Windsurf booms are an important piece of equipment for windsurfing. If you are just beginning your adventure into windsurfing, you will need to learn a few terms. It is helpful for a novice to get a little instruction as to the lingo of this thrilling sport.
First of all, there is a board. This is the large flat piece that you will stand on. Not all windsurf boards are created equal. There are boards for different water conditions as well as various boards to meet the needs of the athlete. Folks who are new to this sport will need a different board than someone who is very experienced. The beginner boards will help maintain more stability while you learn, while other boards will let a seasoned windsurfer have more control over his movement and the movement of the board.
Windsurf booms are the piece that connects the sail to the rest of the rig. The boom is attached via clamps or other harnessing mechanisms. A boom is very important because without it, there would be no way to steer, turn or otherwise maneuver the board.
You might think that a windsurfer is the term for one who windsurfs. It certainly seems logical, but most people in the sport call windsurfers sailors. This is due to the fact that surfers do not use a sail attached to their surfboard and sailors do in fact use a sail. In addition to the sails, windsurf booms set the sailor apart from the surfer. A surfer does not have a mechanism to steer his board, whereas a windsurfing sailor does use a rig to maneuver through the water.
In the sport of windsurfing, it is important to understand many phrases. When a sailor is tacking, they are turning the board through the wind. Some terminology is taken directly from sailboat terms. For example, the bow of the board is the front of the board and the port is the side of the board that is left when you face the bow. The stern is, as you have likely guessed, the back of the windsurf board. The starboard side is the right side of the board when you are facing the bow.
You will hear sailors talk about their rig. They aren’t referring to their big truck. They are, in fact, referring to the combination of items comprised of the mast, windsurf boom, sail and mast foot. The rig is made up of these different pieces and each part is important. The rig is what will propel the sailor and allow for the wind’s movement to steer, turn and go forward on the board.
The sail is a crucial part of the apparatus for windsurfing. Without a sail, you would simply be surfing. Add a sail and suddenly there is a whole other element to the sport. Many athletes enjoy both the sports – windsurfing and surfboarding. The skill set changes quite dramatically, but many of the water sports, such as surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing attract the same people.
The learning curve for windsurfing can be somewhat steep, it pays to have lessons as you begin. Your instructor will help you find the right board, windsurf boom and overall rig combination to suit your needs.