Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

Things we learned from each other in Hatteras this spring,,
1)  Tape your mast.  We keep extra rolls of electrical tape with our windsurfing gear and tape the seams on our masts to prevent sand from entering the seam and seizing the joint it also helps keep the mast together when rigging the sail!
2) When you jibe remove your foot from the footstrap and step across gently. Don't pull it out and stomp on the other side as this upsets the balance of the board!  (thanks Mark)
3) When you are done and come home..immediately take the booms apart and rinse them out with fresh water to prevent salt water corrosion then once apart use a good carnuba wax to wax them to give them some protection from the salty water and to keep them moving freely. You can do this with your extensions as well!
4) When rigging a new sail for the first few times, spray a bit of aerosol silicone on the tip three feet of the mast. ( on the top three feet only NO LOWER) this will allow the mast to slide into the luff a bit easier!
5) Talking to Mike Burns (Eastcoast freestyle champ)  If you want to learn freestyle at all,, learn to sail the lee of the board! In other words with the sail on the windward side. learn to control the power and sail that side. Start with a big board and small sail and gradually work your way up to bigger stuff until you can plane out. this is the basis for many freestyle moves and once you master it it will make learning other tricks easier!
6) Brian suggested hitting the pulleys on the tack strap and extension with a bit of silicone as well, great idea!
7) When a boom or a mast gets stuck use a small rubber or plastic mallet and tap it vigorously and twist and pull it at the same time to unseize  This method can also be helpful on stuck masts, twist and pull while someone is tapping it at the joint with the mallet! (thanks Ken Addeman)
&) Hang on to your gear!! On a big day I came around in a jibe and missed the snap and totally missed my gear altogether. I was on an 82 L board with a 4.0. I landed on one side of the channel and the board on the opposite side in deep water. I tried to swim for it but in the heavy wind it was moving much faster (shockingly faster) than I could swim! As the gear was light and small it was impossible to catch up with.  I have always heard and believed once the sail hits the water it will act as a sea anchor and stop, maybe in lighter air with bigger gear,, but in heavy wind,with small stuff, not so!  I retrieved the gear later downwind thanks to some help!

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Thanks for the report, Don.

With all due respect to Mike B (and I hope you told him I said hi), IMHO - if you want to learn freestyle at all, attend an ABK camp!

If you insist on learning on your own, download the ABK instruction book. Page 64 explains how to sail on the lee side: Weight on the back foot, pressure on the front arm.




Thanks for the info Larry, yes I do have the pdf already, so Hatteras was just a chance to get out and play with rudimentary freestyle on low wind days talking to Mike and reading the pdf and then attempting to do!  All in waist deep water where you can walk back upwind (not swim)! and restarts are easier because of the shallowness! 

I am a great believer in lessons but like everything else it takes practice, practice, practice!



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