Are you new to using windsurfing harness lines? Do you want to know what the best position is, what the best length is or how far apart they should be placed?
Than this article is exactly what you were waiting for!
Choosing the right harness lines makes your time on water more enjoyable and your session will last longer because of the lower amount of strength you need (when using the the right way).
So just run into a surf shop grab the first set of lines you can find and you’re fine, right? Well, not exactly.
The variety among the lines available is huge. So it’s easy to get lost when you don’t know whare to start. Of course it’s best to try them out before buying but when buying online this often is not possible.
What Length Windsurfing Harness Lines Are Best For You
Windsurfing harness lines are available in different sizes. Measured in inches, so which length should you buy?
A good tip would be to place your wrist in between the two Velcro straps on one of your boom arm and have the loop of the line touch and go around your elbow.
Most common windsurfing harness lines are available in the 20 to 30” range. Smaller and longer lines are available as well, so don’t worry if you like to experiment outside the 20-30” range.
The perfect harness line length for you depends on some important factors like:
Your Windsurfing Stance
When standing more on top of your board with a boom positioned at chest height you can do with shorter harness lines as when you have your boom at chin height and are pushing with your feet on the rail of your board.
Your body, Or More Specific, Your Arm Length
It should be obvious that shorter people have less arm length compared to taller people. This means that you can do with shorter harness lines as well.
The Type Of Windsurfing Gear You Use
Depending on what type of sail and/or board you should adjust the length of your harness lines. Although on wave equipment you could do with shorter lines as on a slalomboard, longer lines on wave equipment are more advisable as shorter ones are.
With longer lines it’s easier to unhook fast if you need to. This can be of benefit when a wave starts to break sooner as you thought.
On boards from freeriding to slalom or formula windsurfing longer lines have the advantage to keep the rig more upward on your board.
Do You Prefer Being Underpowered Or Overpowered
When sailing underpowered you might want short lines for standing more upright on your board when being hooked in to your harness lines. When overpowered you could choose shorter lines as well to have more control over your equipment.
What Windsurfing Harness Model Do You Have
First of all we need to know what kind of windsurfing harness you have or like to buy. There are two main options to choose from. A waist harness which you wear higher and brings you more flexibility when swimming or a seat harness which is the standard for flat water.
Depending on the model the hook is placed higher (waist harness) or lower (seat harness). With all other things equal, the lower hook height makes you need longer harness lines on your boom to keep the sail in an more upwards stance instead of being raked back.
What About Adjustable Windsurfing Harness Lines
Adjustable harness lines are the way to go if you’re not sure yet which harness line length you like best. This way you only need one set and can try 22 to 30” all at once.
The great thing about these lines is that they even can be adjusted when sailing hooked in and most have line length indications, this way you can easily remember what line length you like best.
Adjustable lines are a great option as well when you’re serious about racing. This way you can have different line lengths on different courses.
Because of the changing stance and body positioning when doing a cross the wind or upwind course, you benefit from different line lengths.
With an adjustable harness line set you can stay hooked in perfect on all courses.
Or Maybe Rather Go For Fixed harness Lines
The opposite for adjustable harness lines is having a set of fixed windsurfing harness lines. Most people use this option.
They can be a good option; it’s for a reason that people use this type of harness lines the most, right?
Well, they are a good option if you know exactly what length you need and if you could do without the option of changing positions of your harness lines.
However, if you plan on using the boom where your harness lines are mounted on for different size and types of sails, than you‘re better of with adjustable harness lines.
Because of the different CE (center of effort) of different sail types and sizes you need to relocate your lines, which you have to do with adjustable lines as well.
But as you also have to have different line lengths for efficient windsurfing with different sails, there’s no better way than to have adjustable harness lines.
At the end you decide on what you like. Windsurfing harness lines, no matter what system, together with a harness are the best and only way into high wind windsurfing and longer session.
