Picture yourself catching a tropical breeze and sailing along the shores of a sandy beach, skimming the surface of an azure sea. As a windsurfing instructor you’ll teach others how to effortlessly glide across the water on a brightly colored sailboard. You’ll be able to travel where the wind carries you, and hone your own sailing skills at the same time.
Windsurfing has caught a big gust in the past two decades, and meccas such as Maui, Aruba, and the Columbia River Gorge draw boarders and spectators from around the globe. Nowadays the sport gets coverage from television stations such as ESPN and MTV and draws big-name sponsors. One of the best aspects of teaching windsurfing is the opportunity to help others learn a fun and exciting sport. In the words of one longtime instructor:
“The biggest reward of the job is watching other people master something that they thought was too difficult. Teaching is truly a creative outlet and it’s very satisfying. It’s so great to hit on a way of teaching something that makes someone’s lightbulb go on.”
Like teaching sailing or any other sport that involves specialized equipment and the knowledge to use it, you’ll need certification before you can instruct others on how to windsurf. U.S. Sailing Association, Windsurfing Instructors of America, and Windsurfing Canada offer certification courses and instructor exams at various locations throughout the year. In addition to windsurfing ability, other required skills include the ability to swim with full windsurfing attire, water rescue, safety precautions, first aid and CPR, use of a sailing simulator, class management and presentation, and windsurfing theory.
Not only does certification provide training, it also sends a message to potential employers, as a sailing company owner in California explains:
“Going through a certification course lends a lot of credibility to you as an instructor. It also tells the employer that you know how to deal with a planned curriculum, adverse situations, and that you are familiar with equipment and safety issues.”
Instructor certification courses are offered at various locations around the world throughout the year, and include windsurfing and teaching skills evaluations, a swimming test, a written test, and verbal testing and evaluation.
For more information on windsurfing certification, contact the following:
Windsurfing Instructors of America
P.O. Box 472
Stevenson, WA 98648
Fax (509) 427-7144
U.S. Sailing Association
P.O. Box 1260
Portsmouth, RI 02871-6015
Fax (401) 683-0840
1600 James Naismith Drive, Suite 504
Gloucester, ON K1B 5N4
Fax (613) 748-5688