Club Rules, Procedures and Safety

Windsurfers, as all sailors, have a responsibility to ensure their own safety.

Windsurfing is an individual sport and thus the windsurfer must often rely on his or her own skills and ingenuity to ensure a safe, fun existence. Review the Sailing Rules, of the Jericho Sailing Centre Association.

Below are rules and safety information for Windsurf fleet members. Additional information, best practices and safety information is found in the Windsurfing Handbook.

Wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD)

Windsurfers are required by law to have a PFD when windsurfing. Members must comply with the law and the Club Locarno Member Rules

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Sail with a buddy

Not only is sailing with a buddy a safe thing to do, it also provides a social opportunity for a new windsurfer - one of the best things of being a part of a club. We encourage members to exchange emails, lounge on the grass or on the beach where the windsurfers hang out and simply get to know their fellow sailors. As part of a club, not only is it important to watch out for each other, but it can be fun to sail together, race, practice freestyle tricks or simply to have a beverage on the patio.

It is strongly recommended that no level 1 sailor goes out in winds over 15 knots. Anyone that does so is solely responsible to any damages that incur to club equipment and to themselves.

When practicing for Level 2, which takes place in higher winds, another advanced windsurfer must be close at hand to assist and advise.

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Observe the sailing hours

Members are permitted to sign out equipment for a 2 hour period. Most people, however, will only windsurf for an average of about 1 to 1½ hours - keep this in mind if you are waiting for the return of the gear. Please be mindful to watch out for other members who might be waiting for high demand gear (e.g. foils). Remember the Locarno Way.

Be prepared for the wind to die approximately one hour before sundownThe wind generally dies off (often dramatically) around 6:00 -7:00pm in the summer, so be warned. If you take that last run out into the middle of the bay expecting the wind to blow you back in around this time, you may be forced to do a self-rescue all the way back to shore. Jericho Rescue may approach you to make sure you are OK, then advise you to start paddling back so don't count on the water taxi backup. If the winds should die, don't panic. It generally takes about a 1/2 hour to paddle back to shore from the area around the ships in the middle of the bay. Simply stay close to shore if sailing in the early evening hours during the summer. Note: if you should happen to paddle back when it's dark out, the beach gates to Jericho could be closed so you'll have to walk around to the parking lot entrance.

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Wear the right wetsuit for use at Jericho

It's a member's responsibility to assess and wear the appropriate wetsuit for the current conditions.

Wetsuit guide

The following table is a guide only. Members must wear a wetsuit based on their personal needs and constitution and current conditions. 

SeasonIndicative water temperature Wetsuit suggestion
 Spring/Fall 10c - 18c 4/3 mm, boots may help
 Summer >18c 3/2 mm
 Winter <10c 5/4 mm or dry suit, plus boots, gloves and hood


  • At Jericho, a good indication of water temperature is the average air temperature over the last 24 hours. Or check the English Bay buoy website for water surface temperatures.
  • Wetsuits are warmest when there is a film of water between you and the suit - and you are active.
  • Remember an overly baggy wetsuit may not be as warm, as water washes through losing the water film.
  • If in doubt, go for the thicker wetsuit.
  • You can get cold very quickly standing around the beach in a wet wetsuit.

Beginner knowledge:

A wetsuit is generally described in terms of its thickness (in millimeters). For instance, a wetsuit with a torso thickness of 3 mm and an arms/legs thickness of 2 mm will be described as a "3/2". Windsurfing wetsuits are designed so that you can comfortably hold your arms out straight and hang on to the boom. Water will run off the shiny neoprene and not cool you in the wind. The wetsuit should be snug everywhere without cutting off circulation.

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High Wind Limits

Members must sail within the following high wind limits for the respective windsurf skill level:

Skill Level  High Wind Limit 
 Level 1 No greater than 15 knots
 Level 2 No greater than 20 knots
 Level 3  Within personal limits to stay safe (factors include sea state, weight, sail size, board size, skill level)

Look out for clinics and other information to help you progress. Contact a fleet captain or the director if you want to move up a level.  

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Taking out our gear (sign-in/sign-out)

Before using equipment you must sign-out both sail and board using the Craft Sign-out System.

  • Signing out and in is also beneficial for member safety and it provides a way to track gear use by members. This is how the next member knows when to expect the gear back (i.e. when it will be next available for use).
  • You are responsible for all equipment that you sign out.
  • If you would like to take over a sail that someone else has already signed out, be sure you sign out the board and sail in your name and sign in the gear for the other member as well!
  • Always be sure to check for damage, and that the gear is rigged properly before taking it out.

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Rigging & tuning

Equipment is only to be rigged/de-rigged and tuned on the GRASS or on the RIGGING MATS PROVIDED!

  • Sails that must be rigged are only for advanced, level 3 sailors - most sailors will only use the pre-rigged equipment.
  • Foot straps can be adjusted for your foot size. Be mindful of what is beneath the board and do not stand on the board on land.
  • Consult fleet captains or the Windsurf Director before moving foot straps.
  • Learn how to tune the board and sail (mast track and foot straps positions, sail downhaul and outhaul, boom height and harness lines).  

