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How to: Gybing

Published on 21 March 2021 at 10:05

As soon as you can fly on the foil your next mission is to keep flying. Since you can't go one way indefinitely, some sort of transition to go the other way is inevitable. The most easy will be the gybe. I get asked quite some questions on how to do them consistently, so I decided to write a little how to with a breakdown on what to focus on. 

 

Tips:

  • Find a spot with flat water, no current and stable wind. The flatter the water, the easier it will be. Waves will increase your speed when going down wind so it will be harder to control the pitch. 
  • Take a bigger foil. This will keep you on the foil at slower speeds and normally the glide is a lot better too.
  • Make sure you make a long drawn out turn. Snappy turns are harder. If you can, take a longer fuselage and/or bigger tail wing as this pushes out your turn.

 

While cruising along, visualize the gibe in your mind. Look downwind to make sure there is plenty of room and you are not interfering with anyone. Look upwind to see if any wind gusts are coming your way. Look over your shoulder to ensure you are not cutting anyone off. Be safe! 

You can increase your speed a little going into the turn.

Steer your board downwind. Do this by leaning your whole body into the turn. Make sure you stay centered over your board and in line with your foil. 

Move the wing more forward and above you into the wind to get the power out. You do not want your wing to be pulling during your gibe. This is not windsurfing or kitesurfing. 

Let your back hand go of the wing. By now the wing is above you. This position will allow it to move freely above your head. The wing is no longer pulling you forward. All the speed you have is what you took into the gybe. Look where you want to go.

 

Continue to steer downwind. While doing this you will increase speed, causing the foil to pitch up. Compensate by focusing on driving the board. Keep it parallel to the water. Do not focus on your wing. It will fly neutral with the wind.  

By now you are fully downwind. Bring the wing down again so you can reach for it with your free hand. It is fully forward from you. The wing is still totally depowered. 

Grab for the handle. In this example the wing has Y handles which makes it super easy as you are reaching for opposite handles. Your other hand won't be in the way. Both arms are stretched as this gives you room to maneuver. 

By now your board has turned through the wind and you are already heading in the other direction. 

Let go with you other hand. Ensure your body is still completely centered over the board and in line with your foil. 

Bring the wing forward, into the wind and above you. This will create the room for you to reach for the back handle. Do not reach too far back. Focus on getting in a comfortable position first. You can switch handles when you are comfortably flying again. 

Grab the handle and pull in your backhand. This brings the wing upright and powers it back up. If you are dangerously close of dropping off the foil you can pump it a few times to increase the power and the speed. 

Look forward on where you want to go to complete your gibe. If you are not yet very comfortable going switch stance, continue to go a little down wind as this is easier.


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