The fundamental rule of sailing is that no boat can sail against the wind (grey triangle). A boat can sail approximately 45º to either side of the wind, so in order to steer against the wind, you need to sail 45º against it with it on either side of the board.
The different courses you can make with respect to the wind are as follow:
- Into the wind: To point the nose of the board into the wind. Sailing in this position is not possible, the sail waves and the board stops: it is called the no-go zone.
- Close hauled: To sail 45º with respect to the wind. Zigzagging close hauled against the wind allows you to steer against the wind.
- Beam reach: To sail at 90º to the wind direction (perpendicular to the wind). Sailing at beam reach twice in opposite directions leads you to the same spot.
- Broad reach: To sail 135º away from the wind. Opposite course to close hauled.
- Run: To sail approximately 180º away from the wind direction.
The following terms indicate a zone or position with respect to the wind:
- Leeward: The direction away from the wind, to where the wind is going. It is the opposite to windward.
- Windward: The direction from where the wind is coming. For example, when hoisting the sail (in the correct position) in the initial position, all that is behind you is windward. It is the opposite to leeward.