How to: Tack to Switch

Published on 2 May 2021 at 08:00

Personally I think this is the hardest of transitions to master. You lean into the turn backside and can't really see where you are going. Normally it is the last one to practice. If you are able to pull this one off as well, you have all transitions in your bag of tricks.



  • Find a spot with flat water, no current and stable wind. The flatter the water, the easier it will be. Waves will make it significantly harder. If you do have waves, consider to take a longer mast. 
  • Take a bigger foil. This will keep you on the foil at slower speeds and normally the glide is a lot better too. As larger foils have a wider wingspan they go slower rail to rail which is a benefit while learning tacks. If you have a smaller foil you need to be much quicker in whipping the board round. 
  • 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.


As always, before initiating any maneuver, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and avoid interfering with anyone else. Look up wind to see if there are any gusts coming. Since you will be turning into the wind, gusts with increase drag and slow you down quite quickly, causing you to drop of the foil.

Initiate the upwind turn by pointing the board into the wind. Make sure you stay centered over the board, in line with your foil. 

Let go of you back hand. This will release the power from the wing. With your free hand immediately reach for one of the front handles. This wing has Y handles which make it easy to reach for the free Y handle. As soon as you have hold of the handle with your free hand, you can let go with your other hand. 

You are holding the wing with what used to be your back hand. This is an awkward position as you are still turning the board into the wind and you are still leaning into the turn. This is the most critical part of the tack to get right. 

Extend your arm high above you to create room to maneuver the wing. 

Move the wing forward by pushing your arm down and forward. Keep it extended. This brings the back handles in reach of your free hand. 

Your board is now pointing fully down wind. 

Grab the back handle with your free hand. Your head is now touching the canopy. 

Continue to push the wing down. Your head is now acting as leverage to whip the wing back up. Pull in your back hand. 

Move the wing forward by extending your front arm. Continue to pull in your back hand. This brings your wing back upright into the wind. It will be power back up. 

Keep on leaning into the turn. Your board is already pointing in the new direction. It will be easier to continue the turn and point your board a little down wind. This will help in increasing the speed.

Recover from the tack by ensuring your wing is powered up. If needed, pump the wing to increase the power. You can now focus on flying the board again.