Boardsailing BSA

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Boardsailing BSA

This patch is not worn on the uniform.
It is aquatic insignia and can be worn on swim trunks.
Last updated:
Level:Boy Scouts, Venturers


The Boardsailing BSAprogram has been developed to introduce Scout-age children to basic boardsailing skills, equipment, and safety precautions, to encourage development of skills that promote fitness and safe aquatics recreation, and to lay a skill and knowledge foundation for those who will later participate in more advanced and demanding activities on the water.

Boardsailing BSA is not a merit badge.

Boardsailing BSA requirements

  1. Before fulfilling the following requirements, you must successfully complete the BSA swimmer classification test.
  2. Review how each point of BSA Safety Afloat applies to boardsailing.
  3. Explain precautions for the following environmental factors: dying wind, high wind, offshore winds, currents, waves, and lightning.
  4. Discuss the prevention, recognition, and treatment of the following health concerns that could arise while boardsailing: hypothermia, sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. With supervision from your instructor, sail a course that involves beating, reaching, and running. Change direction by tacking into the wind.

The official source for the information shown in this is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
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Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Info for Counselors


This award has been developed to introduce Scout-age children to basic boardsailing skills, equipment, and safety precautions; to encourage the development of skills that promote fitness and safe aquatic recreation; and to lay a skill and knowledge foundation for those who will later participate in more advanced and demanding activities on the water. Boardsailing BSA is well suited as a program feature for older Scouts at summer camp.


Any person recognized and certified as an instructor by Windsurfer International or the United States Boardsailing Association may serve as a counselor for this award with the approval of the local council. A person trained and experienced in boardsailing skills and safety may serve as a counselor for this award in a Scout summer camp program under the direction and supervision of a currently certified Aquatics Instructor, BSA. All requirements must be completed as stated on this Boardsailing BSA application. The counselor should not omit, vary, or add requirements. The requirements should be taught and completed in the order in which they are presented on the application.


Scouts completing the requirements will receive a swimsuit patch, No. 00249. A completed award application should be submitted to the local council by the counselor or unit leader.

Teaching Areas

Instruction must be conducted on a body of water meeting the criteria defined in the BSA guidelines for boardsailing. (See the "Aquatics" section of Camp Program and Property Management, No. 20-920.) A steady five- to seven-knot breeze is ideal for beginner practice. Initial water entry and practice should be on a gradual beach that meets Safe Swim Defense standards. The body of water should be free of other traffic, and be protected from shore and open water so that students are within fifty feet of assistance at all times during beginner instruction and practice.


A number of useful publications are available from equipment suppliers. The following are recommended:

  • The Complete Guide to Windsurfing, by Jeremy Evans
  • The Sailboard Book, by Jake Grubb
  • Windsurfing, by Roger Jones
  • Boardsailing Made Easy, by Chip Winans and Mimi Greenwood

Board Sailing Guidelines

(Found in Section V of Camp Program and Property Management, No. 90-920)

Whenever Scouts or Explorers participate in boardsailing activities, the following guidelines and practices should be followed:

1. A responsible adult must supervise all board-sailing activities. The supervising adult must be experienced and qualified in water safety (BSA Lifeguard, Red Cross Advanced Lifesaving, or YMCA Senior Lifesaver) and must be an experienced board sailor or use assistants with such qualifications.
2. Only persons who have successfully completed the official BSA swimmers test in the current year may participate in a board-sailing activity.
3. All participants must present evidence of fitness assured by a complete health history from a physician, parent, or legal guardian. The adult supervisor should adjust all supervision, discipline, and protection to anticipate any potential risks associated with individual health conditions. In the event of any significant health condition, an examination by a physician should be required by the adult supervisor.
4. All participants should receive instruction in boardsailing skills and safety from an experienced board sailor.
5. All persons must wear an approved U.S. Coast Guard personal flotation device (type II or III recommended) at all times while participating in a board-sailing activity.
6. No one sails alone; always have a buddy on the water (in a boat or on another board). Board sailors must stay within view and easy rescue range of lookout in an appropriately equipped rescue boat.
7. No board-sailing at night, at dusk, or in rough water. Weather and water conditions must be known and understood in advance of any board-sailing activity, and weather forecasts should be studied. Exposure suits are recommended for cool water or cool weather.
8. Avoid swimming areas, fishermen, and underwater diving activity. Use designated board-sailing beaches when available. Stay out of traffic or channels that have heavy traffic.
9. All equipment should be safety checked and repaired as needed before each use.
10. When in difficulty, a person should stay with the board and not attempt to swim ashore.
11. All participants should know, understand, and follow the rules and procedures for safe board-sailing. The supervisor should encourage the individual exercise of good judgment and self-discipline, and assure that safety rules are fairly and constantly enforced.

Requirement resources

Related awards

Aquatic-related awards

External links

Guide to Safe Scouting

Personal tools