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  • Writer's pictureTeam OTC

Time to Spring into action; Dust your kit off!

The month of March heralds the time to spring into action, as the weather starts to change and your thoughts turn to getting back out on the water, what do you need to be thinking about and checking? Time to get your kit out of hibernation, if you have stowed away your windsurfing gear in the Autumn, The Official Test Centre Team Riders have some top tips and awesome advice. Time to Spring into action; Dust your kit off! Inspect, maintain and repair so you can safely return to the water as the season is picking up momentum, read this blog and we will get you ready and prepared.

By Emma Nicholson.

James Hardy
The OTC Team Rider, James Hardy

What prep do people need to be doing to get their kit ready for going back on the water?

The Official Test Centre, Team Rider, James Hardy, said: "If you haven’t been on the water over winter. Then there is a few key things which will ensure a stress free time in the water. Firstly checking your UJ isn’t cracking or splitting, any ropes on your Downhaul and outhaul and free from fraying. If you’re looking at it and thinking it looks a little tired then just bite the bullet and replace it, it’s better to do that than have your session cut short or a lengthy swim in when something breaks. It’s also worth checking you sail is free of holes, get it repaired of if it’s just a little one tape or sticker it up so it doesn’t split any further. Check your boom is adjusting freely, and check the board is watertight, it doesn’t need to look pretty but keep it watertight. If you have any foil/fin bolts or screws check the heads are all clean and in good condition and not rounded off so you correctly tighten things up."

What maintenance should you give your wetsuit?

James said: "If you’re not using it day in day out try and dry it out, I tend to wash mine out every couple of days depending on where I have been out in the water. When you wash it use cold fresh water, you can get some wetsuit shampoos if you want it smelling of flowers! A wetsuit dryer is a great investment through the winter to dry them out and also saves the unwanted feeling of sliding into a cold wet wetsuit."

Any other advice you would give people?

James said: "It doesn’t take long to check it all over. A few minutes making sure it’s all working as it should will save you time prepping on the beach and any unwanted stress on the water."

Aaron Smith
The OTC Team Rider, Aaron Smith

What prep do people need to be doing to get their kit ready for going back on the water?

The Official Test Centre, Team Rider, Aaron Smith, said: "If it's been a few months then essentially check everything you are going to use. I would say the safest way to do this is rig it up before you plan on going. After a long period of no use a lot of breakages can happen/show in the rigging stage. It's also a good oppurtunity to remind yourself how it works and make sure any issues dont eat up on you windsurf time when the oppurtunity presents itself!

"Ropes and UJ's are the two most common ones so check ropes for any fray and theres no better time to replace them before a long summer of use. UJ's if there are any cracks starting to appear in the rubber joint it's time to invest in a fresh one. Another two looked at a little less are boom clamps and footstraps. When any of the plastic on the clamp starts to crack its time to look at replacing. And when it comes to the footstraps, as soon as there it the plastic coming through the webbing (usually on the sides of the feet first) i'd highly recommend replacing as the can change the feel of the board with the extra comfort! I change mine every six months i find it that good."

What maintenance should you give your wetsuit? 

Aaron said: "For the wetsuit I would treat it like your gear and try it before the big day. A lot of rips, especially after a period of no use, will happen when putting it on/off as this is where it is at maximum stretch. Unfortunatly any maintenence should have ideally been done before putting it away, ensuring it was fully clean of any salt and completly dry before storage. Get it checked sooner rather than later, not only will kit breakage potentially put you in danger but worse than that you could miss a good session!"

Any other advice you would give people?

Aaron said: "The OTC have everything you need to ensure a safe enjoyable first session back so don't hesitate to speak to the team."

Sail over to SurfDoctor to get all your wetsuit dryers, screws, footstraps, uj's and everything you need to spring clean your windsurfing kit, click here. Also, if your windsurfing skills need a refresh or you'd like to try winging or foiling don't forget we have an awesome team of instructors ready and waiting to help you with your onward watersports journey, click here.


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