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Posted by on Jan 31, 2020 in Technique |

Body Drag – add a little flash to your dash!

Body Drag is a fun little trick that takes you back to the good old-school windsurf freestyle! It is relatively simple to learn for anyone who can comfortably plain and beach-start. It’s also a great way of learning how to precisely control the power in your sail and… to crash, crash, crash! Body Drag is one of many tricks that will make you wipe-out hard before you master it – so you might as well get used to it!

Now, without further ado, here’s how you do it!

Body Drag: step-by-step

1. Get some speed!


As with many other tricks, you will need some decent speed to pull it off. Therefore, start by falling away from the wind, into a downwind. Gently open your sail to let it get all the power. Next, go ahead and unhook your harness and get your back foot out of the footstrap. Get ready to descent!

2. Get down to it

Gently move your body weight forwards and bend your arms to control the sail. With the sail all powered up, its time to get wet! Move your front leg out of the footstrap and gently lay it down on the surface of the water.

When you’re just working up to a full Body Drag, dipping just one leg is a good way to get used to the technique. However, if you’re ready to go all the way you can add the back leg to the mix. Hang onto the boom and slowly lower yourself onto the water.

3. Controlling the Body Drag

Next thing after getting in the water is being able to control whats going on! That will mostly focus on the direction and speed of your board. When you’re dragging through the water, push down on the mast to steer your board further downwind and maintain speed. Further, keep your arms somewhat bent to have the boom be parallel to your shoulders. This will help you to maintain control over the drag and the board!

4. Know when to quit

As you drag onward, the board will start to slowly loose its speed and slow down. Therefore, you need to time the trick right, so you can finish the body drag and still be planing afterwards!

The technique for getting back onto the board is very similar to that of a water or beach start. Start by moving your head towards the UJ at the base of the sail. This will sheet the sail in and get the power you need to get back on the board. Simultaneously, slowly move your back foot towards the board, trying not to cause too much drag. Pull yourself up on the boom and let your front leg follow your back one. When you get onto the board, try to aim to get you feet onto the centre line (easier) or straight back into the foostraps (like a pro)! As soon as you’re back on the board, give the sail a quick pump and get nice and low to rebuild speed before steering back across the wind. And voila: a body drag sure to impress the entire beach!

body drag performed by Jem Hall
Jem Hall body drag

PS: The trick might not be as glamorous when you first try it, so make sure to practice it a lot before attempting it as a show-off move. And if you’re struggling, a little bit of help on an advanced windsurfing lesson can go a long way!

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