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Windsurfing, also known as funboarding or wave-sailing, is a popular sport activity involving a sail and surfboard to move above the water. Although it is a recognized Olympic sport since 1984, it mainly remains a non-competitive past-time in coastal areas. Obviously, windsurfing distinguishes itself from traditional surfing primarily through the use of a sail and the great dependence on wind. While modern boards have greatly increased the possibilities of other forms of surfing too, the arise of windsurfing first allowed boarders to ride extremely large waves. Apart from the ability to master extreme waves and reach high speeds (with records of over 90km/h), windsurfers can also perform a wide range of freestyle moves, including jumps and spinning manoeuvres.
The basic conditions needed for windsurfing are rather simple. Any place with a large water surface and a good deal of wind in principle allows for windsurfing activities, resulting in a vast list of destinations and a range of places claiming to be the "capital of windsurfing". However, the best destinations combine strong winds and great waves with gorgeous scenery, delightful climates and ample facilities.
- Maui - a professional windsurfers' favourite, Maui's waves can reach heights of over 20 feet. The main season runs from May to October. Note that the island can get crowded during events. To make things extra exiting, make sure to watch out for water sharks...
- Bonaire - this lovely Caribbean island benefits from sunshine and high temperatures all year round. The windsurfing hotspot is on the eastern shores, at Lay Bay, with great opportunities for beginners and experts alike.
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