(Published January 2022, replacing January 2017)
Transition timeframes updated Sept 2023
What is windsurfing?
Windsurfing is a section of the sport of sailing undertaken standing on a board with a handheld rig.
Until 31 March 2024 windsurfing permit holders may also lead stand up paddleboarding activities, after this date they must be run by someone holding a stand up paddleboard permit for the appropriate environment and class of water.
What is a windsurfing permit?
The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be lead by someone holding the appropriate permit. Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits.
A Windsurfing permit is required for all windsurfing taking place except in class C water. Definitions of water classifications can be found in POR.
Levels of permit
Windsurfing permits can be issued for any class of water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through non tidal etc) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.
Types of permit
There are three types of permit available for windsurfing. These are:
Personal - Allows a young person (under 18) to take part in windsurfing with others with a personal windsurfing permit.
Leadership - Allows the permit holder to lead windsurfing for a single group.
Supervisory - Allows the permit holder to remotely supervise more than one windsurfing group.
Personal - If you hold a personal windsurfing permit you can go windsurfing with others who hold a personal windsurfing permit. It does not allow you to go windsurfing with anyone not holding a windsurfing permit.
Leadership - If you have permit to lead Windsurfing then you can look after a maximum of six windsurfs at a time, and need to remain on the water with these windsurfs all the time.
Supervisory - If you hold a permit to supervise windsurfing then you can supervise up to three groups. All supervised groups should be within communication range of the permit holder who will need to be in or have immediate access to a rescue craft. You remain responsible for all the groups you are supervising, but can designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each group.
When supervising groups from a distance the holder of a windsurfing supervisor permit needs to designate a leader for each group. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.
People designated as group leaders should have the necessary skills and be responsible enough to lead a group safely on the class of water being used. There is no problem with making young people group leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool.