Which windsurf board is right for you

vor 4 Monaten

Who didn’t experience it yet: you are already quite into windsurfing and yet you keep learning about terms like freeride wave and freestyle? Both variants focus on tricks, or not? And which sail do I need again for which board? Questions upon questions! This guide helps to understand the main differences between the most important board types.

Wave

Waveboards are optimized for breaking waves and are therefore only suitable for real experts.

  • Target group: Advanced surfers who can surf in real surf waves with both feet in the loops
  • Shape: Optimized for rotation (very round bottom curve and rounded edges). Low glide performance and speed.
  • Finns: Short and often strongly curved; available as Singlefin (1 Fin), Twinser (2 Fins), Thruster (3 Fins) or Quad (4 Fins)
  • Foot loop position: very far inside and forward to load your board as centrally as possible
  • Volume range: Volume should approximately match your body weight (80kg =80L)
  • Ideal sail types: waves sail, alternatively freemoves sail

Freeride

Freeride boards are optimized for gliding in smooth water and allow you sleek necks.

  • Target group: Slightly advanced, because freeride boards are the ideal entry-level class for gliding surfing
  • Shape: Optimized for early gliding, speed, good altitude running and easy necking due to a relatively flat ground curve and a rather wide rear
  • Finns: long, straight Finns
  • Foot loop position: external position as well as inner position possible
  • Ideal sail types: Freeride sail without camber, Freemoves sail, Waves sail

Freemove (aka Bump & Jump or Crossover)

A real all-rounder that allows uncomplicated gliding and at the same time is ideal for simpler freestyle tricks. Even smaller waves can be mastered with the Freemove board.

  • Target group: Slightly advanced to professionals
  • Shape: Rather slightly curved ground curves to ensure both rotational speed and good sliding properties
  • Fins: Medium-long and slightly curved fins; almost always singlefin (a fin)
  • Foot loop position: performance-oriented outer position or maneuver-oriented inner position
  • Volume range: Usually over 100 liters
  • Ideal sail types: Freemove, Wave, alternatively Freeride

Freemove boards are very similar to their smaller counterpart the freestyle wave board. Freesstyle wave boards usually have a volume of less than 100-110 liters and Freemove boards over 100-110 liters.

Freestyle

Freestyle in windsurfing means tricks, slides, loops and other jumps on shallow water. Freestyle boards are specialist boards for specialists! The advantages can be enjoyed especially when sliding and rotating. The disadvantages on the straight are immense for non-freestylers – poor altitude running, loss of leadership of the short fin and lower speed potential make a board of this group then quickly a bad buy.

  • Target group: Advanced to professionals
  • Shape: Optimization on jump and sliding tricks, round edges should prevent unwanted "catching" in rotations
  • Finns: Very short fins that support sliding; normal are 16-21cm. For comparison: Freeride boards in the same volume range are equipped with an average of ten centimeters longer fins.
  • Foot loop position: very far inside and forward to stand as far above the center of the board as possible. A position further out is missing on these boards.
  • Ideal sails: freestyle sails, waves sails

Freestyle-Wave (aka strong wind boards)

As the name suggests, freestyle waveboards are the combination of the "freestyle" and "wave" boards described above. This makes it a real all-rounder for strong winds, and thus the second board that advanced surfers without specialization need as a supplement to the bigger brother, the Freemove. Freestyle waveboards are boards with slightly worse wave suitability than pure waveboards, but more shallow water potential for gliding.

  • Target group: Advanced surfers who surf in strong winds in different conditions
  • Shape: Optimization of the shapes for good rotation properties by means of rather round ground curves and slightly less bending than waveboards
  • Finns: Relatively strongly curved and long finns. Available as singlefin (better for shallow water) and as thruster (three fins, better for wave use)
  • Foot loop positions: slightly offset outwards when using shallow water, far inside foot loop positions when using shafts
  • Volume range: 80 to 110 liters
  • Ideal sail types: Freemove sail, waves sail

Freestyle

Freestyle in windsurfing means tricks, slides, loops and other jumps on shallow water. Freestyle boards are specialist boards for specialists! The advantages can be enjoyed especially when sliding and rotating. The disadvantages on the straight are immense for non-freestylers – poor altitude running, loss of leadership of the short fin and lower speed potential make a board of this group then quickly a bad buy.

  • Target group: Advanced to professionals
  • Shape: Optimization on jump and sliding tricks, round edges should prevent unwanted "catching" in rotations
  • Finns: Very short fins that support sliding; normal are 16-21cm. For comparison: Freeride boards in the same volume range are equipped with an average of ten centimeters longer fins.
  • Foot loop position: very far inside and forward to stand as far above the center of the board as possible. A position further out is missing on these boards.
  • Ideal sails: freestyle sails, waves sails

Freestyle-Wave (aka strong wind boards)

As the name suggests, freestyle waveboards are the combination of the "freestyle" and "wave" boards described above. This makes it a real all-rounder for strong winds, and thus the second board that advanced surfers without specialization need as a supplement to the bigger brother, the Freemove. Freestyle waveboards are boards with slightly worse wave suitability than pure waveboards, but more shallow water potential for gliding.

  • Target group: Advanced surfers who surf in strong winds in different conditions
  • Shape: Optimization of the shapes for good rotation properties by means of rather round ground curves and slightly less bending than waveboards
  • Finns: Relatively strongly curved and long finns. Available as singlefin (better for shallow water) and as thruster (three fins, better for wave use)
  • Foot loop positions: slightly offset outwards when using shallow water, far inside foot loop positions when using shafts
  • Volume range: 80 to 110 liters
  • Ideal sail types: Freemove sail, waves sail

Our tip to you

Increase your board levels only slowly. Because all too often in windsurfing it is just too big ambitions in the material that unnecessarily slow down the learning progress. Ideally, you will only switch to the next more demanding board when your previous board type becomes a limiting factor.

Rent your next windsurf board here on Quipleon. Or find out more about the right course for you here, for example to switch from freeride to freestyle wave.

More links: