Our Starboard Ambassador and freestyler Erik Håkman from Sweden will show you how to make the most out of the light wind conditions.
Are you always waiting for the perfect conditions to go windsurfing? Are you living in a place where the good days are few and far between? Have you booked a trip to a great destination but there’s no hope in the forecast, bought a new board that is still waiting to touch the water, or are you dreaming of new maneuvers but never seem to get enough practice to make any progress? What if I told you that 4-12 knots of wind is all you need to build a skill set that will help you excel in strong winds and let you have a great time on the water any day of the week no matter what level you are on?
The concept is simple, all you need is your favorite board and sail combo (in my case the Ignite 93 and a 4.8) and a friend to share in the fun (optional, but encouraged!). The goal here is to dial in your stance and get a good feel for the board you are most likely to use for planing windsurfing, so resist the urge to get a big floaty board and stick to sails below 5.2.
Stronger winds let us use the power in the sail to balance the board, but for light winds, we will need to approach things a little differently. The key to a relaxed and stable stance, letting the sail breathe and creating mast base pressure. Keep your back straight, hips, glutes and core tight while balancing through your ankles and knees. Bring your mast over the centerline of the board and keep your back hand slightly sheeted out, bend your elbows and push down on the boom. This will create mast base pressure and let you balance your upper body through your hands. Once you get the hang of these techniques you’ll be able to cruise effortlessly on smaller boards even in the lightest winds.
When you have your stance dialed in it’s time to move on to the best part: The tricks! Categorized as either Stances, Backwind moves, Jibes or Sail tricks, every progression is a stepping stone to the next. The Heli Tack is half an Upwind 360, a Gecko is an Upwind 360 in the straps balancing on the nose of the board, and so on. I’ve featured a list of progressions below (in order), and even though it’s far from complete it’ll most likely keep you busy for a while. Start from the top and work your way through these and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll take your windsurfing to a new level.
Good luck with your light wind practice!
In the Footstraps
Clew-First and/or Switch-Stance in the footstraps
Back Wind Moves
Upwind 360 Diablo
Clew-First Heli Tack
Clew-First Upwind 360
Switch-Stance Heli Tack
Switch-Stance Upwind 360
Clew-First Switch-Stance Upwind 360
Fin-First Heli Tack
Fin-First Upwind 360
1-handed Upwind 360
Upwind 360 in the Footstraps
All Upwind 360 variations in the Footstraps
All Upwind 360 variations performed Gecko style
Back-to-Backwinded Heli Tack
Clew First Jibe
Switch Stance Jibe
Clew First Switch Stance Jibe
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