Most of people claim that at some point of ther life they had a lifechanging experience. This blog I dedicated to mine - WINDSURFING.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Having a well balanced equipment is of great importance, but it all means nothing if the gear is not tuned right. If you find yourself having trouble trimming your sail, then this post is meant for you and making your windsurfing life much easier.

Let's begin by choosing the right parts of the rig first. You'll notice on the sailbag, or the sail itself, a tag that has all the info you need.

It says how much you need to extend your boom, your mast extension, and naturally, what size of mast you need in the first place.

This example shows a 5.4 m2 sail that requires a boom sized 1.7-1.73 m, and a mast 430 + extension set at 6-9 cm (or a 400 cm mast + 36-39 cm extension).

I used a 430 mast, and set the extension on the right size.

You'll notice a pair of holes on the mast extension, next to the size nubers (5, 10, 15...). There is a pair of needles that should fit perfectly in the holes, once you have set the plastic ring on the correct position.

The next step is to pull the mast and the extension in the sail sleeve (tip - always check if it's pulled all the way to the top of the sleeve, and if the mast sits right on the place where the two parts of it join).

Now it's time to set up the downhaul. The rope between the sail and the mast extension should not be mixed, it must follow a certain order, from left to the right (because it would not be possible to tighten the rope enough later on...).

The next step is to pull the downhaul rope. This is a very important part of the trimming process. The formula to be applied here is more wind=more downhaul. A minimum amount of downhaul should be untill you start noticing curves on your sail.

This requires a certain amount of strenght. I recommend sitting on the ground, pushing one foot against the extension, and then pulling the downhaull rope. (tip - make a knot at the end of the downhaul rope, and then use your harness hook to pull it).

The last phase is setting up the boom. At the start, we found on the sail a label that has the info we need - 1.7-1.73 cm boom lenght. So we need to extend the boom to the right size (similar as the mast extension). Then we need to attach the boom to the mast (tip - take care that the uphaul rope should be facing the bottom of the sail).

You'll notice that there is an inscription on the sail sleeve with a scale from S to XL. That describes the position of boom on the mast. An allaround position is M. If you set the boom lower, it will be easier for you to waterstart, and if you set it higher, it will be easier to use the footstraps. Note that the boom should be cca. at your shoulder hight when standing on the board.

Now setup you outhaul rope, that connects the sail and the boom, but also shapes the rig! This rope is very important for finetuning your rig.

When overpowered by the wind, tighten the rope, when your sail does not have enough power, release the outhaul a bit. You should keep in mid that the battens on the sail should always be able to move from one side of the mast to the other. This rope can make your sail useable with a greater range of wind, instead of using just one position. Don't be afraid to experiment with it during a session.

Monday, September 8, 2008


It's been really busy last couple of weeks, so I have to apologise for neglecting my blog...

Even worse is the fact that I missed two days of very good JUGO, but I managed to put this saturday to a better use.

According to weather forecast for this saturday, a solid Jugo of cca. 15-20 knots was expected, staring from early morning and it was supposed to last almost through the entire day. So I set up my alarm clock on 6 AM, so I could be in the water allready at 7:30 AM., but at my dissapointment, when I woke up, there was no wind at all...so I fall back to sleep.

Couple of hours later the wind started to rise!!!

I drove straight to the spot - DUNAT, but not on the same location where surfers usually gather during BURA, but a bit futher to the western part of the island. When I got there, the place was crawling with surfers on the beach, instead on the water. So a friend and I decided to try another spot, placed cca 5 minutes along the coast from this one. When we got there, still no luck. At that point we were ready to go back home, but we decided to try our luck on the spot where we usually go for Bura (the was deperate to try out his new board).

As the saying goes, THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM. As soon as we got there, the wind was really gaining in strenght. We started smiling like two idiots and unloading our equipment out of the car. As I opened my sail bag, I was really surprised by the sight: along the mast sleeve on my sail, there was a hole, cca. 10 cm in diameter, made by a mouse!!! ON MY FAVOURITE SAIL!!!

The sail was still useable, so I managed to pull a solid 2 hrs wsurf session, and to be honest, after that I wasn't angry any more, which is just another proof of how pacifying wsurfing actually is.

Monday, August 25, 2008


After completing a windsurfing course, or learning form a friend or on your own, each beginner has to make a few important decisions. First of all is choosing your equipment. To make your life easier, here is some general info on sails.

