypothermia if water or air temperatures
are below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Give
him or her instructions on what to do or who to call in case you are
Windsurfers should not become over fatigued:
- Take breaks often, and limit sessions to about an hour.
- If feeling week, furl the sail; place it on the board; lay
stomach-down on the board and hand paddle or stroke to shore.
- Be aware of hazards; even those that exist during excellent weather
conditions. The glaring sun of a bright day can limit vision and cause
eye strain. Remember your sail can block your view of approaching boats.
Always be on the lookout for boats, avoiding them and their wakes. If
operating in open water, be careful not to stray too far from shore.
When windsurfing or paddling, consider both the water and the air
temperature when deciding to wear a wetsuit or other cold water
Florida Kitesurfing Association
P. O. Box 4471
Fax: (561) 737-9975
- Wear a Lifejacket
Always wear a
personal flotation device (PFD) when you are in the water.
Equipment & Clothing" for where to buy.
Use a Spotter
In addition to the driver of
the boat, a second person, known as a "spotter" should always be
onboard to inform the driver of your position and keep an eye
out for other boaters.
Put your best foot forward
Before you go out
on the water for the first time, one of the most basic
wakeboarding tips to remember is to decide which foot you want
to face forward. The foot you choose should be the foot you
always intuitively place forward, whether it’s because you’re
about to kick a ball or you’re regaining your balance.
Use a beginner wakeboarding stance
beginner wakeboarding stance will make the board easier to
control and navigate. The easiest stance for beginner
wakeboarding is to place the back binding far back towards the
end of the board and align it at zero degrees, so that the
rider’s weight is able to press directly on top of the rear
fin. The front binding should be at about a 15-27 degree angle,
slightly pointed towards the front of the wakeboard.
Use a shorter rope
Another helpful beginner
wakeboarding tip is to use a shorter rope that makes it easier
for beginners to get up and out of the water. Our recommended
length is somewhere between 30 and 50 feet.
Stay close to the board at first
arms and knees tucked in and stay crouched down until you are
fully out of the water. Then, try standing slowly and
deliberately so that balance and weight distribution are evenly
Distribute your weight correctly
to get up and out of the water, most of your weight needs to on
your front foot (about 60%). However, once you are in a standing
position, remember to shift the weight back.
Keep the tow handle low
Beginners will find
it easier to stay up if the rope handle is held in a lowered
position that is parallel to the water (instead of
perpendicular, as is common with waterskiing).
Use the correct boat speed
Be sure to remind
your driver that wakeboarding requires less boat speed than
waterskiing or other water sports. The maximum recommended speed
should be around 14-19mph.
Take your time
Our most important
wakeboarding tip is to take your time, stay relaxed, and
remember that practice makes perfect! Don’t become frustrated if
it takes several tries or more to get up your first time.
Mistakes and spills are a normal part of the learning process.