Windsurfing Jargon Explained

To help you get to grips with some of the basic windsurfing terms, we've created a brief windsurfing jargon buster to help you out.

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Basically, this is the part of the windsurf you hold on to. It is usually carbon tubing or aluminium covered in a gripping material. It connects to the mast at the front end and has a pulley and cleat feature at the rear to add tension to the sail with the outhaul rope. Booms come in different sizes to marry-up with different sized sails.


This is the large fin in the middle of a long or mid-length board. It can be lowered or raised in different sailing situations. You lower it in light winds and when going upwind, for greater stability and lateral resistance. You raise it when you are sailing downwind at speed for greater control.


You gybe when you change direction through 180 degrees so the tail end of the board passes through the direction of the wind.


The tall post which the sail is attached to. The standard mast length is 465cm (183 in) although they can range from 420-500cm (165 in - 196 in). In the early days, masts were constructed from fibreglass or aluminium. Most models now contain a percentage of carbon to reduce the weight and for improved flexibility. Some masts are up to 60, 80 or even 100 per cent carbon. These are the high performance masts that come with the much bigger price tags.


The mastfoot connects the rig to the board. It does this with a Universal Joint (UJ) which allows the rotation of the rig, essential when sailing.


Planing is when you skim across the top of the water, rather than going though it and displacing water much like a ship does.


This is the term for the mast, boom, sail and mastfoot combined.

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