The five top women on the PWA freestyle tour are pushing the freestyle level of the fairer sex like never before. Boardseeker caught up with them to find out what moves they still love and what they’ve recently learnt, as well as discussing on what they’re working on ready for the 2012 tour. These top hints and tips from the girls, will be followed next week by the same run down from the top guys on tour so be sure to come back next week too!
What is a relatively ‘easy’ freestyle move that you still love to do?
Laure Treboux: The grubby. It’s one of the first moves I learnt and still one of my favourites. I love going for super fast ones, full planing and do variations out of it. I won the super session in Fuerte last year with a one handed grubby cana brava.
The grubby is a 360° downwind rotation. You jump into it downwind, push out on the sail to make the board slide. The longer you keep your sail sheeted it out while your board spins, the faster you come out of it. Once the board has done the full rotation you sheet the sail in, bring your hands together, and keep going in your original direction.
Yoli de Brendt: My easy move that I can do is a SWITCH STANCE CLEW FIRST PUNETA, because it is a nice combination, with switch and clew first.
To make a Puneta, first you need to switch your feet, then change the sail to clew first on a far downwind course. The jump is made over the front foot with your hips and body turning into the rotation and the sail open. Carry the mast into the rotation and not into the wind, your head looks into the rotation, after half the rotation it feels like a Flaka.
But, my favourite other move not so “easy” is a Shaka, because it is a move you can do in waves or flat water and there is a moment with lots of adrenaline when you go high into the wind and finish the rotation with full energy.
Arrianne Aukes: One of my favorite moves is the Grubby. It’s one of the relatively easier freestyle moves, I learned this move in one day! But although it’s not a really hard move, the movement is continues and the sliding goes fast; that’s why I really like the feeling of a fast grubby.
For the Grubby, it’s the best to try it when you’re a bit under powered and on flat water.
|Sarah-Quita Offringa. Kono. Credit JC/PWA.||Arrianne Aukes. Burner attempt. Credit Jamie Drummond|
Come in with speed, carve downwind (a bit more than for a Spock) put your hands a bit further back on the boom, front hand by the harness lines back hand down. Unhook, keep up straight (over the board) and pop up hard, at the same time sheet in with your backhand. As you are sliding around, you now have to sheet out with your back hand and make sure you keep your weight on your front leg, keeping your weight forward. Still sliding, you are almost there now. Keep leaning forward, look trough the sail and at the last part of the move you extend your front arm. You made it!
Xenia Kessler: I like the move grubby a lot, and I think it is a relatively easy move to learn.
I remember learning the grubby in the waters of Bonaire, and I liked it straight away. The progress in this move is fast, therefore it is a super fun move to practice when you start learning freestyle. For me it was helpful though, to be able to do spock-variations before learning the grubby.
Now here is how it is done. For this move I like to have quite some power, but it is not essential. Move your backhand further back on the boom. Go downwind (this I liked for learning, some windsurfers like to just do them straight away, but for learning I find it easier to go fairly downwind) and look for a little piece of chop. Now, when you pop your board, pull in with your backhand and look over your shoulder to help the rotation. To avoid some spinloop-looking crash and instead go for the grubby you now have to start stretching / pushing with your backhand and bend your front arm while leaning forward into the sail. This will finish the rotation of the grubby and let you pass the windeye and you can now sheet in after having completed a grubby. Feels good ey?
Arrianne Aukes. Funnell. Credit Jamie
|Sarah-Quita Offringa. Credit JC/PWA.|
Sarah-Quita Offringa: The spock is usually the first of the “sliding” moves you practice after mastering the Vulcan. For the spock you need to master that technique that opens the door for all the other countless sliding moves to come.
It’s the first time you feel the sensation of sliding backwards during a move. That’s exactly why I still love doing it, because even after performing that move over and over again for several years now, that sensation never goes away. Pretty much anytime I go out for a session I start out with a spock to warm up.
For a spock you need to be much swifter compared to a Vulcan.
The key is grabbing the other side of your boom, so you can push the sail into the wind as quick as possible while leaning forward at the same time. The nose should slide into the wind. Make sure you keep pushing into the sail when you’ve spun a whole 360 you’ll feel that because of the wind your sail will flip back to its normal position automatically
- switch your hands quickly
- Lean forward
- push into your sail
What is the coolest move you have learnt recently?
Laure Treboux: The kono. I love the air time you get when you get it right. It’s a normal stance move, where you duck the sail behind you to get it backwinded, steer upwind and push out on the sail as you jump. The whole 360° rotation is done in the air and you land clew first.
|Xenia Kessler. Grubby. Credit Thorsten Indra.||Laure Treboux. Credit Jérôme Treboux.|
Yoli de Brendt: The coolest hard move I’ve recently learnt and I like is the shove it into spock, because it is a combination of freestyle and wave. To make a shove it into spock first ride up a wave or chop to the peak while bringing your back hand close to your body and the mast in front of your body. No active jumping, if you carved hard enough upwind with enough speed the board will pop free and you get into backwind position by leaning over the nose of the board and pushing the sail now with the backhand. Right before you release that hand and start your body rotation as for an airgybe or spock, with the body still leaning forward over the centre of the board. The longer you wait with your rotation the more tweak you can get and the higher you are.
