Windsurfing | VDWS

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Basic Licence Windsurfing

More than two million windsurfers have a basic windsurfing licence. Four training associations from Austria, Switzerland and Germany have joined together to form the VAW (United training associations watersport) and issue a unique basic licence, which is officially stipulated on some waters in Germany.

The VDWS is a foundation member of the VAW. The internationally known proof makes especially hiring of boards much easier. Many holiday clubs in Germany and abroad insist on this licence when it comes to hiring of boards. Ask your windsurf instructor about this licence! Since the season 2003 the licence also contains confirmation fields of advanced skills.
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Depending on previous knowledge, the training for the VAW basic windsurfing licence takes about 12 – 15 lessons in theory and practical experience. The training target is decisive for the duration of the courses: the students should be able to set sail, to surf in the training area and to dock in a safe way with a wind up to 3 bft.


For the basic windsurfing licence a practical and a theoretical exam are stipulated. Parts of the practical exam (for example rigging up and down, knots) can be checked during a course.

Practical Exam
Rigging up and down, knots, raising up the sail, basic position, setting up the board, starting, steering, surfing in different courses, tack, emergency stop, beating windward. The exam should be carried out with a wind up to 3 bft. You have passed the practical exam as soon as you are able to do the required exercises and manoeuvres. Part of that is also returining to the starting point under normal wind and wave conditions.

Theoretical Exam
Material knowledge, common knowledge of law, sailing theory, safety, nature and environment, knots and their use.In the theoretical exam a questionnaire has to be filled out. The possible total number of points and the minimum number are stated on the questionnaire. If the result of the exam is not satisfactory, an oral exam can be done with similar questions out of other questionnairs. It is also possible to repeat the exam after an adequate time to learn. 

Kid Basic Windsurfing Licence

We recommend kids to start windsurfing at the age of 6 or 7. Therefore the VDWS schools offer a special workbook for kids, which are used in the courses. The Kid Basic Windsurfing Licence is valid until the age of 14. Then the adult licence can be required after passing the theoretical exam.