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Control Your Board in High-Speed Winds

Control Your Board in High-Speed Winds

Low speed winds can be annoying for a very simple reason: if the wind isn’t strong enough, you’re stranded on the beach praying to the gods of wind for the wind to pick up. High-speed winds can be annoying as well; perhaps bothersome is a better word. In strong winds, 25 knots and upward, it can be difficult to control your board.

When the wind is strong enough, it can turn your board into an airplane wing. Let me explain what I mean by that. As the wind flows over the top and bottom of the board, a low-pressure area forms above the board and a high-pressure area forms underneath the board which will result in the board lifting off. This can occur while you’re sailing at planning speed. What will happen to you? You will spin out.

Things don’t have to be that way. You don’t have to wipe out just because the wind is too strong. To stop your board from taking off, you must make sure that the windward rail isn’t higher than the leeward rail; if it is, your board will lift off. Keep the windward rail lower and the wind will push the board down. To keep the board in the water during gusts, press your heels down and lift your toes up (while in the foot straps of course). Again, the wind will push the board down when you do this.