The big advantage of online windsurfing instructions is that no one is watching when you’re trying to learn something new. So no need to feel insecure or looked and laughed at when something goes wrong.
You can watch your windsurfing instructions online in the privacy of your own room or house. Download them to your computer or laptop and read them offline on your screen, or(my favorite) you can print them out and read them whenever you feel like it.
Get Yourself A Windsurfing Instructions Reference Book
In case you go for the last option you could use the downloaded and printed file as a reference book.
Having your instructions in a printed file like a reference book or e book is very convenient for an obvious reason: being able to read them when ever and where ever you want to.
Going through your instructions, no matter if they are windsurfing basics or a bunch of tips and how to’s for advanced windsurfers, from a reference book makes you remember them better as when you’re reading them from a screen.
This because people actually read references or any kind of books and scan through pieces of text on a screen.
Stop Scanning Through Text
With the broadband internet and the fast changing technologies every one is in a hurry. Especially online everyone is in a hurry, you have a hard time believing that? What do you do when a website isn’t loading fast enough? There you have it, you hit the back button and go back to search engines and try the next website in your search results, don’t you?
Who is reading entire pages of text online on a website? Not that much people, you rather scan as fast as possible through the text, to hope to find the tips you need and then leave as you’re in a hurry.
This way you miss the important tips hidden in the text, and not everything stays in your mind as you’re rushing through things, so don’t and just print the text and read it when you like to and repeat it as often as you like to.
Reading tips over and over makes them go through your mind as a movie and this way they stay in your memory better as when you were scanning through the text.
Bring It To The Water
Now that you can dream about newest windsurfing instruction which you’ve been reading over and over it’s time to bring it to the water. But you’re not going to the water without bringing your printed copy of your instructions right?
This because when for some kind of reason it isn’t working out on the water the way you planned it, you come ashore, take some rest, something to eat or at least to drink and take your reference book and read it one more time, now that everything is locked in your brain you go out and try it again, good chances things will work out just fine this time.
Get Video Footage Of Your Windsurfing Sessions
If the windsurfing instructions you planned to take to practice aren’t working at once, no worries. You can read as much as you want, and your mind knows how to execute that particular move by now. But your mind and your body are not the same.
Although your mind and body work as one, your mind learns things much faster as that your body does. So it can be that you know in your head how to execute this new move, but your body is not there yet. The key factor to this problem is to repeat, so practice and practice some more.
If you have no one around to tell you about how you actually do the move (instead of how you think you look on the water learning this new move), it’s best to have some video footage of yourself windsurfing.
This way you can see what you do wrong and analyse what to do diferent next time. Highly recommended!
No Frustrations, Do Something Else Instead
But if you practiced and practiced and it’s not working, you’ll lose your focus and drive to learn this move. You’ll get frustrated and angry, now this is the time to let this move go for a while. Try something else, do some moves you do know or just windsurf around for a bit, as having fun is the most important part of windsurfing.
When the fun trades places for frustration your mind blocks and you’ll get nowhere. So do something else, give it a rest, take a break and try it some time later or just on your next session. I wanna bet that things go better when you’re not feeling frustrated anymore.
Learn From The Proffesionals
Take a look at the pro’s. Do you think they got as good as they are in a few sessions? No way, they practiced and stayed focused for ages to get at level where they are today.
Now that you know this, take a deep breathe, grab your gear and windsurfing instructions and go practice. One of the nicest things about windsurfing is that there’s always something new to learn, so hit the water!
I can finally say that I’m the proud owner of an Locosys GT-31. Though it might not make me windsurf better or faster it fur sure is a whole lot of fun to use one, so the windsurfers around me say.
Because to be honest, I’m the first one to admit to you that I never used one before and, at the time of writing have no clue how to use it.
But, hey, there most be more people at the stage where I am right now which is being totally new to the device and who want to know how to use it.
So, I thought it would be valueable to write a review about it and show you how to install and use it.
