Land windsurfing: the sport of windsurfing, but on dry land | Photo: Terrasail Industries

Land windsurfing is the sport of windsurfing in terra firma. Riders use a windsurfing sail to skateboard across dry land.

You can land windsurf in the city streets, at skate parks, on a beach during low tides, on a football field, in a flat indoor or outdoor surface, car parks, salt, and dirt lakes, or in any open space with few obstacles.

Believe it or not, land windsurfing is nearly as old as windsurfing. And, besides cruising, it also allows you to perform tricks and maneuvers.

French aristocrat and passionate sailor Arnaud de Rosnay was probably the first to take windsurfing into terra firma.

In 1979, and after crossing the Bering Strait, de Rosnay adapted his windsurfing sail into a skateboard and crossed the Sahara Desert in 12 days.

Later, in 1985, doctor-sailor Gavin Le Sueur land windsurfed 444 miles (715 kilometers) across South Australia's Nullarbor Plain.

Land windsurfing, also known as street windsurfing, dirt windsurfing or wind skateboarding, gained new enthusiasts in the 1990s and early 2000s before eclipsing into an underground niche.

Today, there are not many land windsurfers, but the alternative sailing discipline continues to provide exciting rides and adrenaline-fueled moments to those who embrace it.

Street windsurfing: always wear a helmet, elbow and knee pads | Photo: windscooting.com

The Equipment

So, what do you need to start windsurfing on asphalt, tarmac, sand and even grass?

1. A complete windsurfing sail rig (sail, mast, boom, mast extension, and mast base)
2. A land windsurfing board equipped with the right truck kits, pneumatic tires, a skateboard-style grip tape, optional velcro ambidextrous bindings,
3. A helmet;
4. Elbow and knee pads;

If you already own a complete windsurfing kit, all you need to do is buy a special land windsurfing board or install a mast base in a longboard skateboard's deck.

Street windsurfing can be extremely useful for windsurfers who wish to train during stormy ocean days. They can also ride high winds without having to deal with extremely low water temperatures.

The Wind Speed

But what are the ideal wind conditions for dirt windsurfing? Do we need the same wind speed for riding the asphalt or sailing across grassy fields?

1. Asphalt / Tarmac / Concrete: 4-8 knots
2. Hard Sand / Dirt: 8-12 knots
3. Grass: 13-17 knots

Remember that in overpowered conditions, chances of getting hurt and injured increase exponentially. Hitting the pavement is always more dangerous than falling on water.

From a technical perspective, land windsurfing is similar to classic windsurfing. You can ride upwind and downwind, tack and jibe, steer and turn.

Just remember that may not turn as quick and fast as you do in windsurfing because the large offroad wheels create more drag than the rails and fin of a standard windsurf board.

Terra sailing can be fun, but you should also practice stopping, in case you reach high speeds.

There are two things you can do to slow down - depower your sail by rotating it to the neutral position and use your back foot as a brake by dragging it flat on the ground.

Enjoy land sailing safely, and stay away from pedestrians and cyclists that may be near you.