How to Windsurf

Windsurfing also called boat sailing is an activity that involves sailing while standing on top of a board. The rider holds onto a metallic pole, called a mast, which is mounted onto the board. This mast also supports a sail. The rider then guides the board to move in any preferred direction.

Getting Started

Before surfing, one must ensure that the surfing equipment is in the proper state. The boards should have one or several fins and dagger boards; which should be kept down at all times A rig, should be held on using foot straps and an uphaul be fitted from the boom to the mast. Wind direction should be observed the sail and board adjusted accordingly. Since the sail and mast form T-position, the board and sail will, therefore, be 90 degrees towards the wind.

Step 1

The rider should then swim of walk towards the upwind direction, climb onto the board and hold the uphaul. Climbing should be done while still on one's knees so as to gain stability before grabbing the cord. Sea waves usually become more and rougher as one venture deeper. The rider, therefore, ought to be quick to learn balance before reaching the more fiery depths as they will be knocked right off the board. Beginner boards are much easier in gaining stability.

Step 2

The rider should then carefully stand up straight while pulling the sail backward using the uphaul held. Standing up straight helps avoid pulling the sail using one's back since the sail is usually wet and heavy at this time and can cause serious back injuries if lifted using one’s back strength.One way of knowing that one is using their back instead of legs is a backache that starts as soon as one starts pulling the sail up. Standing straight can be done by ensuring one's front ankle, knee, hips, and shoulder are all in one line hence one’s body becomes vertical to the mast.

Step 3

The sail should then be pulled up to a point in which it is barely touching the water. However, the sail should still be in contact with the water hence becoming wet. This offers resistance to high waves that may try to knock the rider off.Pulling the sails requires swiftness and precision.

Step 4

This step involves the 'safety position' in which the rider, using minimum power grabs the mast and move to the back of the board so as to observe the law of gravity by making the sail come towards the rider and not the other way round. The rider must, therefore, avoid leaning forward otherwise they risk being pulled forward and falling. The feet in this situation act as the pivot. The front arm should also be kept straight so as to save energy hence accelerate the progress. Pulling the mast is a beginner’s technique which is eventually replaced with placing the hand directly to the boom as one gets better.

Step 5

The rider should then grab the boom, preferably pulling the sail towards them slowly but steadily so as to avoid a quick close of the sail which may push they forward causing a loss of balance. They should then close the sail slowly and familiarize with the power transitions when closing and opening the sail.

Step 6

While still in the 'safety position;' the rider can try steer. This position is known as 'center steering,' and it is done by tilting the mast to any preferred sideway direction a leftward tilt will make the board turn clockwise, and one to the right will make it turn counter clockwise. Wind strength will affect the turning speed of the board therefore proper balance should be observed in one's body i.e. legs and arms and the board.

Step 7

One can then start making minor movements to form the commonly called number 7 position, in which one carefully places one hand to the boom and the other on the mast all the while still leaning back and keeping their arms straight.

Step 8

It is possible to accelerate or reduce the speed of a wind surfboard. This effect can be achieved by pulling the boom with the backhand which accelerates and letting it out to reduce the speed.

Step 9

In case the rider needs to turn, this can be done by Tilting the mast toward the stern, while slowly adjusting from the safety position so as to turn the nose of the board behind them that is; upwind or towards the bow to turn downwind also so as to turn the board in front of them, i.e. downwind, the nose should be turned towards the bow. Before doing this, the rider must first, check for traffic so as to avoid getting in someone’s way. The rider then, using one hand gets a hold of the mast and places their front foot in front of the mast, while still maintaining weight with the other. The rider then turns to the wind and with their arms straight bends one knee while making tiny steps. With force still on the sail, the rider then swings their whole body in front of the mast and turns the board using their feet.

Step 10

After having fun shifting, tilting, and all that there is to windsurfing, it comes down to one thing, how does one stop? It is possible to gain an injury for if the rider does now stop properly especially in places with rough waves, the rider should stop by returning to the safety position and dropping the boom once it is safe and ensuring it goes in front so as to avoid getting entangled.

Successful windsurfing comes down to three main rules:1. Ensuring weight support is provided by the back foot, especially in case of high winds 2. Keeping one's arms straight; so as to save on energy.3. Keeping one's body straight. Most sailors often forget this rule and assume the 'monkey stance' position and may end up losing balance since weight is taken off the back foot which a previously mentioned; plays a pivotal role. This results in fatigue since the rider is forced to use their body weight to pull the sail. It is, therefore, wise to make sure that one's body is vertical to the mast.

Lastly, the rider should remember that the primary reason for engaging in windsurfing is having fun and they should try to avoid or rather minimize anxiety as it hinders the learning process and draws the fun of windsurfing.

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