Advanced (Faster!) Tacking and Gybing

This section covers faster manoeuvres, which you will find

become necessary as you sail in stronger winds. They also

look a lot better than the manoeuvres previously mentioned,

no need for the secure position and falling off when theres

a big gust of wind ! However do make sure that you are fairly

confident with the manoeuvres taught in "Windsurfing Basics"

before attempting these.

Faster Tacking

Faster tacking basically involves less movements than a basic tack and is therefore faster and safer in stronger winds:

  • number 1 Start off by sailing on a close haul, and place your front hand on the mast.
  • number 2 Move your back foot towards the back of the board, across the centreline in between the daggerboard casing and footstraps (for stability).
  • number 3 Lean the rig right back, straightening the front arm, so that the clew almost touches the waters surface.
  • number 4 As the board turns into the wind move your front foot just ahead of the mast directly over the centre line of the board.
  • number 5 Hold your position until you have just passed through the centre of the no go zone then place your back hand on the mast and step quickly around the mast to the other side of the board
  • number 6 Place back hand followed quickly by front hand onto the boom and lean the rig forwards so that your board bears away from the wind and points in the correct close hauled direction, then power up the sail and off you sail on a new tack!

This faster tack not only looks & feels a lot better, it is also is fairly easy to pick up after a few goes.

The Flare Gybe

Sounds Impressive? It is when mastered correctly and here we tell you how..

  • number 1 Start the manoeuvre off by sailing on a beam reach, position the sail at right angles to the board and take a step backwards, bend your knees and keep low.
  • number 2 As you move onto a broad reach keep knees bent and step right to the back of the board, the further back you step the faster the board will spin round. At the same time straighten the back arm (nearest the centre of the boom), pushing the rig away from you, push down with the foot on the outer edge of the turning curve and the board will spin round.
  • number 3 As you go onto a new broad reach transfer your back hand onto the mast and let go with your front hand, step forward right away, place both hands back on the boom (the opposite side of the boom that you started off the manoeuvre holding), sheet in and off you go!

TROUBLESHOOTER! When learning I personally found this to be a very frustrating manoeuvre due to going into too much of a spin and resulting in being spun into the water a lot! If you find this happening to you step forward earlier onto the new broad reach.

With many of the advanced manoeuvres it is helpful to visualise the techniques in your head before attempting them. Go as far as printing this page, then standing on your board on dry land and going through the manoeuvre so that you have it clear in your head as to what you should be doing on the water. And above all, have fun!