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.


ryder said...

do you mate have a windsurfing school?
i once went to ws school. my instructor was fierce...
ws is such a great sport to remove the stress.
i do not know how to trimm a sail so this comes in handy.

Anonymous said...

i love u surfer!!!

Robert said...

When I outhaul sail to maximum suggested extension there is still some small sail folds over the battens. Question: how do you tighten sail over battens? On the end of the batten is a screw heard. Which direction should I turn the screw head(clockwise or counter clockwise) to tighten sail. Any tips/suggestions are appreciated