Wind-powered recreational (WPR) activities are increasingly popular and occur in many areas of high conservation value. Possible impacts are poorly understood; existing reviews do not generally include recent widespread forms of WPR or have narrow taxonomic/ecological scopes. We identify the coastal ecosystems/wildlife that may interact with WPR and potential impacts: a) noise, movement and other stimuli, b) direct contact, c) disruption of substrates, and d) transport of pests. Almost all available evidence on impacts involves coastal birdlife, specifically their escape responses. Most studies are a) non-peer reviewed, largely anecdotal or otherwise limited in scope and b) from temperate locations. Sustainable use of WPR craft is required despite the prevailing information gaps. We suggest a precautionary, proactive approach which likely requires a combination of site-based management, plus policy and education initiatives.