The VDWS e. V. was founded in 1974. Its target has been to train windsurfing instructors and to support their work. An important step has been the introduction of the basic licence.Windsurfing came up under the motto: „No board sale without training and licence.“ Meanwhile more than one million licences have been issued and about 2.5 million stundents (beginner and advanced) have been trained. Today the VDWS has about 3600 members and attends 540 schools in over 30 different countries (200 schools in Germany and 340 schools abroad), all acting under the same directions. Being the head association, the VDWS represents the interests of instructors and schools and cooperates with public schools, universities, local communities and district governments.
In 1988 the VDWS-Service GmbH was founded to establish a flexible and professional base for a stronger co-operation with member schools as well as the supply of instruction tools. It is a subsidiary company of the VDWS e. V. , organizes the instruction courses and the advanced training of instructors, is responsible for the developing of instruction tools and offers many different services.
In 1994 it has been voted for a name modification during a meeting. The members agreed on „Verband Deutscher Windsurfing und Wassersportschulen e. V.“ (Association of German windsurfing and watersport schools). Thus the association meets also the requirements of schools, which offer other types of watersport apart from windsurfing, especially catamaran- and jolly-boat-sailing.
When in 1999 kite-surfing was up to become really popular, the VDWS had already engaged in this new and fascinating sport. A first workshop was held in Holland and the enthusiasm for this sport was as big as the one for windsurfing, at the time it came up. Since the year 2000 kite instruction courses are offered and the newly developed instruction tools were presented in 2001 for the first time.
There are VDWS schools in over 30 countries, from Thailand to Hawaii. Insofar we were overtaken by our success and the term „association of German...“ is not correct anymore. The four letters VDWS are a worldwide brandname for a high quality training in watersports. By the foundation of VDWS ITALIA and VDWS POLEN, as well as the VDWS-distribution centre on the Canary Islands, this successful track is being followed.
Support and attention for instructors and schools is a central target of the VDWS. Part of that is also:
- training of windsurfing, catamaran, sailing, SUP, wingfoliling and kite instructors
- regular events for information and advanced training
- school-manager meetins and workshops
- the latest instruction tools
- equipment and advertising media
- advice and information about windsurfing, sailing, SUP, wingfoiling and kite
- assistance for school-foundations
- free mediation of vacancies
- the latest information in our magazine „NEWS“
The head of the association is a honorary managing board, which is supported by the office. Instruction courses are held by a highly professional instruction team.
At the anual meeting Düsseldorf 21.1.2007 a new name was decide:
VDWS - Verband Deutscher Wassersport Schulen e.V.