The Windsurfing Jargon Buster - Boards Windsurfing

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The Windsurfing Jargon Buster

The world of windsurfing jargon can be a confusing one, with newly invented moves and the latest lingo occasionally stumping even the best of us. Amy Chambers explains some terms to wow your windsurfing mates with…

“Dude, that was a savage wipe out!”

“I know, I was totally stacked on my four five!”

“Sick session though eh?” “Yeah bro!

Image credit PWA/JC.

Awesome – good. A rather too frequently used term, particularly among ‘cool’ dudes.

Broken – can refer to kit, obviously, or to oneself after a particularly ‘full power’ session or series of ‘full power’ sessions.

Buoy – pronounced boy, but this is not referring to a young man. It is an inflatable spherical or cylindrical object which floats on the water, held in place by an anchor they are often used in racing to mark out the course.

Cams – (short for camber inducers) are ‘brackets’ usually by the luff of a big sail which help give the sail an efficient shape in order to go as fast as possible.

Carving – using the board to change your direction, nothing to do with turkeys or knives.

Catapult – being thrown forwards whilst still being attached (‘in the harness’) to your kit, sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful.

Clew first – windsurfing whilst holding the sail the wrong way round, but intentionally. NB The clew is the back, pointy bit of the sail.

Delam (delaminated) – when the layers of construction in your board start to come apart, usually from water getting inside.

Epic – very, very good. Used in the same vein as awesome.

Fin – the thing underneath and at the back (tail) of the board, helps with nearly all aspects of windsurfing, freestylers (see below) are really into them.

Freestyle/freestylers – refers to the various tricks that can be done on a windsurfer and the guys that do them are freestylers or dudes.

GoPro – not what you would shout at somebody…actually a small waterproof camera that can be attached to various bits of kit including the person windsurfing.

Honking – very windy, no cars or geese anywhere.

Imcs – index mast curvature system, the bend of a mast, bit geeky though not too sure what reaction you’d get if you started going on about it.

Luff – the leading, or front, edge of the sail. The luff tube, is where you insert the mast.

Nose/tail/rails – the front, back and sides of a board.

Planing – when your board starts moving through the water faster. Instead of ‘pushing’ through it, it rides on top of it.

Popping – using the kit to jump yourself (and it) out of the water, nothing drug related.

PWA/the circuit – Professional Windsurfers Association, “the circuit” refers to global freestyle/slalom/wave riding competitions.

Rocker – talking about the ‘banana’ shape of a board, not some dude with greasy hair and a guitar.

Savage – pretty bad, awful in fact.

Sick session – amazing, brilliant windsurfing time, not what you did last night necessarily.

Skinny – a mast with a reduced diameter (RDM), not a physical description of a person.

Spinout – when the fin (see above) of your board loses it’s grip causing the back of the board to slide sideways.

Slalom – a type of racing, involving windsurfing fast in a straight line and gybing around buoys, on the appropriately fast kit.

Stacked/overpowered/full power – too big a sail (or board) for the conditions resulting in you not being able to hold onto it. NB ‘stacked’ also refers to somebody with a pretty awesome muscular frame.

Stack/stacking it – crashing, wiping out, generally falling in an impressive way.

Switch stance – windsurfing with your feet back to front on the board, pretty advanced stuff, so make sure you can do some moves before you start talking about it.

4 7 / 5 3 / 4 2 weather – the size of the sail that was used in that particular session, it’s four seven weather or five three weather NOT forty seven or fifty three weather.



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