Windsurfing shoes safe your feet from cuts, give you more grip on a slippery board and on top of that extend your windsurfing season. Time to find out all about them and get adviced to make your choice easier.
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.
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!
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