Downhaul line: learn how to run the rope properly through the pulleys | Photo: Unifiber

Master the art of threading the downhaul on a windsurfing sail without crossed lines, and complicated weaving. Learn how to string the rope back and forth in less than a minute.

Rigging can be a slow and complex process in windsurfing, and the downhaul line is a classic jigsaw puzzle. The more you sail, rig and de-rig, the more you forget how to run that particular rope properly through the pulleys.

The downhaul attaches to and pulls the bottom corner of the sail down to the bottom of the mast. It also is used to adjust the tension on the front edge (luff) of the sail, which controls the curve, or shape of the sail.

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Footstraps: a critical accessory to plane faster in windsurfing | Photo: Indra/JP Australia

Footstraps can be helpful while carrying a windsurf board all the way down the beach to the water, but they were designed to maintain control, and security on the board in planing conditions, and to help perform advanced maneuvers.

Windsurfing without footstraps is a bit like surfing without wax. You can do it, but it won't lead you anywhere. Footstraps can be forgotten while you're learning to sail, but they will be extremely useful at an intermediate level.

In other words, and because your feet and legs will need to work harder to control the board at high speed, footstraps will help you to hold the perfect position for planing. In light winds, you don't need footstraps.

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Pierre Mortefon: sailing fast at Costa Brava | Photo: Carter/PWA

Pierre Mortefon has taken out the Catalunya PWA World Cup, in Costa Brava, Spain.

Things were getting ugly. Light winds threatened the slalom windsurfing competition, but the final days of the waiting period brought what sailors needed to crown a champion.

Pierre Mortefon was the man of the event. He controlled the races and takes a deserved win in Catalunya. Antoine Albeau was not able to impose his authority and finished in an unusual 17th place.

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