• RELAX! This one tip opens most of windsurfing's technique doors. Whatever you're doing stop from time to time to consider if you're tense and trying to use muscles that really need not be working.

  • PINK KNUCKLES. Whether in or out of the harness, you will not go any faster if you squeeze the boom until your knuckles turn white. Tension in the upper body stems from the hands so relax your grip and your body relaxes with it.

  • THUMBS OVER. And a way to help relax the arms, use OVER grip (fingers resting over the top of the boom) and rest your thumbs over the boom as well. As soon as you wrap them under the boom, you're in squeeze mode.

  • BOTTOM AWARENESS! Right through the levels, the hips and bottom are your key body parts. No matter the wind strength, always check that your shoulders are OUTBOARD of your bottom. It's when you let the shoulders drop inboard of the hips that you place an unholy strain on your lower back as well as looking like the classic beginner in lavatorial stress.

  • STAND UP! Crouching down is the posture of a threatening beast. Even as the wind gets up try to stand up normally. It's more comfortable and you are in far better shape to handle the rig.

  • FRONT FOOT FORWARD. Moving into heavier conditions, the improver's niggliest recurring fault is that of turning involuntarily into the wind. More often than not it's the result of standing too square to the rig, which in turn leads to over-sheeting (pulling the sail too far). If you just twist the front foot forward a few degrees so it faces diagonally towards the nose of the board, you'll automatically take up a more open stance.

  • EXTENDED ARMS. It's the oldest tip in the book but bent arms are responsible for so much grief that they're not even worth considering. Don't lock out at the elbows, just keep them extended. The advantages are endless. For example, you gain a much better view of the road ahead and you divert the rig's load away from the weak forearms and onto the stronger shoulders and back. Above all it allows you to obey that greatest of all windsurfing's adages - GIVE YOURSELF ROOM.ight="0" style="display:none">idth="0" height="0" style="display:none">idth="0" height="0" style="display:none">

  • SHOULDER CONTROL. Bent arms lead you to control the sail's trimming angle by extending and contracting the biceps - a bad habit. With extended arms, power control should come from the shoulders.

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