Monday, February 17, 2014

Gybe Tips and Industry News


A while ago I found myself in the habit of dropping gybes in certain conditions.  This happens to me from time to time and when it does, I have to go back to basics and ensure that I do each move in each phase of the gybe correctly.  To be fair the errors only occur in pretty harsh conditions and only on one tack but concentrating on the basics brings the situation under control every time.
Following this, I thought it may be interesting to share some re-visited gybe tips with you:

  • Speed is the main thing in gybing so you must retain as much speed going in to the gybe as possible.  As you un-hook, be conscious of not sheeting out.  If you sheet out even slightly, you lose speed immediately.
  • Keep you arms straight throughout the entire move.  You must maintain distance from the rig and keeping your arms straight, ensures that you do so.  This maintains power in the sail and also provides a counter-weight to your body as you switch.  Straigh arms retain power and stability.
  • At all times, look in the direction you wish to go (downwind you will be looking through the sail window and as you turn into the new tack you will be looking out along the path you wish to follow).  There is no need to look at your hands or your equipment!
  • Finally, keep your knees bent for stability.  Here is Patrik Diethelm gybing one of his FreestyleWave boards.  Note how his head is below the level of the boom.  Be conscious of having your head below the boom throughout the transition.  Most of us think that we are bending our knees but very rarely is this as much as we think.

On the subject of Patrik's boards and the man himself,  I rate him as one of our great designers. Furthermore, he understands the appeal of a great bump and jump board which can be set up for speed.   You may recall me complaining that the Tabou 3S (116) is a fantastic shape for freeriding and for speed but that the lack of outside strap positions ensures that it can never be ridden at full speed. The lack of outside positions demonstrates that Fabien does not regard this option as important to his target market.
Patrik, on the other hand, does regard the option as important.  This is what he writes about his freestylewave boards:

The words he chooses in the above description show that he understands.

I really hope that Fabien gives this aspect some consideration down the line with the 3S's.

Other Industry News:

Maui Sails have changed the bend characteristics of their masts with their new generation of equipment.  Those of you who follow this type of thing will know that Maui Sails have always had the hardest top masts in the industry and this has made it impossible to mix equipment from other brands. The new masts now have a constant curve so compatibility issues are a thing of the past.  Well done guys!
Now if we could only persuade Neil Pryde and Gaastra to follow suite....

Carbon Art have incorporated cut-outs into their new slalom boards.  This is surprising since they have always said that cut-outs are a fad and that they do not work.

Lastly, I am having trouble understanding Starboard's AtomIQ specs.  They say that the model's fin box is a power box but when I look at the pictures I would swear that the fin box is Tuttle.  What makes it more confusing is that the magazine reviews of these boards  all refer to power boxes.  Surely that is two holes I see over the finbox area?
Talk to you soon


  1. Hi Phil, can confirm that the AtomIQ does indeed have a power box. Think the pics are from earlier prototype boards.

  2. Thanks for this Martin. I thought that this might be the case but then started to doubt myself. Starboard usually pay close attention to their images. Even the big guys can slip up.