U – Universal joint (UJ): windsurfing’s crucial multi-directional mechanical component

As windsurfers we take the humble universal joint for granted, yet it’s the UJ that sets windsurfing apart from many other sailing craft and allows us to perform many of the moves we do. Without the 360 degree articulating joint carve gybes, for instance, simply wouldn’t be attainable.

It was Pete Chilvers in 1958 who invented windsurfing, but crucially he came up with the first crude UJ’s of the time that then went on to be refined. These days there are three types available but they all feature the same multi-directional movement, they just have different types of mast fitting.


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