Windsurfing: correct your mistakes and improve your sailing skills | Photo: Carter/PWA

Windsurfing is a complex and highly technical sport which involves a combination of natural elements - water and wind - and human behavior.

Mistakes are a part of windsurfing, and even professional athletes make them. So, why don't analyze your sailing skills, and try to correct your inaccuracies?

Don't waste energy - make the necessary corrections and get your sailing to the next level. Windsurfing can be dangerous, and the risk of injuring yourself and others can be mitigated if you avoid a few technical faults.

Always make sure your windsurfing equipment is in perfect shape, and analyze the weather conditions before setting sail. Whenever possible, go windsurfing with a friend or relative.

Take a look at things that you should do when learning to windsurf, and get rid of those habits you don't want to keep as you progress in the sport.

1. Not checking the wind and weather forecast before going out: the weather is constantly changing, and you need to know what to expect;

2. Choosing the wrong board for learning to windsurf: beginners need a lot a volume and flotation for their windsurf baptism, so small boards are not the weapon of choice;

3. Taking the first windsurfing lessons in non-flat body of water: first-timers won't evolve in bumpy waters or ocean waves;

3. Incorrect rigging: you will never be an accomplished windsurfer if you don't rig up correctly;

4. Choosing the wrong sail for the actual wind conditions: being overpowered or underpowered is a recurring issue that affects more windsurfers than you can imagine;

5. Too much outhaul tension: the sail will be flat, and you'll lose power;

6. Insufficient downhaul tension: increase the tension in the front half of the sail and loosen the tension in the back half to improve the rig's overall stability;

7. Too much tension on the battens: it will create an asymmetrical profile in the sail;

8. Boom height set too high: unless you're tall, leave it shoulder high;

9. Tightening the boom too much: watch out, it may crack your carbon mast;

10. Setting the harness lines too short: they will depower your sail, put too much pressure on your arm muscles, and may increase the chances of a catapult;

11. Not using gloves: wear them to avoid sore hands and painful blisters;

12. Windsurfing at night or in offshore winds: don't put your life in danger;

13. Disrespecting right of way rules: avoid unwanted crashes that will result in injuries;

14. Not keeping the back straight when uphauling: a classic beginner's mistake that will make you tired quickly;

15. Turning upwind while performing a water start: you won't be able to lift up the sail if you don't turn it downwind;

16. Bringing the boom too close to the body: you'll lose maneuverability and the chance of wiping out increase dramatically;

17. Leaving the front arm bent: one of the most recurring mistakes, and the one that will prevent from water starting, jibing, harnessing, and planing;

18. Forgetting that the back hand is the accelerator and the front hand is the clutch: you're driving a windsurfer, and you need to get your hand game right;

19. Not looking forward: keep your eyes on the horizon because it will help you correct your stance;

20. Oversheeting the sail: too much speed and a boom too close to  your body will result in wipeouts and catapults;

21. Sitting in our harness: the harness is not a chair;

22. Letting the mast touch the water during a duck jibe: the result can be a catapult;

23. Not keeping the sail away from the body while planing: find the "V" stance for optimal results;

24. Storing wet equipment: if you want to make your gear last longer, dry it before storing it;

25. Folding the windsurfing sail incorrectly: roll up the sail slowly to avoid creases;