Monday, 1 December 2008

How To.....Ponch

Ponch from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Although you can ponch off anything once you have them dialled, I found it easiest to learn them going out with a small wave.

Fully powered up, spot your ramp downwind and bear off until the sail becomes weghtless.

Hit the wave as broad as possible(almost a dead run), and, as the board leaves the water,throw the rig down and to windward.

Look over your front shoulder back toward the direction you just came from, this will make the board follow the sail in it's rotation.Timing is critical here-if you throw the sail too early, your feet will come out the straps and it will be messy!

Straighten your arms to distance yourself from the sail.

The board should come down tail first now,bend your knees and drag the sail forward towards the nose of the board.You've done your first ponch.Easy!

How To........Flaka

Flaka from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Sail on a broad reach at full velocity.

Spot a piece of chop and, moving onto the balls of your feet, bear away even more and flatten the board off as you hit the chop and pop the board out of the water.

This is the moment when flaka success or failure is decided. As the board leaves the water, you must lean forward towards the nose of the board as far as possible, bending slightly at the waist to get your head above the mastfoot. At this point you must also look upwind over your shoulder to encourage the board to rotate into wind. Also, you should throw the sail as far forward as possible with your front arm straight and your back arm bent in real close to the body, keeping the sail neutral(no pressure in the back hand). Tricky,eh? There is alot going on in this first nanosecond but if you can get all these factors to converge in this first moment, the rest is easy.

The nose of the board should stick in the water and spin you backwards. Keep leaning forward with your front arm straight and your back arm bent into the body, and the board will automatically spin itself back onto the original tack.

Flakas can take a bit of time to lear, esoecially for older sailors like myself, as the forward, into-wind movement during the pop is so unnatural.Patience is required..............

How To.........Grubby

Grubby from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Taking good speed from a beam reach start bearing away.
Coming onto a broad reach KEEP OVER THE BOARD and get ready to POP by sinking down through a bent back leg.
POP the board and you are aiming to throw the tail as far downwind as possible. TIP: look at mastfoot to KEEP YOU OVER THE BOARD.
Stay over the board and keep pulling back leg up under you and this drops nose to offer a sliding surface you can pivot around.
Still focused on the mastfoot, and OVER THE BOARD, you are landing and keeping the weight over your front foot and your toeside.
After the initial sheeting in you now have to extend the back arm and sheet the sail right out whilst keeping your weight over your front foot and your toeside. The tail is now as far downwind as possible and you should be sliding backwards. WEIGHT FORWARD AND BACK ARM EXTENDED.
Continue extending and sliding and your weight will slowly be transferring over your heelside. The nose is now starting to come through the eye of the wind. Looking through the sail may help orientate you, whilst it also maintains WEIGHT FORWARD.
Nose is now through wind so you will be exiting by sheeting in and continued weight transference to heelside. TIP: Look behind you to assist sheeting in and to bring weight outboards.
Board is now almost across wind and sail is sheeting in as body moves outboard. Weight is fully over heels as you as sinking down to resist sail power.
Claim it, or go into a gybe to do 540 and sail off......................

How To......Spock 540

Spock 540 from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Head a little off the wind and pop the board into a vulcan.As you land, your weight should be COMPLETELY on the front foot, with your upper body leaning forward towards the nose of the board.This is super important to aid the slide.

Upon landing,look over your back shoulder(in the direction of the slide).This will twist the shoulders and the hips and force the board to rotate instead of just slide in a straight line.

Grab the boom on the new side(your front hand will have changed during the pop)and move your (new)back hand towards the clew to increase control over the sail.

As the board begins to spin, move your body weight onto your heels. At this point there will be very little pressure in the sail.

As the board spins to the new tack,push on the sail with the backhand and flip it through the wind(learning heli tacks will help you alot here). You should now be sailing away clew-first on your original course and can bend the knees allowing the board to rotate the last 180.Smile at the camera and sail off.............

How To.....Shaka

Shaka from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

I love doing shakas! This is my technique for doing them(off a wave).

Approach the wave on a broad reach, with as much speed as possible.

As you reach the wave, bend your knees and start the carve into wind. You should be carving pretty hard as you take off from the lip.

As you take off, lay the sail down as for a shuvit, keep sheeted in hard with the back hand, and lean the upper body forward towards the nose of the board. Do NOT lean back!

