Intermediate Skills

This page is a collection of links to articles and videos that explain some of the skills you 
will want to learn to enjoy the full potential of mainstream windsurfing.
 
Beach Start ~ "Everyone should learn to beach start as soon as possible, as it’s a purely mechanical action and has little to do with your windsurfing sills. So find a gently shelving shoreline with, ideally with a cross-shore wind and walk out into just over knee depth water to give these skills a go." Simon Bornhoft explains. For a detailed look at some common beach start problems and how to fix them, read this photo rich Guy Cribb article
 
 
Harness ~ "As you progress into slightly stronger winds you’ll soon seek and appreciate the wonders of harnessing. Not only does it save your arms, but it also makes it far easier to control the power in the sail." Simon Bornhoft teaches you, how to get in the harness
 
Peter Hart (video below) from a clinic, talking about the harness:
 
 
Peter Hart shares an in depth look at the harness in the article: Harness Issues.
 
 
Guy Cribb covers in detail the complete harness in the article: Handbrake.
 
 
Footstraps ~ "Being secure in the straps is wonderful feeling and the basis of stronger wind windsurfing. At first it can be a pulse racing experience to actually get your feet in them. Problems are rarely due to the movement of the feet it’s almost always down to not maintaining a counterbalance. Hence our prime mantra when going for the straps – Body moves one way, the rig moves the other. When you combine this with weight in the harness you’ll be able to move your feet more freely." Simon Bornhoft gets you in the footstraps.
 
 
Getting on a Plane ~ Jem Hall puts it all together in the video below:
 

 Peter Hart  from a live clinic, talking about getting on a plane.
 
 
 
Water Start ~ For a very good, comprehensive play by play detailed personal journey of learning this most important skill, complete with multiple videos and a trouble shooting guide, visit: Windsurfing for the rest of us. Or perhaps this Royn Bartholdi step by step guide with photos will help. Here's some more Australian help. PWA star, Yoli de Brendt, teaches the water start.
 
Australian, Henry Thomas, windsurfing since 2009, has written almost a dozen well crafted articles covering many of the topics on this page. The video below was taken from his excellent article: Learning to Waterstart. He has covered the water start from 2 other perspectives: How to Ocean Water Start  and How to Water Start (My Lazy Way) while some may object to his 2 feet resting on the board technique, if you have strong wind, this will work.
 
 
Sam Ross shows us another look at the water start below. Visit his website for more instructional videos.
 
 

Jem Hall, in the video below offers help with fixing some common mistakes and problems, including the water start. And on Boardseeker he offers more water start tutoring when the board is flipped over and how to clear the sail.

 
Peter Hart wrote: "...the better you get at windsurfing, the more you use the front arm for power control and just about everything...I shall prove that you can transform your windsurfing just by focusing on this one humble limb..." from the article: The Long (Front) Arm of the Law.

Guy Cribb helps you get the most out of your sail in the article: Double Shot.
 
 
Pivot Jibe ~ Here's a great review of the non planing jibe. Below, Jem Hall doing a pivot jibe.
 
 
Andy Brandt explains (copied from page 48 of the ABK Instruction Manual) the above non-planing pivot jibe:  

While sailing across the wind, reach back with backhand on boom, step back with back foot on centerline. Simultaneously, rake sail forward and to windward in “Bow and arrow” position (i.e. front arm extended, back arm bent).

As the board turns downwind and the power increases in the sail, lean body toward tail of board with hips in and head up.

Once the board is a half hour before 6:00, slide front foot back (heel across centerline) in front of or behind back foot and shift weight onto that foot.

Once the board has pivoted 1 to 2 hours past 6:00, step forward with the new front foot, follow with the back foot if necessary.

Relax and catch your balance while sailing clew first.

Slide front hand forward on boom right next to the mast release the backhand, keeping the mast in front of you, and reach under with underhand grip to the new boom.

“Pop and drop”. Pop the sail and get head under boom for balance.

Helpful hints:

Keep knees bent.

The higher the nose is out of the water, the tighter the turn will be; the lower the nose, the longer the turn will be.

The stronger the wind, the more the mast should rake windward. Place feet as far back on the tail as you can go. Arch body leaning the head and shoulders as far to the back of the board as necessary.

The lighter the wind, the more the rig goes forward and don’t step as far back on the board.

Keep hips tucked in during sail flip.

Turn head or look out of the sail flip.

Do not jump when switching feet. Switch them slowly.
 
Tacking ~ "A tack is a controlled 180 degree turn where the sail sweeps across the back of the board and the body nips round the front of the mast before sheeting the rig in on the new side. It’s how everyone first learns to turn round." Simon Bornhoft explains this fundamental transition in the article: Tacking.
 

 

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