Strong winds and the ocean don’t mix well for most people. As soon as a gust of wind would seem to appear, most would retreat and take shelter and wait for these gales to pass but only a windsurfer knows how mesmerising the ocean can be when paired with breathtaking winds! Windsurfing is an adventure sport made up of an amalgamation of surfing and sailing. A specially designed surfboard is attached to sail to help the surfer manoeuvre through the waves. Taking the adventure quotient a notch above sailing, windsurfing as a sport requires extreme agility, skill and body balance. Patented by a couple of lads from California, USA in 1970, the invention of the windsurf witnessed the birth of a brand new adventure sport. Windsurfing is now slowly but surely gaining popularity around the world and was recognized as an Olympic sport at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles.

Windsurfing in India

Being a fairly young adventure sport, windsurfing in India hasn’t been able to grasp the attention of the larger population yet. Despite the vast and diverse coastline of the country, windsurfing remains limited to a few areas in the country and is majorly undertaken by a few private and the Indian Navy sailing clubs. The sport has but limited availability at the Calangute and Candolim beaches in Goa as well as at Mumbai’s Chowpatty beach where the equipment is available. Equipment and some limited resources are also available at select beaches in Lakshadweep and Pune as well. However, with the overcrowding in other water sports, the current and temporary unpopularity of windsurfing could be a blessing in disguise for those looking to explore an offbeat watersport!

Apex body and certification

The National Institute of Watersports (NIW) in Goa is the apex body of certification for windsurfing. It is also one of the few places to learn windsurfing in India. However, the availability of the course is contingent on the number of applications received by the institute as the sport is still in its early stages in the country.

Career prospects

Choosing windsurfing as a professional career choice could be a major opportunity for enthusiasts as it is a recognized Olympic sport and the chances of international representation are high with the lack of competition in the country presently.

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