Tacking: key move in windsurfing

Tacking is one of the key maneuvers in windsurfing. It's the most stable way to turn a board, and it keeps you upwind all time.


The principle is simple: sail the board into the wind and, as the nose passes through the wind line, the windsurfer steps around the mast onto the new side of the board.

While tacking, boom and mast are used to keep the power in the sail during the entry amd exit, making the whole turn much faster.

It's easier to train tacking in larger boards, before moving into smaller boards. Preparation, vision, counterbalance, and transitions are the most important moments in tacking.

Before you tack, look upwind and sail close to the wind. Get your front foot in front of the mast. Then look over your front shoulder into the wind.

Step around the front of the board, as soon as the nose goes into the wind, in order to keep it stable. As you turn, get the rig back and your body forward.

Transitions are important in the tack process. The moment you turn into the wind, you should swap your hands and step around the front of the board, at the same time.

Footwork is critical and could be trained separately, in the sand. Make sure your feet are well aligned in the center of the board.