Windsurfing – Performance Techniques

A sailboard will move depending on the wind conditions and the skill or intentions of the surfer, in two entirely different manners with two different displacements as given below −

Windsurfing Performance Under Sailing Conditions

These conditions arise when there are light winds (less than approximately 12 knots), the board moves through the water – much like a sailing boat does – using an extendable center board and fin for stability and lateral resistance.

  • Directional Control − It is achieved by moving the rig either forward (turning away from the wind) or aft (turning towards the wind).

  • Fall Recovery − It is achieved when you climb on the board, grab the pulling rope, make sure the mast foot is between two feet, pull the sail about one-third out of the water, and let the wind turn the sail-board combination.

Windsurfing Performance Under Planning Conditions

These conditions arise when there are strong winds (more than approximately, 12 knots). Typically, at this point a harness is worn in order to use the body to counter the force in the sail more efficiently.

  • Directional Control − It is mainly achieved by putting the surfer’s weight pressure on either the left or the right edge of the board. Jibing is done at full speed and pressure is released from the sail as the board speed turns downwind, allowing for the sail to be jibed.

  • Fall Recovery − When the winds are too strong to pull the sail out of the water while standing on the board, the surfer has to “water start” the board. Occasionally, a surfer becomes unable to water start, if the wind has dropped and the sail becomes too small to lift the surfer out of the water.