Batten: carbon or epoxy "stays" running
across the sail giving it shape and support.
Beach start: using the wind and therefore
power in the sail to help you step up onto
the board from the shallows.
Board: the thing you stand on, usually made
from polyethylene or ASA/ABS plastics.
Boom: attached to the mast and sail and used
so the sailor can control the sail. Often adjustable
so it fits more than one sail size.
Buoyancy aid: flotation jacket designed to
keep you afloat. Not to be confused with a
lifejacket which, technically, will keep your
head above water if unconscious.
Camber Inducers: a piece of plastic that is
attached to the inside of the luff tube of
a sail and fits around the mast. It allows
clean airflow over the mast creating a powerful
sail to go fast. Racers love them but the fixed
profile will hold water like a paddling pool
and with the wider luff tube also holding water,
this sail will be very heavy to uphaul. Also
a pain to rig.
Carbon: strong, lightweight but expensive
material used in masts, booms and boards in
varying amounts. The more carbon is in your
equipment, the more expensive it is.
Clew: outer corner of the sail to which the
Cross shore: wind blowing directly parallel
to the shore, also known as side shore
Daggerboard: looks like a long fin in the
middle of the board and is used in light winds
to keep the board going in a straight line.
But it can be retracted as when you get planing
your fin stops the board slipping sideways.
Downhaul: used to apply tension vertically
to the sail consisting of a rope and pulley
system at the foot of the sail.
Fin: attached to the rear underside of the
board. Keeps you going in a straight line,
stops the board slipping sideways and helps
get you onto the plane
Foot: the bottom section of the sail
Footstraps: used to keep the feet in contact
with the board in planing conditions, you can
then steer the board more effectively
Harness: worn around the sailor’s waist
or bottom. They have a metal bar with a hook
that hooks onto the harness line on the boom
and takes the weight off the sailor’s
Head: the top section of the sail.
Leach: the trailing edge of the sail.
Luff: the leading edge of the sail
Mast: made from fibreglass and carbon, the
mast supports the sail and gives it aerodynamic
Mast extension: attaches the bottom of the
mast to the sail. It is adjustable allowing
one mast to fit more than one sail size.
Mast foot: attaches the sail
to the board
a clear plastic sail material
a wind blowing directly onto the shore
Offshore: a wind blowing
directly away from the shore
Outhaul: used to apply tension
horizontally in the sail from the back end
of the boom.
Neoprene: a synthetic rubber
produced in a variety of thicknesses resulting
in garments with varying degrees of insulation.
Planing: when the board starts
to ‘skim’ across the top of the
water at speed rather than ‘ploughing’ through
Quiver: a name used to describe
all your sails. For example, “my quiver
consists of a 4m and a 5m”
Rig: a complete sail, mast,
Rigging: putting together the
mast, boom, sail and attaching it to the board
so it doesn’t blow away.
RYA: the Royal
Yachting Association was established to promote
and protect “boating” in the UK.
This covers most water activities, except for
kitesurfing and kayaking. The RYA also have
world renowned training schemes in yachting,
power craft, sailing and windsurfing for instructors
and participants. You get lots of member benefits
including third party insurance for windsurfers.
Costs £33 a year or £11 for a junior
Sail: a clear, plastic material that is pulled
into an aerodynamic shape by the mast and boom.
When used properly, in wind, it can propel
a sailor and his board across the water at
Stance: this is the way you stand on the board
and use the rig. A good stance makes sailing
more efficient and will help enormously when
the wind is stronger and you are learning to
use the harness and footstraps.
Tide: the vertical and horizontal movements
of the oceans caused by the gravitational pull
of the moon, sun and by the rotation of the
earth. On average, in the UK, we get 2 high
tides and 2 low tides in one day (24 hours).
So if it is low tide at 9am in the morning,
it will be high tide 6 hrs later at 3pm in
the afternoon and low tide again at 9pm at
Turning: you can turn the board around by
tacking or gybing.
Tack: turning the board through 180 degrees
with the nose turning into the wind to initiate
Gybing: turning the board through 180 degrees
with the nose turning away from the wind to
initiate the turn
Volume: amount of flotation
in the board measured in litres. A 100 litre
board will float 100kg of weight
Wetsuit: neoprene insulating suit worn for
warmth in and out of the water.