Carrying your rig: a risky technique | Photo: PWA/Carter

After rigging your windsurfing sail, it's time to take it to the water, but in medium-to-strong wind conditions you should definitely master the art of sail transportation, otherwise someone can get hurt.

Carrying your rig can be uncomfortable, especially if wind gusts try to blow your windsurfing sail away. Additionally, it will drain your energy before touching the water.

So, whether getting ready to carry your rig, leaving it unattended on the beach or near the water's edge, you've got to be sure it is lying in the mast-to-wind position.

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Windsurfing: learning self-rescue techniques is critical

When the windsurfing equipment fails far away from the shore, you must be able to return to firm land with what you've got. Learn how to self-rescue on a windsurfer.

Fortunately, problems with windsurfing sails, masts, booms and boards are quite rare. But if something goes wrong, do you know how to get back to the beach?

If you're close enough to the coastline, activate the International Distress Signal. Clench your fists and repeatedly raise and lower your arms at either side of your body, while kneeling or sitting on your board.

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Windsurfing: sailors suffer between 1.2-1.5 injuries every year | Photo: JP Aloha Classic/Si Crowther

Research has shown that the average risk of injury in windsurfing is between 1.2-1.5 injuries every year. It's time to get those numbers down.

Windsurfers who compete in wave and slalom disciplines have the highest risk of injury (up to 2.0 injuries/person/year), whereas recreational sailors have an average of 1.2 injuries per year.

Health promoter and windsurfer Henrik Beyer highlights physical fitness in preventing windsurfing injuries and calls for industry involvement.

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