Travelers looking for an exciting and unusual adventure sport to try during their trip to Costa Rica may be interested in going windsurfing.
Learn about Windsurfing
Windsurfing is a sport that combines the wave-riding of surfing with the wind propulsion used in sailing. Although the equipment used in the sport may vary considerably, all feature a large polyester sail attached to the top of a surfboard. Windsurfers use their hands and bodies to control the sail as the wind pushes them along the surface of the water at high speeds, providing them with a thrilling aquatic experience.
People interested in windsurfing, however, need more than a surfboard before they can safely ride the waves. A harness is necessary to help keep the rider on their board when winds make the sail hard to control, and surfers should wear a wetsuit to help keep them warm when the water is cold. Additionally, surfers should wear waterproof shoes to help maintain traction between their feet and the board as well as a helmet to protect their head in case of a crash.
The most popular destination for windsurfing in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal near Tilaran
, a 22-mile-long artificial body of water located near Arenal Volcano
. Situated in the northern part of the country, Lake Arenal is known for its warm water and comfortable air temperatures as well as its strong winds, which have been known to reach steady speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. Overall, the best conditions throughout the country occur in the dry season between December and March.
The strong winds and safe conditions of Lake Arenal make it ideal for both beginning and expert windsurfers. Novice windsurfers are able to rent equipment and take lessons in the nearby town of Tilaran, while those with more experience in the sport are able to attain serious speed as they race across the lake's surface.
Several other locations throughout Costa Rica are also ideal for windsurfing, many of which are situated on the country's Pacific coast. People who are still learning to windsurf may enjoy the Golfo de Papagayo
, which is known for its calm waters and mild winds. Conversely, Puerto Soley's
wilder conditions make the destination perfect for more experienced windsurfers.