Moth Sailing: The Art of Gliding

Moth Sailing: The Art of GlidingMoth sailing is one of the greatest extreme sports out there. Being out there on the water, flying across and seemingly defying physics can add up to one of the most fulfilling pastimes you will ever try.

Moth sailing lets you experience a kind of beauty and philosophical understanding you can’t always put easily in words. Plus there are huge benefits to doing this sport and living an active lifestyle in general.

If you have been reading this and thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good but what exactly is moth sailing?” Then read on to figure out what exactly we are talking about here:

Moth Sailing: The Basics

Looking at the hydrofoil moth boat, your first impression will probably be some degree of bewilderment. No part of its design looks like it should work. But its design is uniquely structured for speed and dexterity. It can fly through water silently and quickly. It is wholly unlike any other kind of sailing.

Certain designs of moth can reach speeds above 30 knots (that’s nearly 60 kilometers per hour). All designs are built for racing but whether you compete or just do it on your own time, moth sailing is an amazing way to both relax and have fun.

The design of the boat makes it highly aerodynamic and much more streamlined. While it moves through the air and water much more easily because of this, it does make it a little more complex to maneuver at first so here are the basics of how to handle a moth boat:

How to Do It

The mast of the sail wobbles a bit which makes it better suited to catch the wind but a little more difficult to control. It is a bit more like windsurfing than sailing in this sense. In a moth boat, you not only go right and left as you do with sailing, you can also go up and down. All of this is controlled by twisting the tiller (just like sailing) which controls the second foil located on the rudder.

Because the moth boat only weighs in at a little over 60 pounds, you will make up the most weight on the boat. To stand on it, you perch on a fabric awning that is stretched out from the hull. Doing so puts your full body to the test as you have to combine mind, muscle power, and fast reflexes to maneuver the moth boat successfully.

Although it looks like you are just sitting on a boat, maneuvering a tiller, moth sailing will cause you to break a sweat pretty quickly. And you should definitely dress for a soaking because even the best of the best still take a dunking now and then. That’s all part of the fun of moth sailing! After breaking a sweat on the boat, a refreshing dip in the water (even if its accidental) will feel rejuvenating.

Here are some quick tips to help you get the hang of moth sailing:

  • To get on the boat, swim with it out to where the water is deep enough, then pull the boat upright (with the mast downwind) and climb onto the centerboard. Once it starts to come up, jump into the boat. It may take a couple tries to be successful.
  • To stop the boat slowly, slowly ease the mainsheet and reduce the boat’s power. As you do this, move into the middle of the boat.
  • If you are about to hit something, you will have to stop the boat quickly which basically just means capsize it or just jump off.

For the most part, moth sailing is all about practice; the more you do it, the better you will get. Just be prepared for a lot of dunks in the water along the way.

Why You Should Do It

Avid moth sailors describing what it is that pulls them to the sport often say that it is like a pure form of sailing. It is both relaxing and serene while being an extremely active sport that requires complete coordination of your mind and body.

The feeling when the boat lifts out of the water is indescribable. From all the noise of the water and wind beforehand, everything becomes instantly silent even though you are moving at a remarkable speed. It is an almost transcendental experience, making it the perfect Zen sport.

The serene silence as you maneuver the moth boat allows you to feel incredibly in the moment and at one with the present. The feeling makes it worth every ounce of effort you put in to learning how to master the skill and understanding the way your moth boat works.

If achieving total Zen—even just for that moment—is not enough to convince you, think of the excellent workout you are getting. It is great exercise for your core, arms, and legs. That is, it is a full body workout that will build strength and endurance.

Unlike a bland workout routine, however, moth sailing never has a dull moment. Whether you are gliding along at top speeds or trying to prevent the boat from capsizing (or dunking into the water because your boat has capsized), moth sailing is always exhilarating.

So if you have been craving a more active lifestyle and want to invest in something that will be truly rewarding, there is no better choice than getting a moth boat. Take it out on the water and appreciate how it’s good to be able to afford yourself things like moth sailing.

Once you start to get the hang of it, you’ll become addicted to the rush, the Zen feeling, and the amazing workout you are getting all at the same time.

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