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Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Technique |

Learn Intermediate Windsurf Skills

Improver Windsurfing Lessons

If you have followed our tips on learning how to windsurf you will know that the best way to really progress with your windsurfing is to mix practice time with lessons. Taking a 2 hour improver windsurf lesson can give you plenty of new skills practice and perfect.

Once the wind starts picking up past just a gentle breeze you are really going to need to get a few improver windsurf skills under your belt to cope with the increasingly choppy water & stronger pull in the sail.

The key non-planing improver windsurf skills can be broken down into the following:

1. Beachstarts – stronger breezes almost always mean choppier water, which makes a manual uphaul very ticky indeed! This is where a beach start comes to the rescue. An essential skill to learn, where by you fly the rig above your head and step onto your board straight into a sailing position. Beachstarts can be made to look very easy but cause no end of frustration unless you take a lesson to learn the 3 stages involved; flying the rig in a controlled way, positioning the board, stepping onto the board.

2. Harness – without a harness windsurfing becomes practically impossible for any more than 10 minutes in stronger winds! The physical action of hooking in & out from a harness is pretty straight forwards, with just a couple of golden rules that you need to follow. The art is in learning how to setup the harness lines so you have a perfectly balanced feel when out on the water.

3. Faster tacks – When the going gets tough & you are using lower volume boards you will need to step your game up regarding your turns! The less time you spend dithering around the front of the board the less chance their will be of falling in. Tacking a windsurf board is an art form that needs regular practice. So many good windsurfers actually cannot tack very well because all their focus has been on the high speed gybes. A tack is a very under-estimated yet useful skill to have!

4. Faster gybes – An intermediate non-planing carve gybe will setup up the foundations for the all important carve gybe. The idea is to get some muscle memory going with this lighter wind version of the really thing. By going through this non-planing carve gybe over and over, your body hopefully starts to go into auto-pilot mode when you enter into the world of the high speed carve gybe.

5. Improved stance – Stance is an all important building block for every windsurf skill. Without a good stance & awareness of what you are doing all other windsurf skills will suffer. You will need to learn how to adopt your stance for gusts & lulls. Also, as the wind picks up it is important that you can adapt your body position to match the increased pull in the sail. Often overlooked, stance is all important to your development as a windsurfer.

In addition to these intermediate windsurf skills you will be looking to move onto boards with a little less volume, say 160-180lt of float, plus starting to use proper monofilm sails of 4.5m and above. The smaller boards will be more agile, easier to turn and react to your movements. The monofilm sails and bigger sizes will give a much more direct power and control when starting to venture out in stronger breezes.

Learning the above skills will really take you from a beginner to a solid improver and will make your windsurfing much more enjoyable!

Poole Windsurfing - No 1 for Windsurfing Lessons & Equipment Hire in Poole Harbour

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