The Windsurfer One Design now has special categories and classes for kids and youth, ranging from 9 year olds up to teenagers who can beat their parents (and all too often do!)
About 25% of the Windsurfer One Design fleet is now composed of teenagers, sailing alongside their parents. It's an ideal way to get your kids on the water and allow them to have all the fun you had in the '80s.
The Windsurfer One Design is ideal for kids because it's tough, cheap, has a very light rig and performs well across the range of winds - in NSW the Windsurfer is rated as fast as the "official" youth board, the Techno 293, which has a much bigger and heavier sail. The Windsurfer attracts bigger youth and junior fleets than any other board, and it is the only board that allows youths to be fully competitive against the adults. The pic below shows Techno champ Annaliese Gilbert, a product of the Junior One Design programme, racing hard against her world champ and Olympian father.
The Junior One Design is simply the standard Windsurfer board with a 4.5m J1 sail (made by Barracouta Sails) or any other sail under 4.1m.
The Junior One is an outstanding board to use to teach your kids. The short battens mean that the sail is lighter, and the dacron construction means that it's tougher. The board is cheap (they can use the same board as you, or even an old original daggerboard Windsurfer), tough and it out-performs modern boards most of the time, especially under the small sail.
Junior One racing is held at most championships, using a separate short course. Kids under 13 sail a variety of small lightweight rigs under about 3.5. Older kids use the 4.5m sail, which is a miniature version of the standard 6m that provides a surprising amount of performance.