Windsurfing Techniques Understanding Apparent Wind

Improve your windsurfing technique by truly understanding Apparent Wind.   Apparent Wind is a term that most sailors have heard about but very few really understand. Yet, the behaviour of the apparent wind under different conditions has a profound effect on the performance of all sailing craft . This is especially true in the case of windsurfing where the speed of the board very often exceeds that of the true wind.  A sound understanding of the principle of apparent wind will help in improving a sailor's technique on all points of sailing, whether it is in sailing upwind, reaching or broadreaching.  An awareness of the effects of apparent wind is also important when performing actions like pumping and gybing.

In this article I have adopted a rather theoretical approach to the treatment of the subject.  The use of vector diagrams is necessary in order to show how the speed and direction of the apparent wind are affected by changes to the speed and direction of the board.  I hope that the reader will be able to understand enough of this article to help him improve his overall windsurfing technique.

True Wind & Apparent Wind
Sailing on a Beam Reach
Sailing on a Broad Reach
Sailing Upwind
Forces Acting on the Sail

Copyright 2000 Denis Wee. All rights reserved.