How To Beach Start
When you are starting to windsurf it is smart to start practising the beach start as soon as possible. It will save your back from uphauling the sail and it is a great way to go if you want to later learn the water start. To make it as easy as possible, start on shallow water, not deeper than your hips. You can try it on even more shallow water, but make sure it’s deep enough so you don’t damage your fin.
Here are the 6 steps that will get you up on the board
The mast is approximately perpendicular to the wind and the clew is leeward. Lift the sail up by the mast and let the wind lift the sail out of the water. It can help to move it slightly into the wind to get the water off. Move your hands towards the boom.
Hold the boom with your hands so the sail is just above your head.
Practice controlling the board with the sail. Try to move the sail a bit back and forth and see how the board moves. If the board is too far away and the nose is pointing too much upwind, take a step in the sailing direction and push in the direction of the mast base. Then you will see that the tail of the board will come closer to you so it will be possible to place your back foot on it.
Prepare to step up on the board. Place the heel of your back foot close to the centerline of the board. A common mistake is to put your toes on instead of the heel. You soon need to pull the board under your bum with your hamstrings, and that will be easier to do with your heel instead of the toes.
Stretch out the arms over your head to fill the sail with wind. Pull the leg under your bum. Make sure you stretch out completely so the sail is pointing up and forward. It is easier the more upright you get the sail as it will have more wind, and help you up on the board. If it’s a super strong wind, you will discover that you can beach start with a sail that is not completely upright. So this depends on the wind strength.
Step up on the board. You can use the foot that is left in the water for extra push up on the board. When you are almost up place the front foot close to the mast base. Once you are up you will maybe feel a bit unstable and lose balance. It can help to use your arms to press down on the boom so you get pressure towards the mast base. This will help you to stabilize.
We hope these few tips will help you to nail the beach start! If you want to check out more windsurfing tips, click here. If you want a more detailed guide with video, check out the video below, where coach Sam Ross takes you through the beach start and many more tips and tricks.
Good luck and have fun learning!
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