About windsurfing with the OutdoorClub
The climate and lifestyle in Perth and WA makes for some heavenly windsurfing conditions. Club members regularly get out on the river and ocean for windsurfing, particularly during the peak season of October to February. As with all Outdoor Club activities, we're club members out on the water, happy to share our experience, skills and teach you a few skills and tricks, but we generally don't offer any formal lessons or courses.
Where do we go?
There are some idealic places for windsurfing in WA. Perth is generally recognised as the second windiest city in the world... During the week, we normally head out sailing at Pelican Point which is located at the southern end of the University Campus, wih club members meeting at the UWA Recreation Centre just off Stirling Hwy to pick up the gear. It is a huge help if you can bring a car with roof-racks...
Up the coast, Lancelin (1.5hrs north) and Cervantes (2.5hrs north) are windsurfing meccas. Down the coast, around Rockingham (45mins south) offers some great spots around Penguin Island and Safety Bay Where we go depends on the skills of those coming and the likely wind conditions.
The Outdoor Club takes safety very seriously, not only for your sake but for the others around you too!! Below is the Safety Code of Windsurfing Australia. Everybody should be familiar with the Safety Code (and wind forecast) before coming out with the Outdoor Club. If in doubt, ASK!
Safety Code of Windsurfing Australia
BEFORE LEAVING HOME
- Check your rigging for worn ropes, loose fittings or a cracked universal joint.
- As with all aquatic activities, tell some-one where you are going and when you will be back.
- Check the weather forecast, the latest telephone boating report will be the most accurate.
AT THE BEACH
- Never sail alone - there is safety in numbers. Choose a recognised Boardsailing venue where you can also learn from other sailors. Beginners should stick to enclosed waters.
- Be aware of local regulations and never sail in NO BOATING areas or areas crowded by swimmers.
- Avoid offshore winds until very proficient as sailing back upwind once tired or overpowered becomes much more difficult.
- Be sure of your self-rescue capabilities with any rig you may be using. If in doubt do a practise drill.
- Dress correctly - A wetsuit is advised unless very warm plus hat, sunscreen and long sleeves to protect from the sun.
- Be aware of dehydration - drink water
- Always wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
- Be aware of your limitations. If in doubt don't go out!
- Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of water.
ON THE WATER
- Sail slowly when leaving and returning to shore to avoid running aground or colliding with others.
- Never sail further from the shore than is necessary.
- Avoid collisions at all costs.
- Stay with your board no matter what happens, it is your largest buoyancy aid, and use the International hand distress signals if necessary (slowly and repeatedly raising and lowering arms outstretched to each side).
- Be aware of hypothermia and leave the water if symptoms occur (shivering, numb extremities and poor co-ordination).
Current Wind, waves and tides
Before you even leave the office, you should always check out the conditions on the water. This is essential for determining where to windsurf, what gear to take and even if you should be out there at all!! Visit Seabreeze.com.au: [link]
What gear does the club have?
The club has a range of windsurfing gear, right from absolute beginner boards and sails through to high speed slalom gear. As a general guide, the club's gear is generally suited rather more to flatwater/slalom sailing than wave sailing. Come out for a sail sometime with the club and check out the gear for yourself
What gear do I need to bring with me?
If you're coming down for a windsurf with the club, it would be a good ideas to bring at least the following:
- suncream and hat (ideally one that stays on at high speed!)
- something that will keep you warm enough on the water (thermals or a wetsuit are excellent)
- some warm clothes for afterwards, and
- A car with roof-racks if you have access to one.
Where can I buy windsurfing gear from?
For great deals on windsurfing gear, visit John at SOS in Fremantle:[link]
Its also worth checking out the information posted on windsurfing websites, such as the Australian Yachting Federation, Windsurfing Austrlia etc etc. Check out the Naish Sails website for some really cool 'how to' guides, particularly for the more advanced sailors.