Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

This is my first year windsurfing and have progressed nicely on an inland lake; however, things get a little more challenging when I head out into Lake Michigan. Last night went out in 2-3 foot waves with a 3 second swell which was a riot, but could not tack or gybe to save my life.

I am wondering if anyone would like to give some tactics for changing course in these conditions. Is it better to start on the back side of the wave or at the peak or....... 

Any insight would be appreciated!


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Hi Sam,

To do a planning jibe - yes you want start on the backside of a wave, bend the knees, move hand back on boom, keep boom at arms length away, lean forward and look where you want to go. If you lean back on the tail of the board you'll normally kill your planning speed.

You will have better control when bending the knees and leaning forward.

In a flat water planning jibe normally you can get away without as much knee bending but in the waves I notice I really have to exaggerate the knee bending.

Also for me it works better with mast and foot straps set forward as much as possible.

Good Luck!


Tom is 100% on the money!! Front arm straight is huge! Like Peter Dekay says Head up, jibe with attitude! don't look down!


Thanks. Is tacking on the back side of the wave is also the best way to go?

Sam, To tack I would look for a smooth spot or at least a lull in the swell.  



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