How to Windsurf

A beginners' guide to windsurfing

Windsurfing is part-sailing, part-surfing and all fun. The following guidelines will help you learn the basics about this exhilarating watersport.

How to Windsurf

Climbing aboard

  1. Stand in waist-high water with your board in front of you and the sail downwind of the board. Climb aboard on your knees and grasp the "uphaul," the line attached to the middle of the mast.
  2. Stand up, place one foot on either side of the mast and start to raise the rig, keeping your back to the wind. Make sure your back is straight and your weight is over the centre of the board.

Moving off

  1. Find your balance before attempting to move. Let the rig swing freely downwind of you, while keeping hold of the uphaul. Get the feel of the board and make sure you feel comfortable with your position and balance.
  2. Hold the boom (the horizontal bar), and pull it across your body as you step back towards the tail of the board. Your front foot should be at the base of the mast. As the wind catches the sail, you'll begin to move off at right angles to the wind. Pull back with your back hand to speed up and relax your pressure to ease off the speed.

Using the wind

The wind is your engine. The skill of sailing or windsufing lies in harnessing the wind to take you in the direction that you want to go. Sailing in the same direction as the wind ("running") is a simple matter; the wind naturally pushes you along and you go where it leads you. Sailing "upwind" is much trickier. You have to work hard to manipulate the sails so as to catch the wind and drive the boat or board against its natural inclination.

Following these basic tips will have you riding the waves with ease.

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