What is the Locosys GT-31 and who is it for
For those of you that are not that interested in speed windsurfing and have no clue what I’m talking about it’s an handheld GPS device, actually it’s the most used GPS device among windsurfers worldwide.
And though Locosys now has a newer speed registrating device, in the form of a watch, the GW-60, speed (but also slalom) windsurfers are still in huge numbers using their trusted GT-31.
So, to briefly tell you what it is…It’s a handheld GPS tracking and registrating device.
Locosys GT-31 Pre Review
In the near future I’ll review the GT31, for now I haven’t had an opportunity to use and therefor review it.
I’ve struggled a little to find out how to adjust the settings, but finally it’s working. How do I know it’s working well right now?
Well I’ve activated the device and after it found the needed satelites, I took it into my car and drove a little with it. The good news is that I saw on the screen it recorded the top speed (among some other things).
Now it’s finding out how to upload the file to my laptop and finally upload the “session” to GPS Speedsurfing. After that it’s taking the device on the water and record some sessions while reviewing it thoroughly.
Living in an area where the 4 seasons really ask for different attitudes and motivation when it comes to wind surfing, the coldest of the four asks some preparation from your side when you want to hit the water. And off course you do otherwise you wouldn’t have landed on this page.
So for all you die hard windsurfing fans for whom winter windsurfing is as logical as breathing air Im writing this article for you guys (and girls off course).
3 Essential Winter Windsurfing Tips for cold water warriors
Once you,re infected with the windsurfing virus there’s no turning back and you simply want to experience that adrenaline dose as ofgten as possible.
Off course with a sport like wind surfing you’re totally dependent of the weather gods. But once that predicted wind for your local area finally arrives, there’s no holding you ashore. Nothing in the world can keep you from packing your gear, taking the needed preparations and getting on the road to your local spot as soon as possible.
Though living in a place where winter really means winter might keep most people of the water, but not you, No, you simply want to get get that rush that only windsurfing can give you.
And to get that rush as often as possible, winter windsurfing sounds logical to you, but probably not to the non windsurfers around you.
And to be honest, if you are anything like me than you probably aren’t always jumping for you to hit the waters in those harsher months of year.
But with the right preparations there really is no excuse not to grab your gear and go for the beach in the winter months of year.
How best to prepare for a winter session?
I’ll provide you right now with my 3 best winter windsurfing tips!
Winter Windsurfing Tip #1: Tell others where you are going to windsurf
Safety is evertyhing! In winter even more so than in the warmer months of year. So, my first tip for you would be to always let someone know when and where you are going to windsurf.
Tell that person when you’ll be in touch with them.
Now that each and every person has a mobile phone, it’s easier than ever before to stay in touch with others. Especially in winter time when not that many other people will be around at the beach or on the water it’s wise to let others know where and waht you are doing.
It might even be e good idea to buy yourself a waterproof kind of bag where your mobile phone fits into. In cases of emergency, and you are alone, or no one is seeing that you are in danger, you can always call an emergency number.
In winter and when going out on your own, this extra money spend might one day safe your life!
Winter Windsurfing Tip #2: If in doubt don’t go out
When you arrive at your local beach (no matter if it’s at a lake or the sea/ocean) and you think the conditions are too extreme for you, than simply don’t go out.
This goes especially for you if you are the only windsurfer around. If conditions are to radical for your level (or the equipment you have) than be wise and stay ashore.
Maybe if you really need to go on the water try for a windsurfing spot where conditions are not that extreme. If this isn’t possible, don’t go on the water!
It’s better to miss a sessions than to be out of control on those cold waters and no one around to help or save you.
In cases like this it’s better to be safe than sorry (Actually this is always so, but especially in winter when things can get ugly much faster as they would in the warmer onths of year).
Winter Windsurfing Tip #3: Wear the right wetsuit.
It’s obvious that you need a good wetsuit when windsurfing. With colder (air and especially water) temperatures it’s very important to wear the right wetsuit.
