Windsurfing is a popular water sport that is a cross between sailing and surfing. Windsurfers stand on a board and use their hands to manipulate a large sail so it catches the wind for forward propulsion. Maintaining the proper position for the hips and feet is crucial for beginners interested in learning windsurfing basics.
The key to windsurfing is to stay balanced even while the wind fluctuates. An improper stance will pull the windsurfer over every time he or she experiences a lull in the wind or a sudden gust. If the wind tries to pull the sail out of the hands, the windsurfer’s body weight shifts to the back of the feet and the board bounces instead of gliding smoothly over the water’s surface.
The ideal standing position on the board is with the hips pointing slightly forward. Twisting the body forward at the hips and looking upwind gives the windsurfer better control over the sail. Beginners quickly discover that twisting makes it easier to move in and out of the board’s footstraps.
Windsurfers must start with the feet in the proper position to master the twist. The most important thing to remember is to keep the front foot pointing toward the nose of the sailboard at all times. This requires moving the heel toward the center of the board. It is much more difficult to twist the hips into the proper position if the front foot is not pointing forward. This is true whether the windsurfer is using the footstraps or not. The back foot should be in a position perpendicular to the board.
In addition to keeping the body in the proper stance, learning to look upwind is critical for analyzing ripples on the water to determine wind strength. If the wind dies down, the windsurfer should shift body weight slightly towards the front of the board. When the wind gusts, it becomes necessary to shift more weight to the back leg to avoid being pulled down.
With the proper gear and knowledge, windsurfing is a fun and rewarding outdoor activity for people of all ages. Using a harness attached to the sail gives beginners more control while they are learning the basics of the sport.
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