CANSail Windsurf

CANSail Windsurf

The CANSail Windsurf Program is Sail Canada’s national training program for board sailing. The program is made up of six core standards that promote progressive training of core windsurfing skills and knowledge.

What is the CANSail Windsurf Program?

CANSail programming means lots of time on the water in a safe, fun and active learning environment. Sailors learn the skills and enter into fun and challenging experiences suited to their age and stage of development. The programming is designed to get – and keep – sailors excited about sailing for life! 

CANSail Windsurf Programs are delivered locally by clubs and schools across Canada, with a goal of fostering performance in sailing and life long participation in the sport.

CANSail Windsurf Programs

  • CANSail Windsurf 1
    CANSail Windsurf 1 introduces new sailors to windsurfing from getting underway to steering, tacking, gybing, basic safety and self-rescue procedures. The objective of CANSail 1 is that new windsurfers can learn to have fun on a windsurfer and safely return to where they started. On-water tasks should be completed in wind speeds of 0-10 knots.
  • CANSail Windsurf 2
    On completion of CANSail Windsurf 2, sailors will be able to consistently perform a fast tack and pivot gybe, starting, stopping, proper sail trim and foot steering,  On-water tasks should be completed in wind speeds of 6-12 knots.
  • CANSail Windsurf 3
    In CANSail Windsurf 3, sailors will become familiar with the use of the foot straps and the harness as necessary and will be introduced to planing and racing. On-water tasks should be completed in wind speeds of 9-15 knots.
  • CANSail Windsurf 4
    In CANSail Windsurf 4, sailors will be introduced to windsurfer maintenance, sail theory, planning and advanced techniques such as the water start and the carving gybe. At this level, the windsurfer will be capable of sailing multiple types of sailboards. On-water tasks should be completed in wind speeds of 12 – 25 knots
  • CANSail Windsurf 5
    CANSail Windsurf 5 builds the foundation of racing and competition knowledge for sailors competing at a regional level. The action standards for this program must be completed consistently at the regional level competition. The goals of this program are to train sailors in the fundamentals of racing and provide a platform for developing racer.
  • CANSail Windsurf 6
    On completion of CANSail Windsurf 6 a candidate will be able to compete with good speed and control, at provincial level events. Sailors will have a well-rounded knowledge of sail theory, racing rules and tactics. This program is focused on racing, as preparation for building a foundation of sailors for the elite competition.

More About the CANSail Windsurf Program

There are many ways to deliver the CANSail Windsurf program. Sailing clubs or schools may choose to deliver the CANSail program in different formats which include evening, weekend and full-day programming. The CANSail standards are designed to be flexible so that sailors can work on skills from different levels at the same time and take part in a program that works best for them. 

Sailors may progress through CANSail in a daily summer program or on weekends at their local club. Those interested in racing may choose to join a club race team and complete elements of the CANSail program while sailing with their team. There are lots of ways to progress through the CANSail Program, find one that is right for you!

Find a training site

CANSail Windsurf Instructors

The CANSail Windsurf program can only be delivered by current CANSail Windsurf Instructors who have completed their annual Sail Canada Registration and maintained all their prerequisite certifications.

CANSail Instructors are Trained and Certified following the Coaching Association of Canada, National Coaching Certification Program. Any Instructor or Coach seeking the training to become CANSail accredited should check with their Provincial Sailing Association

Find a instructor or coach in your area

Long Term Sailor Development Framework

The CANSail Dinghy standards and program delivery support systems have been developed to meet the objectives of Sail Canada and Provincial partners in implementing the Long Term Sailor Development Framework (LTSD). The CANSail standards correlate with the first four stages of development in the LTSD, with skills, learning, and experiences meeting the objectives of the developmental stage.

Long Term Sailor Development Framework.


  • Rolex
  • Helly Hansen
  • Gallagher Skippers' Plan
  • BMO Sail Canada MasterCard
  • Government of Canada