Sailing lessons

Sailing school Aalsmeer teaches sailing and surfing in many different boat types. We offer a variation of week courses, summer courses, day courses, private lessons and clinics. Below the general information you’ll find a course guide that will help you choose the best suitable boat type.

The default language for most of our sailing courses and summer camps is Dutch. We have 3 international summer sailing weeks during which we provide lessons in English. Private lessons and clinics can always be taught in English. If you have any questions about whether a certain lesson can be taught in English, please don’t hesitate to call us (+31-297-320122) or send us an email (info@zeilschoolaalsmeer.nl).

  • For youth and adults
  • Private or in a group
  • Half a day up to a whole week
  • Year round

  • Summer camps

  • 3 international weeks
  • NWD & VDWS certification

Courseguide

Kids will have the most fun learning how to sail if they choose a boat type that is compatible with their age and experience level. The infographic below gives you a quick overview. Below the infographic you’ll find more information about each boat type.

Age:

5-6

7

8

9

10

11

12-13

14-16

Adults

Spetter & Optimist
Youth keelboat & Keelboat
RS Tera
Laser Pico & RS Zest
doublehanded
RS Feva
doublehanded
Laser Pico & RS Zest
singlehanded
Laser
singlehanded
Laser Vago/2000
doublehanded
Catamaran
Windsurfing
Wind & wingfoiling
Green: Beginner till advanced
Yellow: Somewhat experienced till advanced
Orange: Somewhat advanced till advanced (plus)

Further information per boat type – Youth

‘Spetter’ introduction course

The “spetter” courses exist specifically for kids aged 5-6 that really yearn to sail, but are too young for the Optimist course. In this half-day course two kids share a boat (an Optimist) in a group with maximum 3 boats. A fun sail instructor will be nearby in a motorboat. Usually a smaller sail is used to reduce the strength needed to regulate it. In this way young kids can get acquainted with sailing in a playful way.

Safety is our first concern. Kids will always wear a lifejacket, not just a buoyancy aid, also when on shore. Instructors will make sure that sunscreen is applied at least twice a day. We pay attention to whether the kids are dressed appropriately when on the water, wearing warmer clothes and using more protection against the sun (hat, long sleeved shirt) than on shore.

BOOK HERE: Multi-day course 

Optimist

The Optimist is a small, rather rectangular boat with just one sail. It is a very stable boat because of its shape, making it the ideal boat for kids (of approx. age 7-10) to learn to sail in. A beginner will learn how to use the tiller to steer the boat, how to adjust the sail and regulate the speed. Kids with some experience will learn more advanced skills such as how to use the tiller extension, balance the boat by sitting on the side and how to initiate planing.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Alternative options

Too young? Kids age 5-6 can start out in the “spetter” course, sharing the boat with one other kid and using a smaller sail.

Older than 10, but no sailing experience yet? Try out the youth keelboat or the 2-person centreboard boat (RS Zest/Laser Pico duo) to learn the basics.

Ready for a more advanced boat? Check out the centreboard boat RS Tera or the youth keelboat.

Youth keelboat

The keelboat, with its fixed keel and spacious cockpit, is a stable boat for multiple people. Sailing school Aalsmeer has 3 types (valk, Flytour & Randmeer) that are all slightly different, each with unique learning opportunities. The keelboat is great for learning the basics of sailing and teamwork, while also providing challenges for the experienced sailor. On request we will teach you to sail with a spinnaker or how to use the trapeze. During our lessons you will share the boat with a maximum of 3 other students. Initially the instructor will teach from within the boat. When you are ready for the next step, you will sail the boat with one other person, with the instructor nearby in a motorboat or other sailboat.

The keelboat is suitable for ages 8 and up. For younger kids we recommend starting out in the Optimist.

