Steering the Board

A windsurfing board has no rudder, it is turned by varying the relationship between the center of effort (force of the wind on the sail) with the center of resistance (force of the water on the center fin or centerboard).  Thus, when the sail is leaned backward and positioned behind the center fin, the board turns into the wind.  When the sail is leaned forward in front of the center fin the board turns away from the wind.

The focal point of the sideways resistance generated by the centerboard and skeg is called the center of lateral resistance or CLR.  The focal point of the forces generated by the sail is called the center of effort or CE.


5 Responses

  1. Umberto says:

    How does it work when there is not a centerboard and there is only the fin?

    • JeromeS says:

      Hi Umberto, thanks for your question! It works exactly the same way when there is no centerboard: your body acts as the pivot point.

  2. Anibal B says:

    Hi! I’m having some troubles to steer with the footstraps. On a 156 liters board, 85 width and no chickenstrap, between 12 and 16 knots of wind, using the harness and commiting to it, I can steer upwind and stay in that course but I hardly manage to bear away and go downwind. I know that mast foot pressure is essencial in order to keep my weight off the board but I think may be experienced riders make some movements with their backfoot that allows them to bear away. I allways end puting my backfoot in the leeward rail to bear away but I loose control. So with my backfoot I only manage to bear away sinking the leeward rail with my foot on the leeward rail, like when you start a gybe. Any help on this would be really appreciated. Thanx!

  3. Anibal B says:

    ok thank’s for the advice!!

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