How to fold your windsurfing sails

Windsurfing sails: de-rig and fold them properly | Photo: Carter/PWA

Modern windsurfing sails are robust and fragile at the same time. Learn how to fold your sail without damaging its core materials.

By taking care of your windsurfing sails, you are extending their lifetime. Salt, water, sun, rock, and sand are amongst the worst enemies of our wind leaves.

You don't need much to tear a sail in half.

However, it's not only a problem with the elements. It could also be you, too. Folding a windsurfing sail is a classic procedure, and there's a way of making it right.

Now that you've finished your windy session, it's time to pack and leave.

But wait a minute, have you rinsed your sail? Do it over a grassy surface, if possible. Is it dry yet?

Alright, let's fold your windsurfing sail.

There are not many good techniques, and the sail's cut may slightly change the general formula, so this is how it should be done for the most number of cases:

Folding Sails 101

  1. Remember that a double fold and creases will weaken your sail;
  2. Start rolling from the head;
  3. Don't push too hard on the film;
  4. Try to get a tight roll;
  5. If the roll is not parallel to the battens, pull the head out;
  6. A tight roll means the sail won't get creased and wrinkled if squashed in the bag;
  7. Once you have finished rolling it, tighten the roll with straps or velcro to hold the sail together;
  8. Put the sleeve in first into the bag to avoid damaging the sail when storing it vertically - never store it vertically on the clew;

Your folded windsurfing sail should be stored on top of everything else. Heavy gear and objects will cause the fabric and window material to crease.

If you don't have a bag for your de-rigged sail, roll it loosely and store it standing on one end so it has a chance to drain and dry.

Never store your sails in hot spaces - excessive heat will shrink the sail windows.

  • Dutch environmental activist and windsurfer Merijn Tinga, also known as the "Plastic Soup Surfer," has made an audacious journey from Oslo to London, braving the North Sea's currents and winds, to call attention to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.