But for me also one of the hardest move that I learnt was the switch chacho because when I try to do it, during the rotation of the sail my arm was always in the way and stopped my move which caused quite some pain there! Now I can do the switch chacho, as I figured out how it is supposed to do, with my sail hand sliding much further towards the clew before starting to jump and flip the sail in the air while rotating body and board as you would do for a puneta or eslider…
Arrianne Aukes: The coolest move I’ve learnt recently is the Ponch! I love this move, because it feels pretty exiting to get so much air and it’s one of the first power moves that I learned, although it has cost me the skin on my shins and I broke the nose of the board several times with trying them. I learned this move in Jericoacoara, where I used the back of a small wave to get some air. I’m trying them also on flat water now, butÂ haven’t landed it yet.
For a Ponch, it’s the easiest to try it of a small ramp or big piece of chop. Bear away down wind as if for a laydown gybe at the point where your would think about changing your feet (the new broad reach) you will need to throw your rig all the way over the nose and towards the wind. At the same point spring off your toes, look over your shoulder, extend your arms and throw your hips over the rig, I would recommend learning the flaka first!
|Laure Treboux. Credit Jérôme Treboux.||Yoli de Brendt. Credit Tom de Brendt.|
Xenia Kessler: I think one of the coolest moves I’ve learnt recently would be the shaka, switchstance chachoo or the funnell. They’re still nothing near perfect yet, but it is improving every time I go training. On my training trip to Isla Margarita this winter I ended up nailing some shakas every session, while the funnell is more consistent already. So think I will take you through a funnell
Flat water conditions are my favorite for this move. For the funnell I like to have a lot of speed before going switch stance. To duck my sail in front of me I kind of slice it through the wind and down in front of me and place my hands on the new site of the boom. I still try to keep the speed by keeping my weight forward. I like it to jump pretty much right after I’ve ducked the sail as the sail kinda lifts you up here and helps you pop the board. You then jump into the move…the movement is a bit like a flaka or a clew first puneta here actually… at least it makes it easier when you think about that … and then you spin the way through the rest of the move.
Sarah-Quita Offringa: The Kono is one of the coolest hard moves I’ve started to land consistently.
It’s hard because you need to duck your sail in normal stance. To grab hold of the sail before you launch you need to twist your upperbody, which may feel very unnatural.
I think for this move speed is key. Of course power is important as well but the more powered up you are the harder it gets to properly duck your sail. This takes practice.
Also another important helpful tip is that you shouldn’t point the nose of your board upwind before ducking the sail. It doesn’t help you at all to duck your sail easier. Sail along straight or maybe even a tad bit down wind. Duck your sail, pulling the sail towards (or behind) you rather than flicking it into the wind.
Grab the boom, carve a bit upwind. When you do this right you’ll feel the power in your sail ready to launch you into the air. If you can spot a chop this will give you an extra boost. Push into the sail with your back hand as hard as you can, while keeping your front arm extended. This way you go up rather than backwards. In the air sheet in with your back hand so you can land on your feet going the same direction you started out with.
I loooove it because when you do it right and you duck your sail perfectly with a lot of power and speed you just get launched into the air and you completely lose your sense of gravity for what seems like forever. I just do this move over and over again to get that feeling.
- sail straight or even a bit downwind. Speed is key
- pull your sail behind your body rather than flicking it towards the water
- at take off push into the sail really hard with your backhand while keeping your front hand straight.
- make sure you counter “attack” the sail so you don’t get pushed backwards but upwards
What are you working on now and what do you think could be possible in the near future?
Laure Treboux: One of the moves I am working on now is the culo. I landed my first one not long ago and want to get it consistent enough to do it in my heats.
Yoli de Brendt: I learn the switch kono, and I train a lot, with a lot of motivation and a lot of fun on the water. Of course with analysing videos of myself and other sailors, that helps a lot. This is of course possible in the future and then I can go to the next move….
|Xenia Kessler. Grubby. Credit Thorsten Indra.||Yoli de Brendt. Credit Tom de Brendt.|
Arrianne Aukes: At the moment I’m trying to get more consistent on the moves I can do, and I’m trying to get my funnells more into airfunnells. I have come close to a few burners so hopefully with some more wind and a bit more practice they will start to work.
Xenia Kessler: I’m working on making some of my newer moves more consistent, but there are still a lot of new moves I would like to learn. I hope the wind will be blowing in Denmark this summer so I can get to pratice my shakas and funnels, and maybe a switch kono or ponch or something like that as well
Sarah-Quita Offringa: Right now I’m practicing the bigger moves like culo’s, burners and air funnells.
I’ve landed quite a few but I’ve been having a hard time doing them consistently.
The freestyle level of the guys is insane. And I can honestly say everything is possible with these guys. Name the craziest or most unlikely combination of freestyle moves and they’ll go out and land it on their first try…