Learning how to do a carve gybe in windsurfing is something which will save you lots of time, lots of energy and which looks really impressive. A carve gybe is basically a way of turning where you carve the board around 180 degrees, flip the rig and sail off in the other direction completely effortlessly (well that's the theory anyway!).
It is quite a hard technique to master but hopefully the following tips will set you on the right path:
- You must be on the plane in order to successfully complete a carve gybe (in other words, skimming across the top of the water rather than ploughing through it). This means you need a decent level of wind so don't even attempt to learn if there isn't at least a Force 4 blowing.
- Footsteer the board onto a broad reach (starting to sail away from the wind direction) and unhook from your harness.
- Remove your rear foot from the footstrap and place it on the opposite side of the board.
- Apply pressure with your rear foot, learn forward and keep the rig sheeted in. This will make the board turn downwind. You must keep the rig sheeted in right to the point where you flip it otherwise you will fall off the plane and you won't get the board all the way around.
- When you start to get close to the point where the wind wants to hit the other side of the sail, let go of the boom with your back hand. The wind will cause the rig to flip around and should pivot around your front hand.
- Your rear hand will in a moment become your front hand so cross it over your current front hand and grab the boom. Then quickly let go with your old front hand and let it also take hold of the boom.
- Sheet in and move your feet into your normal sailing stance.
- Hook into your harness and footstraps and away you go!
Hints and tips will should help you to learn how to carve gybe
- Carve gybing is a tough one to learn and it does take a lot of practise to get it right. As with most things windsurfing, you will find it easier to learn on a lake rather than the sea.
- The gybe all happens quite quickly and it is important to maintain your speed through the gybe. If at any time you fall off the plane, you simply won't get around all the way. In this situation you can recover but the result is considerably slower and far less elegant.
- Don't panic about getting your feet in the right position until you have completed the turn and are pointing in the right direction.
- Remember to unhook from your harness before attempting to gybe!
- Accept that you are going to fall in a lot â everyone does!
As soon as you have learnt how to carve gybe, why not try your hand at learning how to duck gybe?
As with all windsurfing techniques, there is an element of risk involved so I recommend that you always wear appropriate safety equipment including a helmet, life jacket and appropriate clothing including a wetsuit, gloves and boots. Know your limitations and don't try anything which you aren't really ready for.