In the air, keep the front arm straight and use the back hand to feather the sail and control the rotation.

Keep leaning forward throughout to encourage a nose-first landing.

As you land, keep the front arm extended forward, push the clew through the wind and you're outta there, job done!

How To......Forward Loop

Forward loop from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Try and find a bit of chop or a wave, say 15 metres ahead of you, in other words pick your jump. Head slightly downwind and now place your hand at the rear of the boom, the further back the better when you are learning. Jump off your chosen bit of chop and turn your board downwind, you do this by lifting your rear foot under your bum and sheet in hard whilst looking towards the clew of your sail.

Whatever you do NEVER look straight ahead or down at the water when your doing a loop always look back over your back shoulder as far as you possibly can.

Keep sheeting in hard, even just by holding this position you will rotate a certain amount. You can tell just how far you have rotated by looking at the clew of your sail. It’s very important to not sheet out or let go of the boom with your back hand at this stage as you will probably be in for a hard crash.

Initially you will land on your back, but over time and with practice you will get a feel of what a loop feels like and will develop your own technique.

Good luck..................

How To....Push Loop

Push Loop from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Note: The first thing to do when wanting to learn to push loop is wait until you have a windy day, meaning slightly overpowered, not to the point where you cant hold onto your sail but enough wind that you are fully powered up. Secondly especially when attempting a push loop for the first time a steep ramp will help.

Step 1. As with a back loop you want to hit the wave or chop just as it's about to break, in my opinion with a push loop its more essential to get more vertical, this means trying to go as straight up as possible and with lots of speed.

Step 2 & 3. Ok, so your now airborne and thinking what the hell do I do now. Although it may not look like it you need to rotate just before the apex of your jump meaning try to rotate just before you actually get to the top of your jump. You do this by throwing your weight back and looking over you shoulder down at the water as well as opening up your sail so your clew is heading into the wind. Do not try and push your sail around, it doesn't work that way, it's the clew of your sail pointing into the wind that actually rotates you or pulls you around. This takes a bit of practice but, as with any, move be patient.

Step 4. Now you will be looking directly over your equipment through your sail and straight down at the water. This part I must say when not used to it will feel unnatural and you will be very tempted to bail which is common. I spent a good couple of weeks bailing continually at this point. You must tell yourself to hang on no matter what. This is where you push your sail, meaning push your back hand down or your boom end of your sail down towards the water. At the same time, drag the sail forwards with your front hand. This will start to bring you upright again. The key here is to concentrate on not over rotating which is also common and landing on your back which everyone does from time to time. Its as simple as this - to perfect your landing push until you are upright and then sheet in, think of your sail as your car accelerator if you don't want to stop rotating just keep pushing and you will always over rotate. By sheeting in, this is your brake to stop rotating you must sheet in and fill your sail with wind. Its about playing with this part of the move for a while and getting used to when to push and when to sheet in.

Step 5. Land your board tail first, do this by extending your back leg towards the water. This will avoid a flat landing as well as preventing a broken board!

Welcome to the site!
Aswell as regular features and news updates from Fuerte, I am going to be using this site to promote my windsurfing clinics.
After 15 years on the island,having competed in the PWA freestyle world cup and now representing Fanatic Boards and North Sails, I have decided to give something back to the sport which has given me so much over the years.
My aim is to provide clinics "tailor-made"for each individual, with a strong emphasis on practical in-the-water instruction, backed up by on-the-beach tuition and video analysis. The consistent conditions here in Fuerte make learning so much easier and, perhaps equally important, more fun than the typically inconsistent, cold UK - why not come over for a week and improve your windsurfing by a year!!!

I can help with any manoeuvres from carve-gybe through to advanced jumping and freestyle, just email me with your wish list and we'll take it from there! Over the next few months, I am going to be video-chronicling manoeuvres which you can check out on the right in my tricktionary sections. This will give you some idea of the things we can work on, or, if you can't make it over here, you may find them useful to help understand and break down a manoeuvre you would like to learn (hopefully, the slow-mo will help in this respect!).Just click on the trick and scroll down..........
Anyway, keep checking it out as I have loads more in my bag of tricks and will be updating as and when I get the footage.
If you're interested, e-mail me on
See ya in Fuerte?