Fernando del Cerro: keeping a low boom | Photo: Carter/PWA

In windsurfing, boom height is an element of power and control. But it should also be tuned according to wind speed, upwind or downwind sailing, and your height and experience with the sail.

Boom height is, alongside mast track position and harness lines length, a critical variable in fine-tuning windsurfing equipment.

There are several rules of thumb that you can memorize to adjust your boom height, in multiple conditions and under different scenarios. Let's see:

1. A high boom equals more power; a low boom offers more control.
2. If a board rides high the boom has to go lower; if you board rides low, you need to elevate the boom position.
3. When standing over the windsurf board, the boom height ranges from your mouth to your lower chest, i.e., roughly 20 centimeters.
4. In light wind conditions, and with bigger sails, the boom should be positioned between shoulders and chin.
5. In strong wind conditions and choppy waters, get your harness lines long, and lower the boom.
6. Feeling tired or losing control? Lower your boom.
7. Need a more efficient upwind? Elevate your boom.

Windsurfing sail manufacturer Point-7 suggests that a 190-centimeter (6'2'') tall sailor should have his boom at 150 centimeters (4'9''), while a 180-centimeter (5'9'') windsurfer should get it at around 140 centimeters (4'5'').

Learn how to rig your windsurfing sail.

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