To give you an example, I have several wetsuits for different times in year. But if you don’t have (or want to buy) more than one wetsuit than be wise and pick the right one.
In Holland where I live water temperatures in summer can get close to 20 degrees Celsius and drop down to near 0 degrees in winter.
When you don’t want to windsurf in the coldest months of year, a 4 mm wetsuit would be best, but when you also want to be out on the water in december till february than you need a 5 mm wetsuit. Some would even wear a 6 mm drysuit but I never felt so cold in winter that I needed a drysuit.
In summer a 5 mm wetsuit is doable but could fast become too warm, so it’s inportant to decide in what conditions you want to windsurf and tahn decide what wetsuit to buy.
But for the winter windsurfers among us who need a one wetsuit for all year a (mostly single linided) 5 mm wetsuit would be best.
With colder temperatures I also wear a neoprene cap, neoprene gloves (mittens with open palms are best) sometimes a lycra or a 1 mm neprene body under my wetsuit and neoprene booties.
The booties (the lower windsurfing shoes are no option in winter) and gloves/mittens are available in different thicknesses. Thicker is warmer but also reduce flexibility and feeling with the board/booms fast.
So, it’s best to test them out in fall so you have the right ones with you when going for an artic session.
What are your top winter windsurfing tips?
Though I live by the just provided winter windsurfing tips, there must be other tips I didn’t mention but which are great tips to add to this article for other windsurfers al around the globe.
So, if you have any, please share them in the comment section below!
If you found this article usefull, sharing on Facebook is apreciated.
Want to learn how to windsurf but have no clue where and how to start?
Do you need a recap on the windsurfing basics to refresh your memory?
Worry no longer because you finally found the right website!
Windsurfing is such a great sport and I’m sure, once you master the basics, there is no holding you back anymore.
However, it is a technical sport and might take some time to master, but don’t let this hold you back. I’m here to help you on your way and help you avoid mistakes most people would make when figuring out how to windsurf.
Trust me, in my 30+ years being a windsurfer I’ve made about any mistake there is to be made (and some even mor than once). The good thing about this is that you don’t have to make those dumb mistakes yourself as I’m about to show you how to stay away from those mistakes and guide you along to what you’ve always wanted to do…Learn how to windsurf in the shortest time possible!
So, what will you learn today?
Oh, wait, one more thing before we start…
Though I have learned the basics on my own there’s no reason for you to do the same. Actually I would strongly suggest you to take some windsurfing lessons. It’s the safest way to learn the beasics. You don’t need windsurfing gear of your own and a instructor can coach you and show you what you do wrong and let you see how to do it better.
How to be safe when learning how to windsurf
What windstrength is best for beginners
Where to windsurf
How to uphaul the sail
How to sail away
How to make your first turn
How to windsurf back to where you came from
So, as you can see, there is a lot to cover today, So I suggest to start right away
Learning how to windsurf and always be safe
I know it might sound boring to you when I want to teach you the windsurfing basics and right away I start to talk to you about safety.
But it really is necessary to tell you a thing or two about safety before we really dive into the good stuff.
So, there we go… Windsurfing is a great sport and once you’ve mastered the basics there is no reason why you should not be able to go out and practise with stronger winds. At the end it is true that learning the basics and windsurfing the first meters on your own are a great feeling but the real addiction kicks in when you are past the beginners stage and start to plane.
But to get there we need to master the beginning first.
No matter if you are a beginner or a more advanced windsurfer, safety should always be your top priority and if conditions seem to rough for you, they probably are!
Better safe than sorry. So, only go out on the water when you think you are up to it. It’s always, and I repeat myself here, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Don’t go windsurfing alone. With windsurfing being an extreme sport it’s always best to not go out on your board alone. When something happens there’s always someone near to help you and besides that it’s also much more fun to go wiondsurfing with someone else.
