Refine Your Stance - Hitting Top Speeds at 78kg

Whilst windsurfing we spend most of our time in our ‘blasting’ stance, whether it’s coasting along with mates or trying to hit 40 knots. There are certain rules we are taught regarding stance that we’re all taught as we go through the early stages of learning to windsurf, but once you’re planing things tend to get a little more personal; everyone finds their best blasting stance.

It easy be complacent though and get into bad blasting habits, so it’s time to refine your blasting skills with the help of some top UK windsurfers.

Boards have caught up with a variety of windsurfers to find out more about their stance, set up, and why they sail like this. In our upcoming issue of Boards – The 2014 Spring Summer Flatwater Annual – you can check out an in-depth piece about the stance and techniques of some of the world’s fastest riders, subscribe here to get the issue on your doorstep in April.

First of all here at Boards online we are catching up with UK speed guru and all-round awesome guy, Steve Thorp to find out more about how he goes so fast at only 78kg…

Steve Thorp
Steve Thorp

I only have one set up for speed regardless of wind and water, and that’s:

40′ wide Moo Custom Speed

5.5 Hot Sails Maui GPS

K4 17cm fin

Waist harness

Weight 78kg + 12Kg lead when it’s windy (change lead not sail!)

My only concern when speedsailing is holding onto as much power as possible, as efficiently as possible, in as much wind as possible! With my light weight a waist harness means I can sail a lot more powered-up, as I don’t get lifted off my feet and spin out, I can always hang my arse out and/or keep weight going down through the board.

I also have my lines miles back on the ‘speed’ side so that I can keep the sail locked in at all times. With lines behind the COE the gusts find it much harder to open the sail up, so I can stay locked down and sheeted in. Obviously when the wind isn’t as strong I have to trim the sail by being sensitive and pushing the sail a little more open.

Steve's boom
Steve’s boom

My boom is exactly level with the top of my shoulder and my lines are pretty short by most standards. I guess this helps me ‘sit’ on the power, rather than hanging off too far out, overloading the fin and stretching my arms to the point I can’t sheet in/out easily. That said my arms are pretty straight, but I’m leaning out. In the gusts I bend the arms a little, drop my butt, and hunch over to keep control.

None of this is particularly efficient I guess, but my main aim is to sail in a **** load of wind and get blasted along (whilst staying in control and sheeted in).

Notice my lines are different on the other tack. That’s for heading back upwind where I just want to sit in the harness and chug upwind.

Leg wise, I’ve always copied Bjorn as I grew up with him smoking everyone so he was always the man to emulate. So I’ve a more or less straight front leg and slightly bent back leg. Pretty normal stance I think.

Check out two videos of Steve in action by clicking through the numbers below…
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