Sails are usually measured in m2, ranging form cca. 3 m2 to 12.5 m2. The rule applied here is: STRONGER WIND = SMALLER SAIL.

You have probably noticed a label on the sail saying something about:

LUFF LENGHT - the "height" of the sail, determines the size of the mast you will use
BOOM LENGHT - determines how much you will extend the boom
Terms such as wave/freestyle, freeride or flatwater/race sail determine the design type of the sail (for egzample:...a wave sail will have stronger stitching, but a flatwater sail will have a greater endspeed...)

ASPECT RATIO is a ratio between luff and boom lenght. The higher this number gets, more manouverable the sail is. Wave sails tend to have a high aspect ratio in opposite to race sails.
The sails are often divided on sails with or without cambers. Cambers are positioned between mast and the battens. Camber system can be usually found on flatwater sails that are larger than 6.5 m2., giving them more pull and power.

When choosing a sail, consider the style of surfing you plan to persue (wave, race, freestyle...), and also the average wind power you will sail on. In my case, a best allround sail saize was 6 m2, so i choose that sail size for my first. Later as you progress, you will upgreade to more sail sizes to cover all the wind conditions you will sail on.

- after a wsurf session, don't leave your sail rigged

- wash it if you are sailing in saltwater

-don't leave it standing on the sun - it damages the materials...

- sails with cambers are usually harder to trim

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Assuming you have mastered starting in shallow water - the beach start, then you are just one step away from waterstarting.

The ground rules are the same. The hardest thing is getting the board and the rig in the right position in relevance to the wind. That could prove to be a bit more difficult in deeper water than in kneedeep water, specially when using larger sails (read heavier), but technique from beach starting remains the same. Always make the wind work for you, not against you.

Here are some facts and tips you should know about waterstarting:

- for some beginners it helps to put the boom (rig) on the tail of the board, and then raise the sail. If you do that, make shure the boom is not set too high.

- waterstarting requires a stronger wind than beachstart

- make sure your board faces downwind

- start from the top of the mast, and then progress moving to the boom

- the foot work is the same as beachstart (always put your "back" foot on the board first, the front second
- while rigging the sail, set the boom a bit lower. That way you will be closer to the board,
and it will be easier to climb it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Based on the results of the poll that has just closed, I've decided to bring beach and water start a bit closer to the beginners.
Standing on the longboard during a lightwind surfing session and getting the sail out of the water is a good way to start, but as soon as you begin sailing on stronger winds, you will notice that that is also one of the most exhausting manouvers if you try to perform it in a stronger wind (not to mention that it is a very difficult one if you are using a sinking board). Like most of the things about windsurfing, it's all about utilising the wind and letting it work for you, not against you. So to put it in a few words, why raise the sail and spend energy, while you can let the sail lift you out of the water, put you on the board and save your strenght? I'm gonna start with BEACH START first, so this if how it works:

- first of all you need a wind that is strong enough to lift you out of the water. The minimal amount of wind depends on your weight and sail size.
- beach start is performed as the name states - at the beach, or better said in shallow water. The shallower the water is, the easier it is to pull the start through, but think about your board fin! Consider the fact that the fin is very easily damaged, so make sure that the water is deep enough.
-Start practicing by positioning the board and the sail as shown on figure 1. The Board should be facing downwind, and the sail should be floating at the surface.
!!! TIP !!! Start lifting the sail from the top of the mast

Figure 1.

As you lift the top of the sail, and if you have everything positioned as it should be, you will notice that the wind is "filling" the sail and you shoul be able to lift it with almost no effort. Keep both of your arms on the mast, as you progress towards the boom. Make sure that the board keeps facing downwind.

Figure 2.

At this point you should be able to hold the mast with one (left) hand and the boom with the other (right). By moving your right hand closer or further from your body, you will notice that the sail gains less or more pull. That is called SHEETING IN or OUT. When you sheet in, the sail starts to pull, and when you sheet out, it loses the pull.

Figure 3.

This is the final step in the process.
- keep the board facing downwind
- get as closer to the board as possible
- sheet in as much as possible as you put your back (right) foot on the board first (1.)

Figure 4.

-If all is good, and all the conditions are satisfied, the sail should lift you out of the water. Put your front foot on the board (2.).

- As soon as you climb the board, make sure to sheet out, so you don't get catapulted.

- When you put your back foot on the board (1.), make sure you don't place it too close to the tail.