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]


Hot Tip

  • 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.


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