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Matt's Monday #21: Troubleshoot your Jibe

Apr 12, 2010

Now that you know how to jibe, you need to know how to analyze any problems or stumbling blocks you may be coming across! Half the battle of learning the jibe is understanding what is going wrong and fixing it! There are a lot of problems that can occur and this week we will talk about the main ones and why they affect the overall outcome! I want you guys to be jibe masters so hopefully this is helping you.

Entry problems:

1-    Being afraid of turning due to not being in control- in order to get over this fear, you need to get low to the water and possibly bear upwind just a bit to slow things down. Once you have moved your back foot out of the strap, unhook from your harness and BEND THOSE KNEES to keep LOW and then start your carve.

2-    Take smaller steps when taking your feet out of the straps! Any time you lift your feet off the board, it upsets the flow of the board through the water. You have to keep steady pressure on the board at all times. Think about sliding your feet out of the strap and sliding it across to the leeward rail in front of the back footstrap. Keeping your feet spread as far apart as possible helps you with stability on your board at all times- not just in the jibe!

3-    Keeping your front arm straight forces you to have your weight forward in the turn. It also stops you from pulling the sail back, which makes you straighten your legs, and put all your weight to the tail of the board- In essence by doing this, you are hitting the brakes when you want to be accelerating!

4-    Sometimes having too big of a sail can give you trouble. My advice is to learn with a bigger board and smaller sail.

Transition Problems:

1-    When you can’t visualize yourself making the transition, you are in trouble. Get it in your head and practice it on land. Make the movements become second nature so that when you are in the heat of the moment, you know what to do!

2-    Timing of the flip and switch. If you wait too long to make your transition, the board will round up into the wind and the sail will pull you over. If you have this happen to you a lot, try switching your feet and forcing the sail to flip earlier in your transition zone. This will allow you to draw out the turn more and keep your speed to the exit zone.

3-    Pulling the sail to close to you- I see a lot of people in the transition zone bring the sail in to their body- When you do this, you no longer have the sail to help hold you up; you are relying on your balance alone and that is not good enough when all that water is moving around you.  Keep that front arm extended so that the rig is helping you stay balanced on your board. Push down with your front arm to keep the power of the rig turning the nose area of the board- set that forward leeward rail in the water, this gives you control of the turn.  Use your back hand to make minor adjustments to keep things steady.

4-    Sail flip- when it is time to make that flip, be aggressive and really THROW the sail around. Once you release from the throw, be sure to REACH over and grab the new boom.

5-    Foot Flip- when you are throwing the sail around; be sure you also switch your feet. Imagine you back leg and back arm are connected. When you PUSH with the backhand, STEP with the back leg- the two should work as one. When your foot lands right behind the mast track, be sure to stomp down on the board with force so that you keep the board moving. This also forces you to put your weight forward  on the board to keep the wheels rolling!

Exit Oopsy’s:

1-    Rounding up wind- this happens when your weight goes back. As soon as you straighten-out those legs your weight goes back and the brakes are hit! Once you lose your speed, you round up into the wind and stall out.

2-    Fix it by making your transition earlier in the turn.  Force the back hand to PUSH the sail around sooner.  Draw out the arc of the curve so you have more time to exit on a plane.

3-    Don’t get your hands caught- when you throw your sail with the backhand, REACH for the new boom. Don’t stumble around on the boom trying to get to the other side. Be direct; get to the new boom as soon as you can with one big movement.

4-    Try to always be going downhill! Watch the water in front of you- try to keep from going back up a swell on your exit. If you keep going downhill, you will plane right out of it.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? In theory it is, you just need to follow the recipe and you are on your way! If you don’t figure it out this season, you might have to sign up for one of our ALOHA WINDSURFING CLINICS happening on Maui throughout the year!

Three-Time World Champion, Matt Pritchard is sponsored by Gaastra Sails, Tabou Boards, Dakine, Kaenon Polarized and Camaro Wetsuits. If you want to learn more and improve your sailing, Check out ALOHA WINDSURFING CLINICS on Maui. Matt has teamed up with expert coach and awesome sailor Shawna Cropas and they will be doing monthly all inclusive clinics that will guarantee results!

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