Windsurf originated as the combination of two sports (surfing and
sailing), and consists of navigating the surface of the water on a
board, which has a sail impelled by the wind. Depending on your skill
and the kind of equipment you have, more extreme windsurfing can be
practiced, which can include pirouettes, jumps and speeding.
A windsurf table consists of two main parts: the table itself and the rig. The board, in turn, is formed by foot straps, mast base, keel, and the fin (used only on longer boards.)
The equipment or rig, consists of the sail, which can be made of Mylar or monofilm (transparent materials), the mast and the boom, which is set horizontal to the mast, and where the windsurfer holds the sail rig.
Windsurfing is a very recent sport, which originated in California United States, in the garage of two friends: Jim Drake, a sailor, and Hoyle Schweitzer, a surfer. Towards 1968, these friends combined the disciplines that they loved, sailing and surfing, in a hybrid sport that they patented under the name of Windsurfing. By 1970, their invention was already mass-produced.
By the end of the ' 70s, Europeans - who especially like individual sports - had made windsurfing one of their most popular sports. This drove the development of new and better equipment. Into the '80s, the sport continued its development when at the '84 Los Angeles Olympic Games it was recognized as an Olympic sport.
Since then the sport and its equipment has continued to evolve, allowing its practitioners to reach not only greater speeds, but also to perform pirouettes and jumps.
Windsurfing in Chile
In Chile, it is possible to windsurf both in the sea and in lakes,
although from the Big North to the Central region, windsurfing is
mainly practiced on coastal beaches, where the water is a pleasant
temperature. It varies from 20ºC (68ºF) in the North and
drops to 12ºC (53ºF) as you go further south in the Central
Region. In the Southern region, it is mainly practiced in lakes
and lagoons, and particularly good in the Araucania Region and the
Windsurfing is a sport that requires a lot of patience and practice.
In the beginning, lessons are fundamental, and you should take classes
in a school with a specialized instructor, or with the help of an
The risks inherent in this activity are dependent on the level of training, the knowledge, and skill of the practitioner and the weather conditions. It helps to be in good physical shape.
This is a sport that requires specialized and expensive equipment, so it is advisable to rent the gear until you are sure it is for you.
Windsurfing is usually learned on long boards on beaches where the wind has a speed of up to 10 knots. After six classes it is usually possible to go alone. To move from a long board to a smaller one can take about four months, with a lot of practice.
To sail skillfully on a small board, you need to go to places that have enough wind where you can learn downwind, reaching and upwind maneuvers. You will also learn how to use the wind to lift the sail ("water start"), instead of up hauling the sail yourself, since on a small board this maneuver is very difficult.
After mastering these basic techniques, you can move on to riding waves and jumping.
When and where
Big North Region
I Region of Tarapacá.
Small North Region
III Region of Atacama.
- Caldera: Ramada, Brava and Mansa beaches.
- Inglesa Bay: La Piscina and Las Machas beaches.
- Salada Bay: Located 134 km (84 mi) south of Caldera.
- Huasco: Beaches: Los Toyos, Tres Playitas and Carrizal Bajo.
IV Region of Coquimbo.
- La Serena: Beaches: El Faro, Los Fuertes, La Barca, Mansa, Blanca, Cuatro Esquinas, La Marina, El Pescador, El Corsario, La Sirena, Las Gaviotas and Canto del Agua.
- Coquimbo: Peñuelas, Changa, La Herradura, Totoralillo, Lagunillas, Morrillos, Guanaqueros, Blanca, Grande and Socos, Principal, Conchali and Pichidangui.
- Elqui Valley: Puclaro Dam (Gualliguaica shore)
V Region of Valparaiso
- Los Molles beach: located at 145 km north of Viña del Mar.
- Pichicuy: 137 km (86 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Papudo: 82 km (51 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Zapallar: 72 km (45 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Maitencillo: 61 km (38 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Horcon: 44 km (27 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Quintero: 42 km (26 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Concon: 20 km (12 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Reñaca: 6 km (4 MI) north of Viña del Mar.
- Viña del Mar
- Verde Lagoon: 18 km (11 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Las Docas beach: 28 km (17 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Playa Quintay: 45 km (28 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Algarrobo: 63 km (39 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- El Quisco: 67 km (42 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Isla Negra: 90 km (56 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- El Tabo: 75 km (47 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- San Sebastian: 87 km (54 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Cartagena: 90 km (56 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Santo Domingo: 108 km (67 MI) south of Valparaiso.
- Aculeo Lagoon: at 65 km (40 MI) southwest of Santiago
VI Region of O'Higgins
- Matanzas: at 105 km (65 MI) northwest of Pichilemu.
- Pichilemu: at 126 km (79 MI) southwest of San Fernando.
- Bucalemu: at 37 km. (23 MI) south of Pichilemu.
VII Region of Maule
- Vichuquen lake: 15 km (9 MI) from Vichuquen.
- Colbun lake: 50 km (31 MI) southeast of Talca.
- Iloca: 29 km (18 MI) from Licanten.
- Constitucion: 113 km (71 MI) from Talca.
- Chanco: 47 km (29 MI) from Cauquenes.
- Pelluhue: 40 km (25 MI) from Cauquenes.
- Curanipe: 49 km (31 MI) from Cauquenes.
- Rapel lake: 101 km (63 MI) west of Rancagua.
VII Region del B io-Bi o
- Lebu: 128 km (80 MI) southwest of Concepcion. Playa Grande.
- Lanalhue lake: 145 km (91 MI) south of Concepcion.
- Lleu Lleu lake: 14 km (9 MI) southwest of Contulmo.
IX Región of La Araucania
- Icalma Lagoon: 75 km (47 MI) south of Lonquimay.
- Villarrica Lake: 87 km (54 MI) southeast of Temuco.
- Caburga Lake: 23 km (14 MI) east of Pucon.
X Región of Los Lagos (Lakes District)
- Calafquen Lake: 121 km (75 MI) northeast of Valdivia.
- Panguipulli Lake: 114 km (71 MI) northeast of Valdivia.
- Riñihue Lake: 123 km (77 MI) east of Valdivia.
- Ranco Lake: 128 km (80 MI) southeast of Valdivia.
- Puyehue Lake: 50 km (31 MI) east of Osorno.
- Rupanco Lake: 37 km (23 MI) northeast of Puerto Octay.
- Llanquihue Lake: 20 km (12 MI) north of Puerto Montt.
- Todos Los Santos Lake: 16 km (10 MI) northeast of Ensenada.
For more suggestions on places to visit, look in Places.
The basic equipment for the practice of windsurfing consists of:
- Don't go far out into the water unless you are a strong swimmer.
- Never go out alone or without telling others.
- Check all the equipment before leaving.
- Respect the swimmers zones.
- Be aware of the weather forecast.
- Never leave the board.
- Do not attempt tricks beyond your level.
- Always keep a signaling device with you.
- Mast base
Where to buy equipment
Las Condes Av 8606, Las Condes
Tel (56-2) 229 40 93
| Windsurfing Chile
Las Carmelitas 30, Las Condes
Tel (56-2) 211 19 59
The following books contain information on places where you can go
windsurfing, as well as facts on our operators, rates, conditions,
More alternatives on texts in our Book section.
Associations and Clubs
Windsurfing Federation (Federacion de Navegacion a Vela)
Vicuña Mackenna 040
Phone (56-2) 635 04 29
Chile Adventours Ltda.
El Santo Av. 3375, Ap. 102
Phone (56-51) 23 92 80
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