- 21 January 2015 | Windsurfing
How much weight can you get off the board? The secret of speed windsurfing is to behave like a feather over a board. To get things started, just ride the smallest windsurf kit in the flattest waters possible.
Windsurfers can easily reach 30 knots in almost any gear, but you have to make sure your windsurf sail, board and fins are finely tuned. Training is learning, so start your speed tests in low-to-medium wind conditions.
In speed sailing, details matter. Minor changes in the boom, battens, mast extension, mast base, clew and outhaul will determine the overall performance under the clock or GPS device. Every speed sailing spot has its best wind angles. Write them down on a notepad so that you learn from your past experiences.
Your body must be ready for 50-knot winds and weight vests. That means you should rigorously follow the golden rules of health and fitness for windsurfing knowing that, at the end of your session, you'll feel muscle pain. No pain, no gain.
For maximum results, know that it's better to sail overpowered because you can always manage excess in your favour. Whatever happens, one thing's certain: the slingshot is the key moment. So, are you ready to beat Antoine Albeau and Zara Davis? Check the following boxes and become an accomplished speed windsurfer:
1. Pick the right wind speed and direction;
2. Choose a long flat water spot;
3. Fine-tune the sail;
4. Adjust your straps;
5. Select the best fin for your board;
6. Get a "V" position between sail and body;
7. Straighten your front leg and bend your back leg;
8. Press your fin while planing;
9. Keep your hands about shoulder width apart;
10. Lengthen (seat harness) or shorten (waist harness) your harness lines;
11. Lock in your optimal stance;
12. Sail low and absorb chop with knee work;
13. Keep your board flat;
14. Eye your finish line;
Remember that lighter windsurfers will have more problems managing wind gusts, while heavier sailors will have to cope with choppier waters. Test, train and adapt. Your speed records may actually improve by 100 percent. The magic wind gust is waiting for you.