The Tack

As you are now sailing across the wind with a good

stance it is time to tune up those tacks. The tack

is where the nose of the board goes through the eye

of the wind. Tacking is so important as it gives

you a way to turn round whilst staying upwind and

is a transition used up to the highest level.

By getting into good habits

and becoming the tack master you will find, that

as you progress down to smaller boards, the move

will be that much drier.


We identified a key fundamental last time of LOOKING FORWARD

as this gives us a good stance. Let us now address:

  • Looking where we want to go
  • Scissoring

    the board. (Using our legs

    to make our steering more effective)

From a good stance looking forwards and slightly upwind, begin to steer towards

the wind.

As the board heads into the wind, slide the front hand up the boom in preparation

for dropping it onto the mast below the boom. Lower your bodyweight

and look upwind.

The front hand drops onto the mast as the rig rakes back towards the tail. Place

your front foot forward, in front and wrapped around the mast foot.

The rig is now moving back to create space and

the body is moving forward. Steer the board through

the wind by looking into the wind and scissoring

the board, pushing with the back foot and

pulling with the front foot.

The nose of the board is now head to wind and

both feet are forward, close to the mast foot with

both hands on the mast below the boom. The board

will continue to turn towards the new direction by

swinging the rig around the back of the board and

towards the nose.

Keep swinging the rig towards the nose, keeping

the knees bent and arms straight, until you are in

the secure position (July issue).

You will now be looking forward to

aid bearing the board away.

You are now in the secure position with the board across the

wind and ready to sail across the wind once more.

So look forward, bring the rig

to the balance point,

anticipate the power and get down and move towards the sailing position (July


View video of this move:

bandwidth [MPEG, 0.75MB]

bandwidth [MPEG, 2.21MB]

  • Head upwind
  • Front hand on mast
  • Front foot forward
  • Rig back and body moving forward
  • Step up
  • Rig round back of board
  • Rig towards nose and LOOK FORWARD



The more you practice the tacks the better you will be.

By sailing shorter distances you are doing more turns and

therefore getting more practice. Its worth re iterating

that good coaching or some feedback from more proficient

sailors pays huge dividends in this and all moves.