Basic Skills and Tricks for Novice Windsurfers

Once you begin to get to grips with the basics of the wonderful world of windsurfing, you’ll probably start looking at a few neat tricks you can master whilst you’re out on the waves. Just because you aren’t a veteran doesn’t mean you can’t perform any, in fact many of these tricks can actually teach you valuable skills that will help you learn even more about the sport, things like balance, control and the limits of the gear you’re using. Let’s take a look at a few that you can practise, specifically in low winds, that’ll teach you more about windsurfing and help you progress onto higher levels.

Backwind Sailing

This is a fairly straight forward skill, essentially you stand on the opposite side of the sail that you are meant to. The aim is to keep your balance by leaning towards the sail and push with the back hand, sort of a reverse version of how you’d usually work the board. This is a rather simple trick but it’ll help you further understand how to work the sail, making sure you can master it in any position you find yourself.

Clew First

Another move to help you understand the balance of your sail, to perform this you must hold the sail in reverse with the rear point of the boom facing in the direction you are sailing. This move is all about getting to know the sails pressure point and how to keep correctly positioned no matter where you are placed yourself.

Fin First

Fairly straightforward, by using the board fin first we can further gain control of the steering. You’ll concentrate on your body tension whilst surfing and this will keep the board in line. Combined these three skills will help you master the basics and prepare you for a few tricks.

Helicopter Tack

Begin surfing as normal though instead of turning mast into the wind as you usually would, lean it, without applying and power, towards the nose of the board. After this apply a slight amount of pressure onto the back hand in order to bear away, still keeping yourself on the backwind side of the sail. The board should begin to bear away from the new side, from here you’ll want to transfer weight onto the back of the board and flip the sail, if done correctly you should find yourself surfing in the new direction swiftly. This trick will teach you to understand the importance of wind direction, whilst making you more aware of it too.

Sail Stall

Here’s a real nifty looking trick if you can master it, for the sail stall you’ll want to begin by bearing into the wind, whilst doing this you’ll need to throw the sail forwards towards the nose of the board. At this point the it should be as horizontal as possible, this will cause it to act almost like a wing, it should be lifted again, this time by the wind and returned to your hands. It’s a simple but cool looking trick and can even be transitioned into the Helicopter Tack, if you’re feeling brave that is.

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