For your 1st sail, you should only go out when the conditions are right. Ideally, you want the breeze to be no more than 10 knots (5-10 knots is best), and for the forecast to be the same (you don’t want to get out and then a strong change to come through). Keep a close eye on the conditions, since even the best forecasts can be wrong.
Until you gain some knowledge and confidence, you may want to only go out when there are other people out on the water also, so they can be of assistance if required (eg. during a normal race day, keeping in mind to keep off the racing line).
Regardless of this is your first time out or you are a seasoned laser sailor, it is always best to wear the right gear. You want to stay safe, keep warm, and not get sunburnt.
To some extent, it will obviously depend on the conditions and climate, but here is some sailing gear that you should include:
- life jacket / vest
- spray jacket / rash vest
- sailing hat / sun visor
- sailing gloves
- sailing watch
- water bottle
When Out And About On The Water…
Make sure you are hydrated and are not going out on an empty stomach. You can take water out by tying a sports water bottle to an elastic strap, and fixing it to something in the boat (eg. the hiking strap).
You should also be in reasonably good condition, with respect to your health and fitness. You should be injury-free. You may wish to obtain a check-up from your local doctor prior, to rule out any health problems.
Sailing of any kind can be very demanding on the body, so fitness plays a large part. The fitter you are, the more easily your body can do what you want it to, and the more enjoyable you will find it.
For more tips on laser sailing fitness, click here.