The Golden Rule of Windsurfing – How your arms in windsurfing are like the pedals of your car

The Golden Rule of Windsurfing – How your arms in windsurfing are like the pedals of your car

In the first post on how to windsurf I mentioned and insisted on the fact that keeping the front arm straight is an essential element in windsurfing. Keeping this rule in mid will help us in the basic windsurfing position, doing the beachstart, the waterstart, the gybe and many other maneouvres. I would even go as far as to say that this is the golden rule of windsurfing. Let me explain why:

The Golden Rule of Windsurfing

Your front and back arms leading to the boom are the equivalent to the clutch and the accelerator of a car. Naturally the angle of our body with respect to the sail has an impact on this statement but in general it is true.

Back hand = accelerator

This is a no brainer really. We pull the back hand to our body, the sail offers more surface to the wind, we get more power in the sail.

Golder Rule of Windsurfing 1 - Both straight Golder Rule of Windsurfing 2 - Front Straight Back in

Front arm = clutch

If you hold down the clutch of your car, what happens if you step on the accelerator? Nothing. You can tread on that gas pedal all you want, as long as the clutch is held down you will not move an inch. The same goes for us if we hold the mast hand close to our body. It is basically the equivalent of opening the sail with the difference that we do not have the option of closing it with the back hand. In order for the sail to catch the wind we must offer some surface to it which is not the case if we pull the mast close to our body (depending on our course).

Golder Rule of Windsurfing 3 - Both inGolder Rule of Windsurfing 4 - Both straight

Having the front arm bent is nearly the equivalent of opening the sail, power-wise. This might be what we need if we need to take power out of the sail and we can´t open it with the back hand. An example of this is when we are hooked in the harness and we hit a gust. In that case it is easier to pull the front hand to our body than push with the back hand.
Now check out what a difference it makes to keep the front arm stretched:
Golder Rule of Windsurfing 5 - Both in Golder Rule of Windsurfing 6 - Front straight Back in