People have been ice sailing or ice surfing in the Northern countries since  the late 1800 century. In the winter time there are thousands of frozen lakes and plenty of frozen sea areas along the Finnish coast. In the beginning people sailed with traditional ice yachts and skate sails.

As soon as windsurfing was invented in California in the late 1960s, the sport was adapted for winter sport use in the form of wintersurfing on ice and snow with a sled consisting of one, two or three skis, a metal frame and a surfrig. In the Netherlands, Poland and Germany the windsurfing equipment was based on skates as the sport is mostly performed on ice. Ice and Snow Sailing is generally practised on frozen lakes; with black Ice, snow or mix of it.

The W.I.S.S.A.-Ice and Snow- Sailing World Championship is the oldest and best event of its kind in the world.

In the beginning, there was only the Open Class. In this class the sailor stands on any type of sled or board to control a conventional sailboard rig. The sled may have blades, skis and/or runners. The design of these sleds is unrestricted, resulting in many innovations.

In the early 1990s W.S.S.A. expanded to include two other classes, making a total of three classes for racing


Open Class: Sleds of all designs, powered by a conventional windsurfing rig racing together.

Free Sail Class: The sailor stands on any type of sliding device (skis, skates, snowboard, etc.) to control any type of free-sail (skate sail, skimbat, wingsail, etc.) directly with their hands

Kite-Class: The sailor stands on any type of sliding device (skis, skates, snowboard, etc.) to control a kite (or kite train) with control lines. The sailor may not hold the kite directly, but instead only the control handles or control bar.