Surfing terms: basics?

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New sailors should familiarize themselves with basic sailing terms for safety and enjoyment. Important terms include port and starboard for orientation, windward and downwind for wind direction, and boom and mast for sail positioning. The rudder is used to steer the vessel. Sailing with experienced sailors is recommended.

Sailing is thrilling and fun both in a bay and on the open sea. Sometimes sailing vocabulary is confusing for people new to the sport. Familiarizing yourself with basic surfing terms will make surfing safer and more enjoyable. If you are new to sailing, make sure you go out with an experienced sailor so you have an experienced partner.

Some of the most important terms in sailing are for orienting yourself on a boat. When you are on the bridge and facing forward of the ship, or forward, starboard is to your right and port is to your left. These directions remain fixed in relation to the ship. Therefore, starboard doesn’t just mean ‘right’, it means the starboard side of the ship. As you walk towards the stern, or back, of a sailboat, you are moving towards the stern. These navigation terms are important to know in an emergency.

There are also a number of sailing terms regarding wind and weather. The term “windward” is used to indicate the direction from which the wind blows. Sailboats tend to move with the wind, making windward direction an important thing to know. Boats often have windsocks which they use to orient themselves with the wind. The opposite direction is called downwind, which is also used to indicate a sheltered spot.

The sail itself is attached to the mast, a vertical pole that extends the sail lengthwise. At the bottom of the mast is the boom, a long pole attached to the foot of the sail. The boom can be moved to position the sail advantageously for the boat. You should be cautious moving around the boom because it can hurt your head if you run into it, or it can hit you. The boat is said to be fully rigged when the sail, ropes, lines, and so on are present. There are special sailing terms for different types of sails, which are used in a variety of situations.

Other navigational terms include rudder, which is used to steer the vessel. The rudder is a flat piece of wood, metal, or fiberglass that can be turned, forcing the ship to steer with it. The rudder can be controlled by a wheel placed at the bow, or it can be controlled directly at the stern. Smaller sailboats are usually not equipped with a wheel due to the space it takes up.

There are numerous other sailing terms to learn, ranging from foods that come out of the galley to special sailing terms for unique weather conditions. The basic terms above will acquaint you with the crux of sailing and allow you to feel more secure at sea. If you are just learning to sail, remember to sail with experienced people and follow their directions, especially in case of an emergency.

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