Monday, September 21, 2015

Gybing Post

Regular readers will know that I do something about gybing from time to time.  This is one of those gybing posts.

I have tried to simplify the slalom gybe by breaking it down into its constituent parts.  I have used a live gybe by one of the experts (Matteo Iachino I think).

Here he comes entering the move at full tilt
He retains pressure on the inside rail and begins to flare the sail (important)
Note how he keeps his eyes on where he wants to go.  He continues pulling the boom towards the outside of the turn .  He steps with knees bent.
His front foot is forward controlling and stabilizing the board.  The amount he has flared the sail is really apparent.  The board very briefly straightens out because his weight is over the centre line.  I have the feeling that he has stopped looking at where he wants to go.  Antoin never finds himself in this position
He flips, and resumes carving by forcing his heels down and looking into the direction he wants to go.  His speed allows him to continue through the gybe.  You can see the slight mistake in the wake.  
He lifts the front of the boom up, keeping the rig away from his body.  This is the point where he will suddenly break at the knees to very briefly remove his weight from the board.  This serves to keep the board planing and will also bring the nose down. 
The nose settles and his arms are straight ready to pump.  See ya!
 All the best 

Good winds


  1. Phil, thanks for a good explanation of the slalom jibe. I've been trying out a board new to me (79cm wide), as I make the transition from an old-school 65cm board. The board rides great, but I'm having difficulty railing and carving like I did on my old board. Is there a width limit for the slalom jibe, or will I eventually figure it out? And....why is this slalom jibe better than my old strap-to-strap sail-first jibe?

  2. Hi Marc
    You need to step right over the board to put pressure on the inside edge. Depending on the board you can place your foot midway between front and back strap on the edge. Practice this a few times with your foot forward then back just to get the turn right. Once you have the sweet spot continue polishing the other gybe phases.
    The step gybe is better than the strap-to-strap for racing because it allows you to get your new front foot right forward with the step. This keeps the board flat and in control. You need control at the mark when other sailors are trying to run you over, blocking your path with fallen rigs etc.
    Keep working at it and you will get it right.