Windsurfing jumps: speed up and fly away

The highest wave jumps ever scored in windsurfing always demand technique, gear, ideal ramps, strong winds. So, how do you fly away with your windsurf board and sail?


Windsurf jumping is not a beginner's move. Once you feel your windsurfing has improved in the open ocean, you may start enjoying air time showdown.

Wave jumps can easily be trained in small surf or wakes before trying it out in medium range wave faces. As a matter of fact, speed is critical to get airborne.

If you've got waves and 15 knots of wind, you're ready to reach the skies, step by step. Grab fast windsurf board and the adequate sail for the current wind conditions.

The key to gain speed is early planing. So, find an inside raceway and accelerate. Try to absorb the impact of small speed to keep your high velocity.

Try to get the windsurf board flatter to reach a maximum speed and when you hit the perfect wave ramp or bump, prepare to unhook, pull up your front arm and legs to take off.

You'll notice that the combined effect of the wind, sail and wave energy will propel you into the sky. Naturally, as you board gets power from the wave and pops off, it will force your legs to slightly bend.

Windsurfing jumps: find the wave ramp and pop off

Windsurf jumps may get higher if you turn the nose of your board upwind, avoiding an unwanted spin. This will also help you having a smoother landing.

Also, a good wave jump will see the windsurf sail almost parallel to the water and the windward rail raised, as if they both get a wind boost from the bottom.

It is always better to land the wave jump. You should only leave your windsurfing gear if you think you'll hurt yourself or other wave rider.

You can land your wave jump with the nose or tail. Nose landings are safer and will have a lower impact on your bones and knees.

The world's best wave jump windsurfers are Philip Koster, Jonas Ceballos, Robby Naish, Víctor Fernández, Dario Ojeda, Ricardo Campello, Dany Brunch, Boujma Guillot, Levi Siver and Jason Polakow.

They can reach more than 30 feet (nine meters) up in the sky, although Philip Koster has unofficially hit 60 feet (59 meters).

Chop hopping on flat waters can help you train windsurf jumping by forcing you to get the fin out of the water.

Oxbow Ride the Sky and Red Bull Rocket are the most important air time windsurfing events. Sailors get GPS devices on their boards to measure amplitude, speed and height.