Youth aged 8 to 13 will learn for the “Youth Keelboat” diploma line, which is less demanding than the (adult) “Keelboat” diploma line for which you can train if you are 14 or older.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Youth centreboard boats

Centreboard boats are dynamic, fast, manoeuvrable and most of them capsize easily. One of the first things you will learn is how to right the boat after capsize. In centreboard boats you will also learn how to regulate the balance of the boat, how to initiate planing, the basics of match racing and much more. Some of our boats are sailed doublehanded (meaning with two people) and you will learn how to coordinate and communicate with your teammate.

Training in the youth centreboard boats below will be rewarded by a “Youth Centreboard” diploma or progress statement.

RS Tera (for youth aged 9-11) has 1 sail and is sailed singlehanded (= with just 1 person). This is an advanced boat and the perfect step up from the Optimist. Some previous sailing experience is required.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

RS Zest and Laser Pico can be sailed singlehanded (with one person and one sail) or doublehanded (with two people and two sails). These boats are slightly heavier than RS Tera and require more weight to get upright. Therefore they are great boats to sail doublehanded for teens aged 11-14 and great to sail singlehanded from age 12 or 13 and up. With some previous sailing experience in either Optimist or keelboat you will get the most fun and learning out of this boat. For the doublehanded course you can sign up together with a friend, if they have about the same level of experience as you. If you sign up solo for the doublehanded course you will be matched with someone with the same level of experience.

BOOK HERE for singlehanded:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

BOOK HERE for doublehanded: Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

RS Feva doublehanded is great for ages 12 and higher and is the next step up from RS Zest and Laser Pico. This boat is sailed doublehanded (= by two people). With 3 sails this boat presents an extra challenge for those with previous experience in sailing centreboard boats. Teamwork is more important. In this boat you will learn good communication skills, how to use a gennaker.

BOOK HERE: Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Centreboard boats for ages 14 and up

Laser singlehanded and Laser Vago/2000 doublehanded are boats for the experienced centreboard sailor aged 14 or older. They are the next step up from the youth centreboard boats. Training in these boats is rewarded with a “Centreboard” diploma or progress statement, which has more advanced requirements than the “Youth Centreboard” diploma line.

Laser is the ideal advanced boat to learn more about the interaction between weight distribution, sail trim and steering. You will practice manoeuvres like roll-tack, roll-gybe, planing and more. You will also learn more about safety, forces and the basics of sailing competitions.

If you have no sailing experience yet but are aged 14 or older, you can book this course, but you will start out in the Laser Pico or RS Zest.

Laser singlehanded is the international racing dingy that is used in the Olympics and other international races. It has 1 sail and is sailed solo. There are multiple sizes of sail for different types of weather.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Laser Vago/2000 doublehanded is for those who would rather sail together with someone. The boat has two sails and an optional third: the gennaker. The challenge in this boat is to keep balance with two people in the boat. Furthermore you can learn to sail with a gennaker and how to use a trapeze.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-dau course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Youth catamaran

The RS CAT 14 is our fastest youth boat. If you love speed and are aged 14 or older, this is the boat for you. You will sail with one other person and learn how to cooperate with each other, keep the boat upright and balanced at high speeds. You can also learn how to use the gennaker and trapeze. The instructor will be nearby in a motorboat.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course Private lesson

Windsurf

Windsurfing is a fun alternative to a sailboat to enjoy being out on the water and work with the wind. Learning to windsurf requires energy and perseverance. Once you get the hang of it, you will want keep going. We teach surfing from age 11 and up.

As a beginner you will learn which material you need and how to get it ready. You will train to balance on the board, learn how to start, get to know the different points of sail and how to adjust your sail accordingly. Furthermore you will practice tacking and gybing and more. In short, you will prepare to surf independently.

The experienced surfer can train to finetune the basics and continue with the more advanced skills. You will learn to surf close hauled, train to tack faster, learn a power gybe or how to plane and use the foot holds. You will be invited to execute manoeuvres more accurately and faster. In short, you will improve your control over board and sail.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Wind & wingfoil

Foiling is the newest and trendiest water sports discipline. A winglike construction underneath a board creates upward pressure and lifts the board out of the water. The result is that it feels as if you are flying across the water surface at an incredible speed.

