6. UN-ROLLING THE SAIL DOWNWIND
Around the world there are plenty of windy windsurfing locations that aren’t very sheltered for rigging up; usually in the UK you are rigging up in a car park with a howling gale blowing! Most of the time you un-roll your sail away from the wind. Even if you try and feed the mast in slowly, once the wind catches the sail it will unroll very quickly and usually ends up with a clattering of monofilm with you hanging on to the end of it! This is bad for a few reasons, the main ones being: it’s really bad for the monofilm on the sail and can cause it to crease, plus it’s really uncool and embarrassing. Try standing facing the wind and feed the mast in and letting the sail unroll by pushing it with the mast. Once the mast is most of the way in, you can just spin the sail around so its lying downwind again to finish off rigging. You can also roll the sail up facing the wind; this will stop it flapping around.
Windsurfers in general love a bit of faffing. Getting all your gear and yourself to the beach quickly and easily to go windsurfing doesn’t always happen. On all those no-wind days where you have a bit of spare time at home, try and get organised. Make sure you have all your bits like: screwdriver, deck plate/ extension, fins, harness and any spare parts in one place. It could be a bag or a box; it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s sorted. Countless times at the beach someone needs a screwdriver or has forgotten their harness. Get it all in one place at home and never forget anything. Otherwise, you will end up faffing at home and at the beach. You will save a lot of time and stress and therefore get more time on the water if you just organise your windsurfing gear at home.
8. INHAUL ON THE BOTTOM
When putting your boom on always make sure that the inhaul is on the top! It makes putting on the boom a quick and easy task rather than a full-scale tactical mission, which usually involves some kind of swearing tantrum! You may need to flip your sail over and push the battens round to the other side of the mast, as not all brands have it the same way round.
9. CAR PARK WINDSURFING
Too much time is spent in the car park looking at the conditions and making decisions on which gear to go on, chatting about tides and blah blah blah. Save the chat for after the session! Get to the beach, make the decision for yourself (not what others say), rig up and get on the water. It’s not like we get six hours of wind every day, so make the most of it when it comes. Windsurf first, chat later.
10. BOARDIES OVER WETSUIT
This really is not cool at all. If kiters want to make themselves look uncool (read complete idiots), then let them, but it’s not something we should be doing.