Let others kow where you are. If you can’t find someone to go out on the water with (and I understand that, I’ve been in that situation more than once myself) than make sure you tell someone where you are and at what time you’ll check in with them to let them know you’re okay. With everyone nowadays having a mobile phone there’s really no excuse anymore to not be able to let your person of contact know where you are and how things are going.
What windstrength is best for beginners
Being a beginner things are complicated enough without strong winds and choppy waters to get you off balance and throw you into the water.
When you are a beginner (and if you weren’t you wouldn’t be at this page I guess) it’s best to go out windsurfing with a gentle breeze.
It’s best to go out in a force 1, 2 or 3 as a maximum (on the Beaufort scale). With light winds like these the water is flat and the wind is trong enough to get you to enjoy your first meters windsurfing on day 1 (that’s a promise) and on the other hand, the wind is light enough for you to get the sail uphauled from the water without being exhausted after your first trials.
Where to Windsurf
Now that you know with what windstrength it’s best to practise, it’s also wise to know where to get on your board as a beginner.
I think it’s best (no, I know it’s best) to go on a lake or a wave and currentless spot on the sea/ocean when there’s no lake anywhere near you, but a lake would have my preference.
Make sure that where you go out on the water, that it’s a shallow place and that the wind is not blowing offshore, winds parallel to the beach or slightly onshore are best and safest to start with.
How to uphaul the sail
So, now that we’ve got that covered it’s time to get you actually windsurfing.
Are you ready to get onto your board? Are the mast and board conected? Cool! Than you place the board in the water in a 90 degree angle to the wind and have the sail lying downwind in the water.
Get to the upwind side of the board and climb onto it. Have one foot in front and one foot behind the mastfoot, bend you knees and have your back straight now resch for the uphaul and start pulling the sail out of the water hand by hand.
How to sail away
Are you standing straight with the sail clear from the water? Cross hands and have one hand on the boom near the mast and the other hand a little further down the boom.
Make sure your front foot is pointing to the nose of the board and the rear foot is pointing off the wind (to the side where your sail was lying in the water before.
Straighten your front arm, slightly pull on your backarm, have your back straight, look at the nose of the board and you’re windsurfing your first meters ever! Congratulations, you’re a windsurfer now!!!
How to make your first turn
Now that you’re windsurfing away from the beach it’s time to learn how to turn your gear around.
Move your front arm from the boom to the mast or the uphaul rope close to where it’s connected to the mast and let your backhand of the boom as well.
Now, with a straight front arm move the sail slowly to the nose of the board and with small steps walk around the mast until you reach the other side of the board.
Now the hand on the rope will be the hand further down on the boom and your former hand down the boom will be placed on the boom near the mast on the other side of the boom. So not on the same boom arm you were holding before.
After you’ve done that you place the hand from the rope down the boom and grab it there. This was your first ever perfect windsurfing turn.
How to windsurf back to where you came from
Now the drill is the same as before…Straighten your front arm, slightly pull on your backarm, have your back straight, look in the direction of the nose of the board.
But not at the nose of the board, but only in the nose direction. Always look in the direction you are wind surfing. As this is where other people could be and that is where you’re going to be in a few seconds.
This way you can always steer away from danger and avoid hitting people, animals or other watersports “vessels”.
You’re now windsurfing in the opposite direction as before. Meaning you’re windsurfing back to the beach. It took me days on the summer holiday where I started to windsurf to figure this out and I’m sure you can do this on your first day on a windsurfing board (within the first hour or two).
Do you have any questions on how to windsurf?
Of course, there’s more to teach you about learning how to windsurf but with these basic beginners techniques, you should be able to windsurf your first meters away and back to shore in a safe way.
I hope this helped you on your way to master the first steps on your windsurfing gear.
If something is not clear or you have any questions, please post them in the comment section below and I’ll come back to you with an answer.
Have a nice day and happy windsurfing with lots of fun!
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