The exciting new sport of wingfoiling combines this foil board with a kite that you hold in your hands, whereas windfoiling combines the foil with a regular windsurfing sail. For windfoiling you need to have previous windsurfing experience. Wingfoiling does not require any previous sailing or surfing experience. So anyone can come and give it a try!

Wingfoiling is exciting and fast. The basics of how to hold the wing and manoeuvre the board are relatively easy to learn, also if you do not have any previous experience with windsurfing or kite surfing. The challenge is to keep your balance, especially when the board starts coming out of the water. Perseverance and a good sense of balance are the most important ingredients to learn to wingfoil.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Group clinic (1.5 h)  |  Private lesson (2.5h)

Windfoiling gives an exhilarating new dimension to windsurfing, flying above the water surface. The reduced friction allows for even greater speed than regular windsurfing. Whether you want to try foiling for the first or have some foiling experience already and want to take the next step, sailing school Aalsmeer is the right place for you. We offer private lessons only.

BOOK HERE:  Group clinic (1.5 h)  |  Private lesson (2.5 h)

Combination course

Can’t choose? You’re in luck, you don’t have to.

We offer combination courses where you can get to know different boat types. The windsurf or keelboat course will be the base for your week. Next to that you can get acquainted with the other of those two disciplines, go sailing on the centreboard boat Laser Pico and race along on one of our fast catamarans.

You do not need any experience for this course. If you do already have experience in the discipline of your choosing, then of course you will continue at your own level for that discipline.

Choose one or our combination courses if you want a week full of variation, if you want to learn the differences and similarities between surfing and sailing, if you want to try a (few) different boat types to discover which one you like most or if you just want a fun-filled water sports week.

BOOK HERE for Keelboat combi: Multi-day course 

BOOK HERE for Windsurf combi: Multi-day course

Further information per boat type – Adult

Keelboat

The keelboat, with its fixed keel and spacious cockpit, is a stable boat for multiple people. Sailing school Aalsmeer has 3 types (valk, Flytour & Randmeer) that are all slightly different, each with unique learning opportunities. The keelboat is great for learning the basics of sailing and teamwork, while also providing challenges for the experienced sailor. On request we will teach you to sail with a spinnaker or how to use the trapeze.

During our lessons you will share the boat with a maximum of 3 other students. Sailing together you can also learn a lot from each other and listening to feedback given to your fellow students. With this set-up you will also practice directing a boat with crew. Initially the instructor will teach from within the boat. When you are ready for the next step, you will sail the boat with one other person, with the instructor nearby in a motorboat or other sailboat.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Centreboard boats

Centreboard boats are dynamic, fast, manoeuvrable and most of them capsize easily. If you have no sailing experience yet, you will start out in the Laser Pico or RS Zest to learn the basic skills. One of the first things you will learn is how to right the boat after capsize. In centreboard boats you will also learn how to regulate the balance of the boat, how to initiate planing, the basics of match racing and much more.

Those who already have some sailing experience will enjoy either the Laser singlehanded (if you want a boat to yourself) or the Laser Vago/2000 doublehanded (if you prefer to sail together with someone else). Laser is the ideal advanced boat to learn more about the interaction between weight distribution, sail trim and steering. You will practice manoeuvres like roll-tack, roll-gybe, planing and more. You will also learn more about safety, forces and the basics of sailing competitions. In the Laser Vago/2000 you will also learn how to coordinate and communicate with your teammate.

Laser singlehanded is the international racing dingy that is used in the Olympics and other international races. It has 1 sail and is sailed solo. There are multiple sizes of sail for different types of weather.

