Can windsurfers get properly barreled?

Finn Mullen: slightly pitted at Mullaghmore Head

There's an old question in windsurfing: can windsurfers get barreled? Technically and theoretically, they can. However, the quest has been treacherous and dangerous.

Getting barreled in surfing requires training and wave riding experience.

Basically, you can get barreled in waist-high waves. That's it. The problem with windsurfing and barrels is a bit more complex.

First of all, for a windsurfer to get pitted, he/she will need a big wide wave.

There's not much secret to it. You simply need a hollow wave that will cover up your mast and sail.

Getting out of the Tube

So, if you're sailing with a 400-centimeter mast, you need space. Air to breathe.

Otherwise, the wave lip will destroy you and your gear. The math is easy. Find at least a 15-foot barreling wave.

The history of windsurfing is not clear on whether a windsurfer checked the blue cavern or not.

Apparently, Irish legend Finn Mullen was spotted slightly barreled at Mullaghmore Head. The problem is usually getting out.

Graham Ezzy: barreled, half-barreled or not barreled? | Photo: Graham Ezzy

Recently, Graham Ezzy re-opened the windsurf barrel debate with a photo in which he seems to prepare his mast and sail for tube time.

British speed specialist Steve Thorp asks: "Has anyone ever been barrelled riding backside like this? Is it possible right?"

Graham answers: "Steve, Josh Angulo has been barreled backside more than once with a legendary story of his catching a tube in the Pozo shore break."

"Josh also claims windsurfing's first frontside barrel at Jaws."

Kauli Seadi: covered or not covered?

Experts like Jason Polakow, Robby Swift, Robby Naish, and Kauli Seadi may have done it, too. If not completely, at least partially.

However, full barreling glory in windsurfing is still up for grabs. Who will claim it?

  • Dutch environmental activist and windsurfer Merijn Tinga, also known as the "Plastic Soup Surfer," has made an audacious journey from Oslo to London, braving the North Sea's currents and winds, to call attention to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.