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Onshore equipment


    • Do not leave equipment on bare concrete, asphalt (road surface) or rocks!!
    • Do not leave equipment in the surf.
    • Beware of the rising tide.
    • Beware of the changing wind direction.
    • Never leave rigged sails unanchored (i.e. unattached to a board) - they can blow away and cause serious damage to equipment and people - you are liable.

Correct procedure:

    • Set down equipment on sand, grass, carpet  or rubber matting only.
    • Sails should always be anchored, typically attached to a board in the following manner:
      • Board must upwind of the sail and the nose pointed into wind
      • In high wind, the board should be deck-side down, hull-side up (fin in air)
      • Clew and head of the sail should be downwind - luff and foot of the sail upwind.

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Damage procedure

  • You must report damage. Unreported damage makes damage worse.
  • Honesty is the best policy.

Should something happen (e.g. something comes loose, or breaks) either by you or another member, you should:

  1. Immediately come ashore to avoid further damage - a damaged board will absorb water into the core.
  2. Mark the damaged equipment with the bright pink tape found in the windsurfing container.
  3. In the Craft Sign-out system follow the craft check-in process and use the "Report a Problem" option.
  4.  Complete the Report a Problem form. If the problem is just with the rig or sail use "Equipment".
  5. Notify the Fleet Captain or Director (by Slack or email) if major damage has occurred to a piece of gear (broken board, mast, boom, or sail).
Damage to club windsurf equipment at Jericho is generally covered at the club's expenses and volunteers' time, unless there is gross negligence.

Damage offsite is subject to the Offsite Pass policy.

Read these articles too:

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Beach hazards & coming ashore


    • Don't drag boards along the beach
    • No beaching (sailing the board on the beach!)
    • Beware of rocks, docks and low tide pilings
    • Do not leave board or sail lying in the surf

Coming ashore procedure:

  • Never sail right up to the shore. Slow down and drop your sail in chest high water well before the centerboard, fin or foil hits the bottom
  • Balancing the sail and board by grabbing the boom and foot straps, lift everything onto the beach, ensuring nothing is dragged on rocks and the sail is safely away from the surge.

Boards are delicate; centerboards, fins & foils will break and chip. Don't drag, always carry. Boards & sails should only be set down on sand, grass or carpeting - not on bare concrete or rocks.

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Rinse and put away gear after each use

Ensure that your gear is rinsed and stowed after each use.

Sails & Rig

  • Put away sails first.
  • Rinse all sand off the sail, including mast sleeve, boom and all ropes.
  • Saltwater is not a hazard to modern sail material
  • However, freshwater on the outhaul, downhaul and harness line cleats will mitigate salting up
  • Hang the sail up in the designated spot
  • Lock up the sail.
  • Take a final look to see if all is hung correctly, please re-lock, re-hang sails, whatever is needed. Locarno thanks you 


    • Go back get your board - carry, don't drag. Get help if needed. 
    • Place your board on the rack in the rinsing area, and hose it down with fresh water.
    • Wash the mast track and dagger board slot thoroughly of sand
    • Carefully return the board to the windsurfing container and place it in the designated rack. Get help if needed.
    • Finally, double check and make sure the fin isn't scratching another board.

PFD & Harness

    • Rinse your harness and PFD with freshwater - submerge them in the barrel of water.
    • Hang the harness and PFD back on the rail inside the windsurfing container.

Tidy up and lock up

    • Tidy up what you can in the container and sweep sand - remember the Locarno Way
    • Close the container door and check it is locked.

Remember to sign in 

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Equipment Location

    • Make sure to leave enough time after sailing to store the equipment away correctly.
    • The Locarno pre-rigged sails are stored in the rack, adjacent (East) to the windsurfing container. The racks are identified with the LOCARNO logo. 
    • All boards are stored in the windsurfing container. PFDs, unrigged equipment, and tools are stored in the container also.
    • Please return everything back to where it came from. Look for identifying labels and signs. Keep gear organized.

Correct Board Storage

    • Return boards to correct rack - note the signage on the container wall.
    • Most boards should be stored with the nose facing into the rear of the container (tail facing the door). 
    • Note: Rack (dowel) arms have a red marker to indicate the end for tail & fin.

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    • Keep the equipment locked at all times!
    • Double check the board is put away, sails are hung and locked and container door is shut and locked!
    • Remember to put away harness and PFD!

It is amazing how many times a board or a complete rig is left on the beach or even on a cleaning rack 2 feet from the door! Did you have an accident? Locarno doesn't know! Who do we telephone? Who do we send the coast guard to rescue? Who is responsible for that sail that flew off and hurt someone on the beach or that board that was stolen as someone didn't lock it up?

DOUBLE CHECK before you leave and never-ever leave another in charge of locking up your signed out gear as last person signed out is the last person considered using that gear. Our freight container for the boards and rentals, when open, allows the public to see what we have - minimize their view as much as possible!

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Volunteer hours - mandatory

Make sure to volunteer, such as at clinics, rigging & repair sessions, and sweep the container 

We are a volunteer based club which enables us to have the resources and training that you enjoy. Members must take the time to maintain our fleet, train others to safely enjoy this amazing sport and volunteer in Locarno events. The more involved you become, the more enjoyment and personal rewards you get back. You'll always be guaranteed a fun experience. That is how Locarno is able to offer all it does at such a low cost. You are part of a well-organized and dedicated team of passionate sailors who want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy the ocean.

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