Black Tips #1 – Trimming and Tuning method

Here we go with a very new fresh technical sets of articles, regarding tips to go from basic windsurfing, to high level pro windsurfing. Our Black Team, will bring you all the latest trends in tuning and trimming of the gear.

We will start with some general articles, easy to follow, and to put into practice for advancing to the most detailed and complex facts of the sport.

If you are reading this, it’s for one reason. It’s not because we had no idea how to fill our site, or as the Black Team had nothing to do during the day, but to bring you these very useful tips. So follow us, and do as we say!  Don’t read through and think it’s interesting, and then forgetting all about it! So if you read till here, we are sure you will read also the rest, and learn.

It’s pretty true to think that to become a good windsurfer you need to practice a lot, and also true that some people might have more talent than others, but to us, all of this is not important. Our goal is to teach you how to sail comfortable by trimming and tuning your gear at the maximum level. Let’s have the gear to do a big part of this work! Whether it’s freeriding, slalom, our objective is to have the maximum fun and speed without getting tired.

In this article we will not teach you any special trick to improve. We will go into those details only later on in the next issues. First of all, we want to be sure that you understand the right method to take advantage on the next lessons. What we will teach could be things that you read and heard many times on magazines, or from friends, or from the beach: nothing new, but why is it that you are still having the same doubts, questions and problems?

Days and weeks may go by, from one water session to the other. Family, work, and thousands of other happening, take our focus away from our latest session of windsurfing where everything was starting to fit.  We forget how to downhaul to the right positioning the sail, where we use to put the mast track on the board, and these are only of the few logical things, which that can come as first thought. Imagine how many variables we have surrounding our sport, and how much the conditions vary: to this add how many chances of tuning we have. This is why one day the same gear may feel great, and the next day like sh…!, ending up having our friend with gear of ten years ago just overtaking us, or because suddenly you keep catapulting….till you may end up then wondering why your mast broke!

What we want to explain it’s very simple. To improve you need to make experiments on the trimming and to find the perfect stance on the board. So first thing you need to do is to keep all the future articles you will find here, and especially this first one. It’s probably the most important. Cut it out from the magazine and put it where you are going to write down all your notes.

Exactly notes! By yourself an agenda, or if you are more modern, set up a file on your smartphone. After every session you need to write notes down if you found the perfect tuning for those conditions. So all the settings of each part of your gear. It’s very important! There are 2 ways to do it. Directly on the gear, or in the notepads you decided to use, or even better both!

A lot of pros have felt tapes of all colours, and write poems on all their gear. Some use code language so that the other don’t copy, some don’t care! Imagine if you use a board always with the same sail, and only 3 times with a smaller sail in one year. How do you even remember which was the best place positioning for that sail for the mast foot? It’s impossible, unless you had written it down somewhere. If you did not write it down, you either go sailing with the mast foot in the wrong position and not enjoying the session, or you keep coming in and out of the water several times, till I find the best spot. Imagine doing this with a AC-1 in offshore condition… you would just keep sailing with the mast foot in the first position you placed it, and maybe waste extra energy and speed to try to keep comfort, and of course speed.


Do you really want to sail in an uncomfortable position? No Way!!! This is not why we are actually introducing this new section in our site! It’s because we want to be fast like the Black Team! Right? Therefore, ‘uncomfortable’ does not have to exist in our vocabulary. Same as the word ‘slow’. Not our style! If we are not comfortable and we are not as fast as the others, there is a problem. After many years of sailing, we can tell you the truth about this…it’s not a person being slow, it’s something to do with the gear or trim. Yes sure there can be a slight difference, that should be though small enough that when racing, it will not make a massive difference, but give you the chance still to play it in the race. If you feel tired when sailing, it cannot be because you are not comfortable, but the only excuse we can accept, is because you  have sailed for a lot of hours,…even if you are not super fit. So from now on, your thought need to be this: I’m not fast, I’m struggling with comfort, it’s not because of me, but because there is something wrong with the trim of my gear….nothing else!

With the Black Team we will prove this to you, and from now on you will need to follow our tips. Write down the main points you need to remember, and note down also what we will tell you to remember.

Before we start with more details, these are the first things to do and to follow.

  1. If you are on the water and not comfortable, don’t waste time on the water like that. Get back to the shore, change the settings till you don’t get back on the water, and get this feeling ‘ ah good now I feel comfortable!’  Don’t be lazy to get back to shore to change your trim. You will enjoy the session hundred times more. Even if you have to waste the first 10-20 minutes of the session to trim yourself.  The more you will practice in trimming yourself the more you will learn about the gear and how it needs to be changed to get comfortable, and the less time you will take in a short future to find each time the condition changes the right settings. When the Black Team gets on the water, and someone is faster than them, they don’t stay on the water eating sh…, they come back to the beach tune up according, to what they feel they need to change, and go challenge again. The better understanding you will have on how each component of the gear works in tuning, the faster you will be able to trim a fast and comfortable set up.  What does a pro look for in light wind to go faster? Power and lift. In strong wind it’s more about comfort and control. This is also what every windsurfer should look for, even if he is freerider on freeride gear. You trim and tune up well, the more fun you will have.
  2. Get ready with your equipment to write notes down, and felt tapes to start putting notes on your gear.

These may seem like to simple and obvious points, but they are very important. You need to make sure that the last session you had on the water, feels like it was the session you had only a day before, … even if it was 3 months before. Otherwise you will find to have to start re-setting all your gear again from zero

Catch you up on next article.


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