The windsurfing boom supports the sail. It also provides a place for the sailor to hang on. This apparatus goes around the sail. Booms are usually made from aluminum, although there are a few variations on materials. Alloys are commonly used.
The role of a boom in the sport of windsurfing is to help the sailor to control the rig. It also provides a secure place for the sailor to hold on. In order to control the rig, the person must hold onto the boom and learn the proper techniques to guide the boom.
While some may think that the sailor steers the rig, the forces of the wind on the sail and the water on the board actually steer it. In order to guide the rig, the sailor will lean one way or another. If the sailor leans back, the sail is shifted and the rig will head into the wind if the center fin is positioned behind the sail. The opposite is also true because leaning the sail forward and putting it into a position in front of the center fin will guide the board away from the wind. This technique takes some practice.
If you are new to windsurfing, be sure to get some instruction before you begin. It will be somewhat foreign to you, even if you are extremely comfortable in the water. There is also a particular vernacular, or lingo among windsurfers. It helps to know to become familiar with their vocabulary. Most people who windsurf refer to their sail as their rig. The nose of the board is the front of the board. To turn aft means to turn towards the rear of the board.
It often takes a new sailor awhile to catch onto windsurfing. The first few tries may be futile. There are many parts to windsurfing. This sport is comparable to some other extreme sports that take awhile to learn. If you keep it up and become well acquainted with your board, sail and windsurf boom, you will eventually catch on. The value of good instruction is considerable. Consult experienced sailors and instructors for guidance, if at all possible. Windsurfing is a bit of a combination of two sports. It has some of the laid back components of surfing, while also containing the more competitive, complicated sport of sailing.
Windsurfing schools teach beginners the basic skills of windsurfing. Coaches will coach sailors that want to learn the more advanced skills or progress toward competition. Reputable resources for locating schools and coaches abound in windsurfing magazines and windsurf shops. Word of mouth referrals are often the most reliable.
One of the best things about the sport of windsurfing is that people can enjoy sailing for many, many years. There is not an early retirement age for this sport. While elderly folks are often seen in the throes of stiff competitive events, sailors can enjoy the sport for a long time. As long as they can guide a rig and hang onto the windsurf boom, they can enjoy this exciting sport.