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Windsurfing, as a sport and recreational activity, did not emerge until the latter half of the 20th century. But before this, there have been sailing boats of various designs that have used wind as the driving force for millennia, and Polynesians have been riding waves for many of them, undertaking day trips over oceans standing upright on a solid board with a vertical sail.
TABLE OF CONTENT • • • • • • • •
1 History 2 Boards and gear 3 Sails 4 Technique 5 Learning 6Additional equipment 7 Competitions 8 Youth windsurfing 9 Bibliography
In 1948, 20-year old Newman Darby was the first to conceive the idea of using a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint so that he could control his small catamaran—the first rudderless sailboard ever built that allowed a person to steer by shifting his or her weight in order to tilt the sail fore and aft. Darby did not file a patent for the sailboard. However, he is widely recognized as its inventor as well as the first to conceive, design, and build a sailboard with a universal joint.In his own words, 12-year old Peter Chilvers is often cited for inventing a sailboard in 1958. In the 1960s, Jim Drake was the first to solve many problems of getting the board to sail while Hoyle Schweitzer was the first to be successful in marketing the sailboard. In 1964, during a discussion on water sports over a brandy at his home in Southern California, RAND Corporation aeronautical engineer Jim Drake and his former Rockwell boss and now good friend Fred Payne, who worked at The Pentagon, discussed options for creating a wind-powered water-ski which would allow Payne to travel on the Potomac River.That night they developed the idea of a kite powered surfboard.
BOARD and GEAR In
the 1970s and 1980s, windsurfers were classified as either shortboards or longboards. Longboards were usually longer than 3 meters, with a retractable daggerboard, and were optimized for lighter winds or course racing. Shortboards were less than 3 meters long and were designed for planing conditions. A windsurfer using a slalom board to perform a small jump. Most modern windsurfers (1990s and later) are derived from the shortboard design, and are intended to be used ideally in planing mode, where the board is mostly skipping over the surface of the water, rather than cutting through, and displacing the water. Planing is faster and gives more maneuverability, but requires a different technique from the displacement mode (which is also referred to as slogging or schlogging). Generally, smaller (i.e., lower volume, shorter length, narrower width) boards and smaller area sails are used as the wind increases.
While windsurfing is possible under a wide range of wind conditions, most recreational windsurfers prefer to sail in conditions that allow for consistent planing with multi-purpose,
Sails Two designs of a sail are predominant: camber induced and rotational. Cambered sails have 1–5 camber inducers, plastic devices at the ends of battens which cup against the mast. They help to hold a rigid aerofoil shape in the sail, better for speed and stability, but at the cost of maneuverability and generally how light and easy to use the sail feels. The trend is that racier sails have camber inducers while wave sails and most recreational sails do not. The rigidity of the sail is also determined by a number of battens. Beginners’ sails often do not have battens, so they are lighter and easier to use in light winds. However, as the sailor improves, a battened sail will provide greater stability in stronger winds. The windsurfer in the foreground is using a camber induced sail and is fully planing using the footstraps, while the other is using a rotational sail and is not planing. Rotational sails have battens which protrude beyond the back aspect of the mast. They have to flip to the other side of the mast when tacking or jibing, hence the rotation in the name. Rotational sails have aerofoil shape on the leeward side only when filled with wind. They can be absolutely flat and depowered when sheeted out.
The board moves through the water – much like a sailing boat does – using an extendable centreboard (if available) and fin or skeg for stability and lateral resistance. The centreboard is retracted at broad points of sail, again similarly to a sailing boat, to allow for jibing control. In these conditions windsurf boards also tack and jibe like a sailing boat. Fall Recovery. The rider climbs onto the board, grabs the pulling rope, makes sure the mast foot is between two feet, pulls the sail about one third out of the water, lets the wind turn the sail-board combination till he/she has the wind right in the back, pulls the sail all the way out, places the “mast hand” (hand closest to the mast) on the boom, pulls the mast over the center line of the board, places the “sail hand” (hand furthest from the mast) on the boom, then pulling on it to close the sail and power it. ks
Freestyle and Wave are judged competitions, the sailor with best technique and diversity wins. Olympic Boardsailing, Formula windsurfing, Slalom and SuperX are races where many sailors compete on a course, and Speed Racing is a race where sailors compete on a straight 500 m course in turns. rded as one of the sport’s leading exponents of the double forward loop.
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Learning For the novice it takes a relatively long time to reach the sport’s ‘fun’ level when compared to other so-called “extreme” sports, like snowboarding, freeride Mountain Biking or kitesurfing. Beginners, starting off on a large board with a tiny triangular sail in less than 5 knots of wind on a shallow lake, often struggle to see the similarity between what they are doing and the images they see in magazines of advanced riders using a 2.25 m board to ride waves in 20–30 knots of wind. Learning to windsurf used to present the biggest barrier to the sport’s growth, but with the development of new, wider high volume beginner boards the transition time from beginner to intermediate has been reduced. Learning to windsurf can be compared to chess in that there are many pieces moving in different directions which must be kept track of. After a few attempts most learners finally catch on.
Harness Harness lines Joint Wet suit/Dry suit Footwear Helmet Personal flotation device Fin/Skeg Travel Gear – Sail Bags, Board Bags, Car Racks
Competitions Olympic Windsurfing Class Formula Windsurfing Class Raceboard Class Freestyle and Wave are judged competitions, the sailor with best technique and diversity wins. Olympic Boardsailing, Formula windsurfing, Slalom and SuperX are races where many sailors compete on a course, and Speed Racing is a race where sailors compete on a straight 500 m course in turns. Slalom Super X Speed Racing Freestyle Wavesailing
Freestyle and Wave are judged competitions, the sailor with best technique and diversity
Youth windsurfing Windsurfing is suitable for children as young as 5, with several board and sail brands producing “Kids Rigs” to accommodate these short and light weight windsurfers. In some countries, organisations exist to provide entry into the sport in a semi-formal or club-style environment (i.e. The RYA’s Team 15 scheme).If children want to get more involved in racing, they can go to trials for the RYA ‘zone squad’. Indeed, several teenagers have enjoyed success at professional level in both wave and freestyle disciplines. Marcilio “Brawzinho” Browneand Jose “Gollito” Estredo are two windsurfers which both won PWA Champions before reaching the age of 18. Whereas most recently, Philip Köster has become one of the dominant sailors at the annual PWA Pozo “wave” event. He is widely regarded as one of the sport’s leading exponents of the double forward loop.