The body drag is a fun manoeuvre where the body is dragged along the top of the water, just beside the board, while still holding the boom. A successful body drag is when the sailor is dragged along the water and gets back on deck with the board still on the plane. This may sound easy and most sailboarders have probably done these unintentionally, but it is a difficult technique.
High Speed Technique
A body drag is a high speed manouvere as heaps of inertia is needed to keep the board on the plane. Dragging a big lump of human flesh over the water takes quite a bit of power. The board must be going fast, really fast, so this is a technique not for the faint hearted.
Start by taking the front foot out of the strap and put it on the water beside the board digging the heel in. This throws up a spectacular spray of water and is good practice for controlling the board with the back foot only.
Body Dragging off the Windsurfer
When confident with this, angle the board onto a broad reach and take the front foot out again only this time drag it on the water with the heel facing up. Stay like this for a moment until you’ve got your balance, then step off with the other foot and throw both legs onto the top of the water. At this point, angle the board away so it stays running on the broad reach, as the action of stepping off will force the board into the wind.
Only the legs should drag, as too much body in the water will cause the board to lose speed and come off the plane. To keep the upper body off the water, lift up on the boom.
Getting Back on the Windsurfer
This is a quick technique as the board should not stall. As soon as possible after hitting the water in a big shower of spray, start to get back on the board. With the board still on a broad reach, pull up on the boom. The back leg should go up and across and back on the board.
With one leg back on deck the board should be back under control and the other leg can be bought back.
This action of pulling up on the boom and tucking the back leg up requires great upper body strength and stomach muscles. The length of time spent dragging on the water depends on the wind strength and how much power in the sail.
Why Learn A Body Drag off a Windsurfer
Body drags aren’t much use to the serious wave sailor or racer, but are good for a laugh on a hot summer’s day. They are also a good addition to a sailor’s repertoire of free-sailing tricks.
One last reminder: to help keep the respectability of sailboarders everywhere; ensure shorts are on securely!!