What is Land Sailing?
Fancy hurtling down a beach or desert flat at bone rattling speeds only a few centimetres of the deck harnessing only the energy of the wind? Then maybe land sailing is for you. What is land sailing or landsailing?
You may have only seen landing sailing on the enormous beaches of the west coast of Ireland, or Dutch coastline and on the television on a random episode of Blue Peter… something along those lines. It looked cool, fast and of course a lot of fun to most of us, but was it really accessible. Well now it is easily accessible.
What is Land Sailing?
The sport has a few variations but the basic premise involves racing a small kart, usually a trike with a sail attached via a mast. Utilising only the wind land yachts can reach breathtaking speeds. A quick search reveals that the record is held by British man Richard Jenkins and his land yacht Greenbird. He reached an incredible speed of 126.1 mph (202.9 km/h).
Land sailing is also known by many names such as sand yachting, land yachting or sand sailing. Land sailing or wind-driven propulsion has been around for over two thousand years, likely to be much longer than this.
Fun Fact: Technically land sailing is harnessing the sun’s energy and not quite the wind as it is in fact the sun’s energy that causes the winds to blow and air masses to move.
How to do Land Sailing?
Beginners should also seek the advice of a trained professional instructor and of course dawn the necessary protection such as a helmet and gloves (don’t think your PPE will help much though).
For the first-timers, land sailing is one of the easiest alternative sports to start. The sport itself does not require much prior experience and can be practiced for everyone aged over ten. There are many build-your-own land sailing kits available with global shipping options.
After you get your first kit, you should start practicing for your wind handling and riding skills in a safe environment such as an empty beach. However, there are some additional tricks to contemplate for those who would like to discover all the details of land sailing from the very beginning. For instance, the sailing surface holds particular importance to be able to ride in a small sail board on beaches or dried lakes. Additionally, the type or classes of land yachts determine the course of the competition. Class 2 are very large in size which in return may limit their speed. On the other hand, class 3 yachts are the most popular group. They can reach up to 113 km per hour due to their smaller size. Class 5 is much smaller and imposes a specific stance for its driver. It is still required to sail it lying down, the pilot uses a seat which is suspended from a steel chassis.
Before You Go- Stuff You Need to Know
- Land sailing vehicles usually do not have brakes, so you need to control them by easing off the sail or turning it against the wind.
- The most common cause of injury in land sailing is speeding. It would be best for you to keep your speed in check.
- Building a land sailing vehicle with a kit is a great opportunity for a family project.
- It is an environmental-friendly sport and encouraged by many organizations around the world.
Land Sailing Equipment List- What Equipment is Needed for Land Sailing?
Land sailing only requires three essential pieces of equipment; the sail, the vehicle and the safety gear.
The sail is there to ride the wind and give direction to the vehicle. You need to rotate the sail with your feet to the best possible direction to gain more speed.
Most land sailing vehicles are meant for one person and have three tires with one on the front and two on the back. They are pretty light to increase overall speed and come with various types, especially in professional racing. There are more than six vehicle classes in competitive land sailing races.
Land sailing is considered as a safe sport in comparison to other speed-oriented sports but you still need to wear a safety gear set including a helmet, knee and elbow protection. If you are planning to travel with your equipment, there might be additional costs.
When is the Best Time for Land Sailing?
Land sailing can be practiced in every season. Dry, flat terrain and windy weather are much more preferable for the sport. Hence why sand flats are popular.