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The Jibe / Gybe

 The Jibe or Gybe
Click here to see a video demonstration (Will open in a new window)

From the long and graceful to the tight and aggressive snap jibes, the jibe is a fundamental skill that you need to have in order to move forward in your windsurfing. The jibe can be your worst nightmare or it can be your best friend. So let's try make to it your best friend, this is how.

The details are controversial, that's because each person has some sort of personal opinion on the key factors. Take some time and watch the others jibe, you'll find that although they jibe well, they all have a different style and way, they have their own special tricks that work for them. They are those little tweaks that make the whole process smooth, easy and stylish. It will take some time and exploring for you to find your own, so we'll begin with the basics leaving out the personal tweaking.

Here are some points that should help.

  • Unhook and enter the jibe with some speed.
  • Take your back foot out the strap and place it lightly on the downwind rail.
  • Bend your legs
  • Lean into the rail, you may put pressure on the rail with your foot to control the carve.
  • Keep carving right around, remember the wider the carve the more speed you keep throughout the turn.
  • Shift your front hand right up to the head of the boom. You will use this hand to emphasize the flick of the sail by pivoting the sail around.
  • The foot that's still in the strap should come out now. It can help to place it in front of your other foot so that your heals are facing opposite directions, as though you are standing in a duck foot position (well, almost). But keep it simple and don't try to be perfect about it, as long as you feel balanced and comfortable. Stepping forward will help keep the speed and should be done just before the sail flip. Some find it easier to flick the sail first while quickly switching their feet.

Step Gybe or Step Jibe

  • When you come towards the end of your carve, let go the back hand of the boom so that the sail swings over the nose of the board.
  • As the sail flicks around, grab it by going under your other arm and not over. Do not look at your sail, instead keep looking into the direction you are going.
  • Next, grab when you can with your new back hand. Do this when the opportunity presents itself (so that you don't lunge forward). If your body is in the right position facing forward then the sail will come to you naturally.

Sheet in and sail on. Remember to bend your knees, it should also help absorb the chop and keep you from bouncing off. If there is one thing you need to remember, that is to turn your body forward and look forward when you flick the sail! This is very important and is often where the problem is.


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