Table of Contents

Overview

This cheat sheet is a concise guide to windsurfing technique. It's not intended to intended as a substitute for getting some instruction. Use it when your having trouble with a particular technique and you need to refresh your brain. This tip sheet tends to geared more toward intermediate sailors. There's not a lot here for beginners or advanced sailors. I put this list together to help intermediate sailors get through what I believe to be the most difficult phase of windsurfing, that is waterstarting and getting into the straps. Once you have perfected waterstarting; sailing dialed in and planing in the straps; the rest is gravy.

Legend

Waterstart

Orient the board/sail

  1. Orient the rig so that the sail is leeward of the board and clew is pointed downwind.
  2. If needed, flip the sail by lifting the clew into the wind and working hand over and on the boom back to the mast.

Clear the sail

  1. Rest the boom on the back of the board and let the wind get under the sail.
  2. Orient the mast 90 degrees to the wind and pull the sail forward and then up.
  3. If headed in the wrong direction:

Fly the sail so that it keeps you afloat

  1. Keep the board at 90 degrees to the wind.
  2. To point the board more downwind, increase pressure on the mast base by:
    1. Sheeting in or
    2. Pushing down through the boom and mast with arms.
  3. To point the board more upwind, decrease pressure on the mast base by:
    1. Sheeting out or
    2. Releasing pressure on the booms

Get up on the board

  1. Put back foot on the board in between front and rear straps - Just the heel.
  2. Put your head under your front arm
  3. Let the sail help pull you up and pull the tail of the board under your butt.
  4. When coming up, make sure feet get planted on the centerline.
  5. Once up, keep front foot pointed forward to keep from getting launched.

Longboard Pivot Jibe (Light Wind)

  1. Move hands back on the boom.
  2. Lean the rig forward and windward - Bow and arrow.
  3. Step front foot back so heels touch - Duck footed stance.
  4. Steer board by tilting mast windward and sheeting in.
  5. Open up the sail when approaching new reach
  6. At 1 or 2 hours past six, move the new front foot forward up to the mast.
  7. Settle and sail out clew first a bit
  8. Slide the front hand forward to the mast and bring the mast in by bending the front arm.
  9. Release with the back hand and reach under with under hand grip to the new side.
  10. Pop the sail and drop.

Shortboard Pivot Jibe (Light Wind)

  1. Move hands back on the boom
  2. Lean the rig forward and windward - Bow and arrow.
  3. Move back foot back between the straps and weight the back of the board - bow and arrow.
  4. At 1 or 2 hours past six, move the old front foot back and new front foot forward.
  5. Settle and sail out clew first a bit
  6. Slide the front hand forward to the mast and bring the mast in by bending the front arm.
  7. Release with the back hand and reach under with under hand grip to the new side.
  8. Pop and drop

Carving Step Jibe

Initiate

  1. Move your back hand down the boom a little.
  2. Unhook by bringing the hips up for a second - DON'T BRING YOUR BODY IN OVER THE BOARD.
  3. Take the back foot out of the strap and put it on the leeward rail with your toes pointed slightly into the turn.
  4. Let the sail pull shoulders and hips over the centerline.

Carve

  1. Get the shoulders and head in front of the feet.
  2. Bend your knees and drive them forward in the center of the turning circle.
  3. Put constantly increasing pressure on the leeward rail.

Step

  1. At 6:00 pivot front foot out of the strap.
  2. Slide old front hand to the front of the boom.
  3. Step up with new front foot and release rig at the same time.
  4. Reach under and grab front of boom with new front hand.
  5. Pop and drop.

Longboard Tack

  1. Place front hand on mast just below the boom and front foot in front of the mast foot.
  2. Weight the back of the board with toes depressing the leeward side.
  3. Rake the sail aft onto the deck and sheet in with the back hand.
  4. Hold position until board is though the wind.
  5. Transfer your weight to front foot with in one hour before 12.
  6. When one hour past 12, when though the wind, quickly step around the mast.
  7. Grab the font part of new side of boom with new your front hand.
  8. Move new back hand to the new side of the boom
  9. Pop and Drop.
  10. Lean the rig forward and sheet in. (Bow and arrow).

Shortboard Tack

  1. Place the front hand on the mast at waist height below the boom.
  2. Rake the sail back just a little - Don't develop a lot of clew weight.
  3. Wrap front foot around the mast base as far as possible.
  4. At one hour before 12, transfer your weight from the back foot to the front foot.
  5. At one hour before 12, quickly step around the mast and bring the mast ACROSS.
  6. Grab the front part of the boom with the new front hand.
  7. Pop and Drop.
  8. Lean the rig forward and sheet in. (Bow and arrow).

Getting Into the Straps

  1. Move the back foot between the straps onto the center line.
  2. Push hips over the back foot - a little bend in back knee.
  3. Move the front foot in the strap
  4. When the board has settled, push hips forward lifting front heel off the board bending front knee slightly.
  5. Move the back foot into the strap - Slide it around the strap.

Foot Strap Adjustment

Harness

Harness Line Adjustment

Initial Setting

  1. Find the center of effort in the sail.
  2. Put the lines six inches on either side of the center of effort.
  3. Another good starting place is to align front strap an inch behind an imaginary line from tip of sail to the tack grommet.
  4. Put back strap a foot behind that

On the Water Tuning

Harness line length

Harness Line Use

Boom Height Adjustment

Proper Stance

Getting Upwind

Going Fast

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