The Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the most extraordinary locations in the world to enjoy water sports like diving, snorkeling and, of course, windsurfing. Once considered a sport that was hard for a novice on vacation to master, technological advances in board and sail design have helped vacationers have independent fun after a few hours of lessons and practice. Whether you are a novice, an expert or somewhere in between, this is a wonderful place to develop or continue a love for the sport. Here is a look at the outfitters to visit, the water bodies to use, and some tips to try while windsurfing in Turks and Caicos.
The main outfitter on the islands for both rentals and lessons is Abuv-it-All Watersports. Located in Grace Bay, the company is PASA certified and can accommodate up to two students at a time. Windsurfing equipment is available to rent either by the hour or by the day.
Two main beaches on Providenciales are the popular sites for windsurfers: Grace Bay Beach and Long Bay Beach. They are located on opposite sides of the island, which means that no matter which way the wind blows, it is likely that one of the two sides will have optimal windsurfing conditions.
Windsurfing Tips for Beginners
There are a number of different things you can do when learning how to windsurf to help you feel comfortable and learn more quickly. First, consider the safety options that are offered to you. Life jackets are usually required, and helmets are also used at times to promote confidence as much as safety. Beginners boards are often more stable than some of the more advanced equipment, giving you the chance to learn with more grace than an advanced board may offer. They are not as fast, but they decrease your chances of falling while learning.
Next, get to know your equipment before you go into the water. Learn about how to maneuver the daggerboard, and be certain you can get it into the down position to begin. Make note of the foot straps and the location where the sail rig hooks to the deck. Try raising and lowering your rigging on land a couple times until you are comfortable with how everything works before you try it on the water.
As you move out, you will be able to climb on once you are far enough out that your daggerboard won’t drag on the sandy bottom. Stay low and don’t worry about technique. Once you feel stable sitting on the board, slowly rise to your feet, bringing the rope attached to the rigging. When you are comfortably standing or squatting, bring your rigging up with a hand-over-hand motion. Grab onto the mast with both hands and let it swing freely in the safety position. You will have a lot of control but little power like this, so it allows you to get comfortable.
You can practice steering within the safety position to get more comfortable. Lean to the left or right and watch the board spin in one direction or the other. You can also tilt the mast toward the rear or front to head into or bear off of the wind. From here, you can begin to move by placing both hands on the boom with the mast perpendicular to the board and the sail bowed into the wind. To compensate for the sail, you should be in a straight-armed position and leaning back a bit in the opposite direction, in the position known as the number seven.
If you have a hard time figuring out how to operate a windsurfing board alone, lessons are a great way to get started and understand better how the equipment works. During your vacation to Turks and Caicos, you can go from a beginner to an expert in no time.