BOOK HERE, also if you are a beginner:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Laser Vago/2000 doublehanded is for those who would rather sail together with someone. The boat has two sails and an optional third: the gennaker. The challenge in this boat is to keep balance with two people in the boat. Furthermore you can learn to sail with a gennaker and how to use a trapeze.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

29er

The 29er is a High Performance Skiff with asymmetric spinnaker of 15 m2 and trapeze. It is a spectacularly fast 2-person centreboard racing boat that can reach speeds of 20 knots and above. It is an advanced boat for the experienced and agile sailor.

In this boat type we provide only private lessons for a half day (3 hours) or full day (10-17 o’clock).

If you book a lesson, you will learn how to get the boat ready for sailing, practice keeping the boat balanced, learn how to trim the sails, how to use the gennaker and where and how to stand in trapeze.

BOOK HERE:  Private lesson

Catamaran

We have two types of catamaran: the RS CAT 14 (with one trapeze) and the Nacra 570 (with two trapezes). The Nacra is the fastest boat of our fleet, with a gennaker of 21 m2 and a combined sail area for head and main sail of 21.4 m2. A catamaran is sailed doublehanded at high speed and is therefore a great boat to learn to cooperate as a team and keep the boat under control when you are flying across the lake.

In this boat type we provide only private lessons for a half day (3 hours) or full day (10-17 o’clock). The instructor will decide whether to use the RS CAT 14 or the Nacra 570, depending on your skill level and the weather.

If you are a beginner or if there is a lot of wind the best option is often the RS CAT 14. This catamaran can also be sailed singlehanded, which provides a nice challenge to balance steering, standing in trapeze, keeping the boat under control and handle the spinnaker.

Most often the lesson will take place on the Nacra 570, which is always sailed doublehanded. Initially the instructor will come along on board. Later on he/she will coach you from a motorboat. If you are an experienced catamaran sailor the Nacra, with its two trapezes and 42 m2 of sail area, will still provide enough of a challenge.

BOOK HERE:  Private lesson

Windsurf

Windsurfing is a fun alternative to a sailboat to enjoy being out on the water and work with the wind. Learning to windsurf requires energy and perseverance. Once you get the hang of it, you will want keep going.

As a beginner you will learn which material you need and how to get it ready. You will train to balance on the board, learn how to start, get to know the different points of sail and how to adjust your sail accordingly. Furthermore you will practice tacking and gybing and more. In short, you will prepare to surf independently.

The experienced surfer can train to finetune the basics and continue with the more advanced skills. You will learn to surf close hauled, train to tack faster, learn a power gybe or how to plane and use the foot holds. You will be invited to execute manoeuvres more accurately and faster. In short, you will improve your control over board and sail.

BOOK HERE:  Multi-day course  |  Day course  |  Private lesson

Wind & wingfoil

Foiling is the newest and trendiest water sports discipline. A winglike construction underneath a board creates upward pressure and lifts the board out of the water. The result is that it feels as if you are flying across the water surface at an incredible speed.

The exciting new sport of wingfoiling combines this foil board with a kite that you hold in your hands, whereas windfoiling combines the foil with a regular windsurfing sail. For windfoiling you need to have previous windsurfing experience. Wingfoiling does not require any previous sailing or surfing experience. So anyone can come and give it a try!

Wingfoiling is exciting and fast. The basics of how to hold the wing and manoeuvre the board are relatively easy to learn, also if you do not have any previous experience with windsurfing or kite surfing. The challenge is to keep your balance, especially when the board starts coming out of the water. Perseverance and a good sense of balance are the most important ingredients to learn to wingfoil.

BOOK HERE:  Group clinic (1.5 h)  |  Private lesson (2.5h)

Windfoiling gives an exhilarating new dimension to windsurfing, flying above the water surface. The reduced friction allows for even greater speed than regular windsurfing. Whether you want to try foiling for the first or have some foiling experience already and want to take the next step, sailing school Aalsmeer is the right place for you. We offer private lessons only.

BOOK HERE:   Group clinic (1.5 h)  |  Private lesson (2.5h)