Upwind windsurfing is a technique that can cause many problems for beginners.
One of the most common issues I have come across again and again, is the fact beginners tend to turn in to the wind too fast. This causes them to slow down too quickly or for the board to spin out.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
By following the 5 tips below and more importantly putting them into practice the next time you are out on the water, you should be windsurfing upwind before you know it.
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1. Rake the rig back
When attempting to windsurf upwind, you should bring the clew closer to the water and to the tail of your board.
This ‘raking the rig back’ makes the board turn into the wind. Which of course is an essential element of upwind windsurfing.
2. Getting your stance right (look upwind)
Is your stance is causing you issues when windsurfing upwind? There is a very simple fix for this: simply look upwind.
By doing so, your posture will automatically assume the stance you need. Your shoulders and upper body will be twisted into a more open position. You will also be able to determine your direction more clearly.
Getting upwind will be a lot easier as a result.
3. Unfold your dagger board
Does your set up contain a dagger board? If so, you can certainly use this to your advantage.
With your dagger board unfolded your board will have greater stability. This of course will make things easier for you as you attempt to cruise upwind.
Why make difficult for yourself? If you have a dagger board, be sure to unfold it.
4. Digging the rail in
Another simple little tip that will increase your chances of successfully windsurfing upwind is to dig the rail in.
This essentially involves applying pressure on your heels and adjusting your weight so it is favouring the back foot.
Holding this stance along with ensuring you look upwind too, will make the going a whole lot easier.
The beauty of this is that it doesn’t take too much thought. It is actually more comfortable to assume such a position too.
5. Move your hands closer together
Finally, you should move your hands closer together.
Ensuring that your sail hand is closer to your mast hand will make raking the rig back easier. It reduces the amount of energy your hands have to exert and is again a more comfortable position to maintain.
(OC Tip: If you move both your hands forward towards the mast, the raking the rig becomes even easier.)
How to windsurf upwind (Video)
A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a whole lot more. The following Youtube clip is one of the best I have found covering this essential windsurfing skill.
So there you have it, our 5 simple tips on how to windsurf upwind. No more losing control of the board every time you turn into the wind; or worse still, walking upwind to return to your starting point.
Stay on the water like a pro and maximise the fun.
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Image Credits: Pixabay