Boardsailing BSA

Swimsuit / swim trunks emblem

Boardsailing BSA has been developed to introduce basic boardsailing skills, equipment, and safety precautions; to encourage the development of skills that promote fitness and safe aquatic recreation; and to lay a foundation for more advanced and demanding boardsailing activities. Any youth or adult who is registered with a troop, crew, or ship and completes the requirements is eligible for a patch and recognition card. The completed award application should be handled as directed by the council Training, Aquatics, or other committee.

All counselors must be trained in Safety Afloat and have council approval. Any person recognized as a boardsailing instructor by US Windsurfing or US Sailing, or someone with similar experience in boardsailing skills, safety, and instruction, may serve as a counselor for this award.

Instruction must be conducted on a protected body of water in an area free from other traffic or large waves. Initial water entry and practice should be on a gradual beach clear of hazards. A steady three-to-seven knot breeze is ideal for beginner practice. All participants should be close enough to supervisory personnel for efficient instruction and ready assistance.

All requirements must be completed as stated. Basic skills and safety precautions are presented in the BSA publication: Aquatics Supervision: A Youth Leader’s Guide for Swimming and Boating Activities, No. 34346. Additional resources may be found online at and

Swimsuit / swim trunks emblem – The Boardsailing BSA patch is NOT worn on the uniform or the sash; it is worn on the left side of the swimsuit / swim trunks

Boardsailing BSA Award

Upon successful completion, participants earn the Boardsailing BSA patch along with their achievement card.  Completion indicates the individual has experienced a valuable introduction to boardsailing.

Boardsailing BSA Requirements

Before fulfilling the following requirements, you must successfully complete the BSA swimmer classification test.
Review how each point of BSA Safety Afloat applies to boardsailing.
Explain precautions for the following environmental factors: dying wind, high wind, offshore winds, currents, waves, and lightning.
Discuss the prevention, recognition, and treatment of the following health concerns that could arise while boardsailing: hypothermia, sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion.
Properly rig and prepare the sailboard you are using. Identify each of the following: uphaul, outhaul, downhaul, cleat, leach, tack, clew, foot, luff, skeg, centerboard, wishbone boom, and universal. Explain luffing. Explain how to steer the sailboard by adjusting the center of effort.
Demonstrate your ability to uphaul the sail, find the neutral position to the wind (sail luffing), and control the board’s position with foot movement.
With supervision from your instructor, sail a course that involves beating, reaching, and running. Change direction by tacking into the wind.

Boardsailing BSA – Forms, Links, and Resources

Aquatics Supervision – Leader's Guide – the Boardsailing BSA award application is contained in the appendix.

Additional teaching and skill references may be found online at and