World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships: surfing on frozen waters | Photo: WISSA

The 40th edition of the World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships will be held in Pärnu, Estonia, from February 10-15, 2020.

The event is run by the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA).

Estonia, one of the countries where winter windsurfing was "invented," hosts the iconic event for the sixth time.

Pärnu is a charming seaside city in Western Estonia, known for its spas and beautiful beaches. It's the fourth largest city in the country.

The organizers from the Estonian Yachting Union will welcome winter surfers from around the world - windsurfers, kite, and wing riders.

In the cold weather, there's no need to go surfing in the freezing waters of the ocean. Instead, you can try surfing on frozen water bodies and snowy plains.

It's an increasingly popular activity in Nordic nations.

Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, winter surfing is still not as popular as summer surfing and classic winter sailing.

Winter wing surfing: a class in which the athlete holds a wing/sail resembling a kite with his hands | Photo: WISSA

Winter Surfing: Classes and Disciplines

Winter surfing is comprised of three classes or divisions: kitesurfing, windsurfing, and wings, where the athlete holds a wing/sail resembling a kite with his hands.

While windsurfing is almost exclusively performed over frozen water bodies, kites, and wings also move in snowy fields.

These competitions feature all types of disciplines, but course racing and slalom are the most popular and accessible.

In addition, there are speed races for maximum speed records, and sometimes marathons are held for longer distances. Kites also have a freestyle showdown.

Different age classes get separate races; in bigger competitions, kites are divided into different categories, according to the equipment used.

If you want to explore surfing, wintertime might eventually be a good option. Learning how to surf on land or ice is easier than on the water.

Falling into the water, climbing onto a board, standing up, getting a wet kite, or sail, out of the water takes a lot of time.

On the other hand, you can do a more solid workout on ice. Getting on the move is relatively easy, and you'll quickly experience the thrill of it.

Although winter surfing on ice is not as popular as surfing in the waves, the longest-running international competition in the sport of windsurfing is the one that takes place over frozen waters.

The inaugural World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships - nowadays known as WISSA - was organized in 1980 and has been running non-stop since then, except for 1998, when there was no snow.

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