Windsurfing sails: learn how to repair minor damages | Photo: North Sails

It's quite easy to damage a windsurfing sail. If it happens, and you really need to know how to fix the problem, then learn how to do it properly.

Windsurfing sails are light and flexible. That is not an issue. They are designed and manufactured to be highly maneuverable so that they react to the sailors' decisions and resist the power of the wind.

You can make a windsurfing sail last longer. For example, knowing how to fold them is a precious money-saving technique. If you don't have time (or patience), the sail's monofilm and dacron parts will quickly degrade.

Re-stitching and replacing window or panel tears are quite expensive procedures. These repairs will always cost you between $30 and $200 and should take your sail away for a week or more.

Minor home-made repairs should be seen as temporary measures and will only be a good call in the short term. Windsurfing sails are extremely sensitive and, sooner or later, will reveal all amateur patches.

Unwanted crashes, rock contacts, inappropriate storage conditions, or even sun, sand and salt interaction can result in holes and tears. Fortunately, there are several waterproof self-adhesive patches and solutions for damaged windsurfing sails. Here's what you'll will need:

1. Alcohol wipes;
2. Scissors;
3. Cutting board;
4. Monofilm/Dacron sail repair patches;

Never, in any circumstance, use duct tape. Now let's repair your windsurfing sail:

1. Place a cutting board beneath the sail;
2. Clean the area of the sail that is going to be repaired;
3. Make a plan of your patch repair;
4. Peel the adhesive across the monofilm;
5. Remove all air bubbles;
6. Overlap the following patches;
7. Flip the sail over;
8. Repeat the patchwork on the other side;

If the monofilm, batten pockets and luff sleeves are severely damaged, you'll need to replace them. This process often involves the use of a sewing machine. So if you're not a professional sailmaker leave it in the repair shop, otherwise you may end up with nothing.