The RS:X came about as a result of a successful bid by NeilPryde Windsurfing to supply one design windsurfing equipment for the 2008 Olympic Games in China. The RS:X was designed in 2004 and went into production in 2005.
The RS:X design features a high technology rig, with carbon mast, boom and fin, a ‘wide-style’ board that merges modern windsurf board design with a centreboard, thus enabling competitions to be held in virtually any condition from 3 to 30 knots. This means that the RS:X is always a dynamic, versatile class to observe, and racing is always close, exciting and visually appealing.
Two sizes of sail are available for competitors. Men use a 9.5m2 sail while women and youth use an 8.5m2 sail. The sail, rig and board have been designed in conjunction with each other in order to ensure a high level of design synergy.
The RS:X Class Association was established in November 2006 and incorporated in January 2007 and is critical to the establishment and ongoing development of the RS:X as an International Olympic Class.
The RS:X is the most affordable yachting class that is eligible for competition in the Olympic Games. It is also very easy to transport, as it can be carried on commercial aircraft as excess baggage, thus allowing sailors to compete internationally at minimal expense. This allows the scheduling of many regattas which can be attended by a large number of sailors from all over the world.
The inaugural RS:X World Championships were held at Lake Garda, Italy, and featured some 244 competitors. Subsequent World Championship regattas all around the World – in 2007 Cascais, Portugal, 2008 Auckland, New Zealand, further years in Weymouth GBR, Kerteminde DEN, Perth AUS, Cadiz ESP, Buzios BRA, Santander ESP, Mussanah OMA, Eilat ISR, Enoshima JPN and Aarhus DEN have been attracted around 160-200 sailors respectively.
More than 3000 sets of equipment have been sold since production started in 2005 to competitors in more than 60 nations in 6 continents.
The RS:X Class is actively involved in developing racing fleets in the U21, U19 and U17 Age Divisions who compete in separate World and Continental Championships. It should be noted that only the U19 Division is awarded World Championship titles for Youth Men and Youth Women recognised by World Sailing due to the strict limitations that they impose on their number.
Three successful Olympic games have been sailed with the RS:X – 2008 Beijing/Qingdao CHN, 2012 London/Weymouth GBR and 2016 Rio de Janeiro BRA.
The RS:X equipment has been improved actively since beginning and today we have a most beautiful, attractive and competitive RS:X equipment, which will compete also at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and hopefully at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in Marseille,
The current RS:X equipment has been built according to the World Sailing requirements and polices to be an one-design equipment, with a modern ‘short board’ shape and able to race in any wind and wave conditions – from 3 kts up to 30 kts of wind. It can sail at any format and discipline (W/L course racing, downwind slalom, extremely wide wind range, close to the beach format, etc)
The RS:X’s ‘One Hull & Rig’ concept is the best (cheapest) for the continued growth of Windsurfing globally. The RS:X fleet worldwide has a good gender balance, strong universality with a good number of countries competing globally and there is a wide age range on the fleet.
Welcome to the RS:X Class!