A Beginners Perspective
This is the third in my series on what I believe to be three important break through skills in my windsurfing adventure.
Once I gained competency using the harness lines, (actually way before that) I wanted to start jibing with speed (down wind turns). As I mentioned in a previous post Let Go! on Instructional YouTube videos it can be made to look easy but for an intermediate windsurfer the multiple steps required to complete this maneuver can be quite daunting.
The good news is as with the other two steps, competency gained in the Carve Jibe will help you to develop a range of skills that you will be able to apply to even more advanced skills, i.e. Duck Jibes, 360s, fast tacks, backwind sailing etc. and the confidence to take on even more skills. (The skills I’ve developed while learning to Carve Jibe are a big confidence boast as I take on Wind Foiling.)
My goal though is much simpler, I want to keep up with my windsurfing buddies when we are free ride blasting and of course the ability to turn with speed makes windsurfing more fun. Need to turn, OK! Not a lot of thought, just go and that is very freeing as I enjoy blasting around Tampa Bay.
Practice: On the water I jibe as often as possible when the conditions are right until sometimes I’m simply worn out. The shallow waters of Tampa Bay make practicing much easier. When I fall I can jump right back on and go without having to always water start. I find an open spot clear of the other windsurfers and kiters and put the board onto a plane and run a couple hundred meters or so and jibe again and again. Each time I’m trying to improve on the technique(s) I’m working on and it is good to practice on both a starboard and port run.
Preparation is the key to a successful jibe but once in the turn you have to commit to the carve while preparing to execute the foot work and sail flip required to complete the turn. This is where so many of us allow the board to level off, slow down and you come off plane. This is now a non-planning jibe and that is OK because the goal is to complete the turn but that isn’t my end goal but I don’t get discouraged I just try again. Remember this is going to take some serious practice.
I’ve been working on the Carve Jibe for over a year now and my goal has been to take it one step at a time. Unfortunately I’ve recently been informed that my preparation is a bit off and that has been negatively effecting my progress. No need to go into boring details but work with an expert to critique your jibes and your progress should be quicker.
I’m now actually planning out of about a third of my jibes and tweaking the little details to successfully complete more of my jibes to provide the speed to get right back on plane on the new tack. One challenge is still choppy conditions and being prepared for all the variables associated with turning in chop, when to turn, where to turn and managing the extra movements in the board as you carve. More to learn but what is new.
The Carve Jibe is by far the most complex maneuver I’ve tried to master but all the work is really paying off across all aspects of my windsurfing and that is why the Carve Jibe is number three on my list of Break Through elements in my windsurfing adventure.
Remember to look around before you turn as I might be right behind you but if clear … throw the board into a carve jibe and enjoy the ride!