• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Physics of Windsurfing

Extracts from this document...



You glide across the surface of the water at unbelievable speeds, steer towards a white capped wave, and then lift off like a bird, each muscle resisting against the force of the wind. Then you smash into the trough of the wave, leap up from near disaster, and look quickly for the next wave so you can do it all over again. This is the exciting sport of windsurfing.


Windsurfing began in the '60s when an aeronautical engineer and a scientist had a discussion. In 1969, the engineer presented an idea entitled "Wind Surfing: A New Concept in Sailing." This new concept involved releasing the mast from its fixed vertical position and allowing it to turn around its base (Now a days the vertical positioning is not fixed) The sailor then can both steer and balance the board through correct movements of the mast and sail. The early Windsurfer boards measured 12 feet (3.5 m) long and weighed 60 pounds (27 kg).


A sailboard is composed of a board and a rig. There is variation in modern sailboards; they generally range from 8 to 12 ft (2 to 4 m) and weigh between 7 to 18 kg; some have attained speeds of over 40 knots


...read more.


Punch a hole through both the top and bottom of the paper at the "X." (Be careful not to crease the paper at the fold.) Place the 15-cm straw through the hole you just punched. Use tape, if necessary, to hold the straw in place. Tie one end of the fishing line to the middle of a 7.5-cm straw. Pass the other end of the fishing line through the 15-cm straw which is attached to the paper. Pull the fishing line through and tie this end to the other 7.5-cm straw. The 7.5-cm straws will be your handles. On the other piece of paper, trace two copies of the airfoil shape below and cut out the shapes. Tape the shapes to the open ends of the "wing." The flat edge of the shapes should be on the bottom of the wing (see illustration). Taking the 7.5-cm straw handles, one in each hand, draw the fishing line tight and position it so the line is perpendicular to the floor. Make sure the flatter surface of the wing faces down. With your arms out in front of you, make a quick sweeping motion through the air. Be certain that the leading edge of the wing is in front.


...read more.



In the diagram, the vector TW represents the speed and direction of the true wind, BV represents the speed and direction of the boat and AW represents the speed and direction of the apparent wind. TW has a length representing 20 knots coming from the south. BV has a length representing 15 knots going to the east. AW is the result and represents the apparent wind relative to the boat. Its length represents 25 knots. The angle between AW and BV, shown as ^aw, is 53 degrees. The apparent wind therefore has a speed of 25 knots coming from a direction 53 degrees.

It is the apparent wind that acts on the sail, not the true wind.


...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidates essay starts off with an engaging introduction, their description of windsurfing is interesting to read and grabs your attention. Though it is clear that this essay is going to be a discussion about windsurfing, there is no title ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The candidates essay starts off with an engaging introduction, their description of windsurfing is interesting to read and grabs your attention. Though it is clear that this essay is going to be a discussion about windsurfing, there is no title and the introduction leaves you feeling unclear as to what the premise of the essay is, this can be resolved by clearly stating exactly what your plan to discuss. That said the overall response to this topic is very well written and the candidate provides a detailed and in depth account of windsurfing and the physics involved.

Level of analysis

The candidate clearly understands what they are discussing, that includes the physics principles that they have mentioned. To be able to apply physics to a topic that you have not covered in class shows a good general understanding of the underlying principles and a dedication to your studies. In addition to this the candidate has clearly undergone independent research and this again shows dedication, plus the extra information included in this essay makes it more interesting to read. Furthermore the candidate uses images to help explain what they are discussing and they have included a model to demonstrate lift, this engages the reader and can help you explain complicated concepts. Unfortunately though, the candidate fails to write an appropriate conclusion, which the leaves the reader unsure of the purpose of the essay. A good conclusion summarises the key points from within the essay and specifies why these are important. It is also a good idea to give a personal response to the topic as your teacher/examiner is interested in what you have to say.

Quality of writing

This essay is laid out clearly and is written in coherent manor. In addition to this, technical terms are used accurately and there are no real issues with spelling, punctuation or grammar.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by pictureperfect 25/07/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity essays

  1. The aim of this investigation is to investigate the effect of adding varying weights ...

    (whether I took a slightly false reading as a result of a) parallax error and how many times I took them. To make them more accurate I could have taken them more times and used a more accurate way of reading from the (sagging)

  2. Objectives: To determine the center of gravity of a body of irregular shapes

    Steps 4 to 6 were repeated instead of the hole B and hole C were used. 8. The board with paper sheet was put down. 9. Lines which is connected the holes to the respective marks, were drawn. 10.

  1. physics investigation- stopping distance

    weights from 20g up to 90g, dropping the car from a height of 10cm and gradient 24.4�. Total mass of car (g) 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Distance taken to stop (cm) 1 218 201 185 207 199 220 209 221 2 219 213 195 207 204

  2. Centripetal force

    The Length of string was marked with a label. was recorded. 5. The glass tube was held vertically and the rubber bung was whirled around. The paper marker was just below the glass tube without touching it. (figure 1)

  1. Biomechanics of Long Jump

    The law of inertia stated by LeVeau (1992) the body remains at rest until acted upon by an unbalanced force which is proportionate to the body's weight. Most jumpers take a long third last stride which lowers the centre of gravity and by making the last stride relatively short (Figure 2)

  2. The force you exert on pulling back a rubber band, which will in turn ...

    160 178.3 Table.1 Table of complete results Analysis Average distance travelled 7.3 19 40 48.6 69.6 98 117.3 124.3 151.6 178.3 Increase in distance from previous distance. Table.2 Table to show increase in distances From the average points, the graph shows a generally straight line of increase.

  1. Free essay

    CIRCULAR MOTION - revision notes and calculations

    V2 and tan? ? 1/r This means that the quicker the velocity to turn a sharp angle the larger is ? (bend dipper) if the frictional force is not enough to provide centripetal force, skidding occurs. (ii) Motion of car (or Train)

  2. Explain how excessive exposure to radiation can cause harm.

    800 rem 1. Delayed effects: effects such as cataract formation and cancer induction that may appear months or years after a radiation exposure, such as : Cataracts Cataracts are induced when a dose exceeding approximately 200-300 rem is delivered to the lens of the eye.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work