Windsurfing is a technical sport. I think it is one of the hardest sports in the world to learn, however once you get that first glide, that first jump you are all in! I came up with three of the most important sail tuning downfalls that I see as I walk around the beach. Let me talk you through my top three mistakes.
1. Will this mast work on my sail?
That question gets asked to me all the time. My answer is will it work, sure it will work, but will laundry soap work in the dishwasher, will 87 octane gas work in your race car engine, will 35″ tires work on your Toyota Prius? You get my point, yes it will work, but why on earth would you pay so much money for a new sail and not put the correct mast in it. The designers of every brand put so much time in to millimeters of shaping and hours of testing to bring you the best sails possible designed to a certain mast.
At Ezzy Sails, David spends countless hours, making sure the sails work on as many different masts as possible. For the Lion sails he even includes three sets of camber inducers to make sure the sail will work as best as it can for all different types of masts. He also prides himself in setting a very neutral luff curve to fit many mast brand manufactures, however the sails work best on the mast we use the most.
To get the most fun and ease out of your sail, get the right mast for it.
2. Not enough downhaul.
I think we are finally coming out of this era of windsurfing where everyone was not putting in enough downhaul. I know it is hard to pull the sail all the way to the correct setting but with the pulleys and correct threading it has become a lot easier to do it correctly. It has become so easy now a days with the rigging specs, printed on the sail bag, the sail, the extension, take some time to check it out to get the most out of your sail. One of the coolest thing that has come out in windsurfing in the last few years is the Ezzy Calibrated Rigging system. It makes it so easy to rig your sail right on every time. You put in the correct mast, and pull the gauge down to where the mast meets the extension. I love it and use it every day to make it mindless rigging.
Pay attention to your manufacture’s rigging setting. It really makes things easier.
3. Over down hauling your sail when it gets windy.
It is getting windy, you don’t want to go in and derig your sail, so you come into the beach and blast the downhaul on your sail. While this might make it sailable, it also makes it stiffer because you are in a sense stiffening up the mast, by bending it more and making it actually harder to control. When the sail says max, it means max. My rule of thumb is to set your sail to max downhaul and then tune the power via the outhaul. Over tensioning a sail maybe the best way to get the power out of it, however it might not be the best way to get the most control out of your sail.
Use the outhaul to control your power.