How To Turn A Windsurfing Board

Table of Contents

Windsurfing is a thrilling water sport that requires a lot of skill and practice to master. One of the most important skills that a windsurfer needs to learn is turning the board. Turning is a crucial technique that allows a windsurfer to change direction and navigate their way around the water. In this article, we will explore the ways in which a windsurfer can turn their board. We will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to execute each turn along with tips on how to perfect your technique.


What are the different types of turns in windsurfing?

In windsurfing, there are several types of turns that you can perform to change direction while sailing. Here are some of the common types of turns in windsurfing:

  1. Tack: A tack is a basic upwind turn where you steer the board through the wind to change direction. During a tack, you shift your weight forward, sheet in the sail, and steer the board across the wind until it comes around to the opposite tack.
  2. Jibe: A jibe, also known as a gybe, is a downwind turn where you change direction by steering the board through the wind. In a jibe, you shift your weight back, release the sail, and steer the board across the wind until it comes around to the opposite tack. Jibes require good control and coordination to maintain speed and balance through the turn.
  3. Carve jibe: A carve jibe is a more advanced and dynamic version of the jibe. It involves using the board’s rail to carve a tight turn while maintaining speed and control. Carve jibes require precise footwork, weight distribution, and mast and sail control.
  4. Cutback: A cutback is a turn used to change direction while riding a wave. It involves redirecting the board sharply back towards the breaking part of the wave, allowing you to stay in the wave’s power zone and continue riding.
  5. Top turn: A top turn is performed on the face of a wave, where you use the power of the wave to generate speed and drive. It involves carving a tight turn at the top of the wave and then descending back down.
  6. Bottom turn: A bottom turn is performed at the bottom part of a wave, just before it breaks. It involves initiating a wide turn to generate speed and set up for a top turn or a cutback.


How do you execute a carve turn?

A carve turn is a sweeping turn that is executed by leaning your weight towards the back of the board while using the back foot to apply pressure to the board. To execute a carve turn, you must first gain speed. Once you have enough speed, start turning your board by leaning back and putting pressure on the back foot. From there, shift your weight to the front foot to complete the turn.


What is a tack turn, and how do you perform it?

A tack turn is a technique used to change direction when you’re upwind of your starting point. To perform a tack turn, start by turning the board away from the wind. Move your back foot to the center of the board, and step forward with your front foot. Now switch hands on the boom and turn the sail the other way so that the wind is now behind you. Then, firmly step the new back foot forward and change your feet so that you’re now standing on the upwind side of the board.


When should you use a pivot turn, and how is it executed?

A pivot turn is generally used to change direction quickly and efficiently. To execute a pivot turn, shift your weight to the back of the board and then turn the sail so that it points directly downwind. This will cause the board to pivot around the sail. Once the board has changed direction, shift your weight back towards the center of the board to regain control.


How can you improve your turning technique in windsurfing?

To improve your turning technique, it is essential to practice regularly. It’s also helpful to watch videos of windsurfers executing turns so that you can see proper technique in action. To perfect your technique, try to break down each turn into smaller steps and work on each step individually. You can also try to practice in different wind conditions and on different board sizes to improve your overall skills.


What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to turn your board?

One common mistake that windsurfers make when turning their board is leaning too far forward. This can cause the board to tip and lose control. Another mistake to avoid is not properly shifting your weight. You need to shift your weight to the back of the board before executing a turn, and then shift it back to the center of the board once you’ve completed the turn. Finally, it’s always important to keep safety in mind and wear appropriate gear, especially in challenging weather conditions.



In conclusion, turning a windsurfing board is an essential skill that every windsurfer must master. By understanding the different types of turns and using proper technique, you can navigate the wind and waves with confidence. Always remember to practice regularly, break down each turn into smaller steps, and focus on improving your technique. With these tips and a lot of practice, you’ll be turning like a pro in no time!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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