Get up to Speed: Early planing with Harness, Footstraps, Tuning, and Mast-Foot Pressure


This clinic is to go over the finer points of getting planing and how to best use posture, footstraps and harness for this. There is a different and simpler clinic description for first learning how to use footstraps and harness.



  • Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Clinic leaders: Need 2 members to volunteer
  • Demo gear: Need 1 simulator with sail + 1 extra sail, by the picnic table
  • Knowledge: If possible, people should look at the videos on the club website prior to the clinic.  All levels, welcome.
  • Wind: 15-20+ knots. 
1. Introductions (by the picnic tables) - 5 min
  • Your name and what you want to learn:
    • Group 1: L1/L2: harness or footstraps 
    • Group 2: L2/L3: early planing in low wind; handling strong wind
  • Clinic leader(s), explain importance of the above for L1/L2s and L2s/L3s
  • Clinic leader(s) can work together with a large group, or split into smaller groups depending on size & need.
2. On-Land demo and simulation (both groups) - 20 min
  • Sail & Board
    • Sail selection, tuning, wind calculator
    • Board types and rocker
  • Harness/Footstraps
    • How to put on a harness
    • How to fit footstraps
  • Mast foot pressure (MFP)
    • through arms
    • through harness
    • through pumping
    • while in footstraps
  • Demo some movements
    • Now it's your turn. In a group (others observe), people rotate/round-robin to try harness on land.  How much weight can you commit?
  • Other & safety
    • How to fall properly windward (backward)
    • How to fall properly leeward (forward)
3. On-Water Exercises (both groups, separately) - 30 min

Group 1 (L1/L2)

    • Clinic Leader demonstrate:
      • Beachstart
      • Sail away in harness
      • Fall leeward (forward)
      • Uphaul
      • Sail back
      • Fall windward (backward)
    • Then in pairs, similar sized people -- repeat
    • Clinic leaders(s), feedback on key points
    • Everyone, try some more & observe
Group 2 (L2/L3)
  • Clinic Leader demonstrate:
    • Beachstart/Waterstart
    • Sail away on a plane (PLANING & PUMPING)
      • Can you do this in 5-10 seconds or less?  
      • Can you plane while sailing one-handed?
    • Tack/Gybe
    • Sail back in footstraps WITHOUT planing - i.e., with exaggerated MFP
  • Then in pairs, similar sized people -- repeat
  • Clinic leaders(s), feedback on key points
  • Everyone, try some more & observe
    4. Re-convene and debrief- 15-30 min
    • Share/show - what did you learn? Questions?
    • Other resources: see the notes on the website, Locarno Slack channel, "Windsurfing Wednesdays".

    Notes on early planing

    Rig Tuning & Sail Selection

    • JH: Boom Height, Harness Line Positioning & Length, Outhall Trim (Video 5:00) *** RECOMMENDED
    • Windsurfing Sail Size Calculator (Web Page). Adapted by Philippe Gosselin, based on James Douglass calculator.

    Harness and/or Footstraps

    • GW: How to Improve Your Stance & Use the Harness (Video 6:21)
    • GW: Learn to Use the Footstraps & Get Planing (Video 4:27)
    • SR: Mastering the Harness (Video 2:10)
    • JH: Harness Use (Basics) - Chapter from Beginner to Winner DVD (Video 9:26)

    Overall Technique

    • PH: Up and Riding in a Flash (Web Page) *** RECOMMENDED
    • SR: Intermediate Windsurfing - Getting Going (Video 2:26)
    • PW: How to get planing on your windsurfer (Web Page)
    • JH: Planing and Getting In The Footstraps (Web Page)
    • GC: Early Planing (PDF) *** RECOMMENDED


    • PH: National Watersports Festival, UK, 2011
    • PH: Strong Wind Techniques. Windsurf Magazine 2015. (PDF)
    • TWS: How to Pump? Pumping tips windsurfing slalom (Video 2:02)
    • Steven Van Broeckhoven - Pumping onto a plane (Video)

    * What are those abbreviations - JH, GW, PH, TWS, etc?

    The tutorials shown above are from the following YouTube/Vimeo channels.  Highly recommended.

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