The Right Stuff

The right stuff for radical action

After posting Marcilio Browne’s Double tips last week, here is what JP/Neilpryde had to answer with.

Part 1

  • Straight jump
  • Forward loop
  • One handed forward loop
  • Stalled forward loop
  • Double forward loop

Part 2

  • Backloop
  • Backloop one footed
  • Pushloop
  • Tweaked Pushloop
  • Ricardo Crash (Bonus sequence)

Part 3

  • Crazy Pete
  • Pushloop Forward
  • Kono-forward
  • Air Chachoo

So if you have been thinking about spicing up your repertoire, then here is the ultimate guide to pulling the biggest moves at the beach. Who better to show us the ropes than some of the most radical windsurfers on the planet: Jason Polakow, Kauli Seadi, Ricardo Campello and Robby Swift. Swift is also the man behind the tips, be sure to check out his website for more.

In our attempts to boost the level at your local spot, we are happy to introduce this series, but if it’s your first time then remember to use protection… Be sure to strap on a helmet, grab your Gopro and fetch your Flymount, we wouldn’t want to miss a thing.

Straight Jump – The building blocks

The straight Jump is the building block for all the jumps that you will learn in windsurfing. You need to be able to do a good, controlled straight jump before you try any forwards, back loops or anything. Your first jump is a fantastic feeling, and no matter how long you have been windsurfing, jumping is always one of the most fun parts of the sport!

Pic 1. Kauli is hitting a small ramp in the perfect place, right where the wave is about to break. You can see that his board is taking off from the steepest part of the wave and he is going straight across the wind (at 90 degrees to the wind). He is not hooked in and has full power in the sail. He lets his speed and the steepness of the wave launch him into the air.

Pic 2.  Here Kauli is up in the air already. He has his arms slightly bent and his legs very bent to allow the wind to hit the bottom of the board. This is important because it is not only the sail that gives you lift but also the board.

Pic 3. Here he is even more tucked up, notice that his arms are very bent and his legs too. His toes are pointing down to make the wind come from the bottom of the board and he feels like he is flying.

Pic 4. Here, you can see that he is now completely tucked up in a ball. He can’t bend his legs or arms any more. This is the most controlled position to be in, and also the position that gives you the most lift.

Pic 5. Now he is starting to look down where he will land, still tucked up in a small ball to maintain maximum height and lift.

Pic 6. Still looking forward and still nicely tucked up. Now he is at the apex of the jump.

Pic 7. Now he is starting to fall down. He is looking at where he will be landing and falling with power in the sail and still keeping the wind coming up from underneath the board

Pic 8. He is still tucked up and falling with wind in the sail and looking at the water where he wants to land.

Pic 9. He is starting to straighten out his arms and looking at the water where he wants to land.

Pic 10. Now he is really falling towards the water, the sail is a little bit more open but he is still controlling the wind with his back hand. He is starting to straighten his back leg now in order to land tail-first.

Pic 11. Now you can see the sail is much more open, he is extending both his legs and trying to make sure that he lands softly by keeping power in the sail and landing on the tail.

Pic 12. He is much more extended now and his back leg is getting ready for the impact.

Pic 13. This is right before impact. You can see that the tail of the board will land first, and his legs are quite straight now, allowing him to bend them when he hits the water. This will mean a soft landing, which will not hurt him or the board.

Pic 14. Now he hits the water and bends his legs straight away. He has his arms quite straight and holds on tight to the boom. The sail pulls quite hard at this point and you can see the mast bending and the top of the sail flexing to release the wind.

Pic 15. Here Kauli sinks into the water. He still has power in the sail, so he will be able to come up straight away. The board is facing forwards, but the fins have lost pressure a little bit from the landing. This is good because it means a nice soft landing. 

Pic 16. Now Kauli is getting up out of the water. The sail never touched the water, and so was always full of power. He pulls in with his back hand and leans his weight forward to get back up on the board as soon as possible.

Pic 17. Now he is sailing away, getting back in the harness lines.

Forward Loop – The easiest trick in the book

The forward loop is the easiest rotating move in windsurfing. It is a lot of fun and not hard to learn. You need to be on the perfect size sail and to jump off a small wave to begin with.

Pic 1. As you can see, Jason has chosen a small ramp which is not too steep to jump off. This means that he will be able to start the rotation as soon as he leaves the wave. He is going down wind a little bit, not straight across the wind like Kauli’s straight jump. 

Pic 2. As he leaves the wave, he has his back hand a long way back on the boom and he starts to bend his back leg up underneath him.

Pic 3. Now Jason pulls in with his back hand and pulls up both his legs to initiate the rotation.

Pic 4. Here you see Jason looking back over his back shoulder. This means that he doesn’t see the water rushing towards him and allows him to start looking for his landing as soon as possible.

Pic 5. Here Jason is fully into the rotation, he is looking back and staying tucked into as small a ball as possible. This means that he spins sideways instead of forwards, allowing for a controlled rotation.

Pic 6. Now you can see that Jason is still very tucked up in a ball and really looking over his back shoulder, searching for his landing.

Pic 7. Here you see that he has spun very side ways, the mast never went down into a vertical position. This means that from this point onwards, he is looking down at his landing spot and if he needs to open the back of the sail a bit to slow the rotation, he will be able to.

Pic 8. Here you see Jason has realized that it is time to open the sail. His legs are still very bent and he is now releasing his back hand a bit to slow the rotation.

Pic 9. Now Jason is looking straight at his landing spot. His back hand has moved forward a little bit on the boom and he has opened the sail a lot. The rotation is almost finished and he just needs to time his fall to the water now.

Pic 10. Here he has his legs quite straight and he has closed the sail a little bit again to have power in the sail to soften the landing. He is ready to hit the water and bend his legs, with plenty of power in the sail.

Pic 11. This is the moment before impact. You can see that there is very little wind in the sail now as he is traveling down wind. This is good because if you do a more vertical rotation, you have more wind in the sail at this point and you are still spinning fast when you land, which creates a difficult and hard landing where you can break your board quite easily.

Pic 12. You can see that Jason landed perfectly, not even geeting his feet wet. He landed on the tail of the board, traveling down wind and with power in his sail, but he was not rotating fast when he landed. This is the most controllable way of landing a forward loop.

Pic 13. Jason is fully planing out of the move!

One handed forward loop – Ballsy but worth it

The one handed forward is quite a scary move. It is not that hard, but it is difficult to get your mind around initiating the rotation while hooked into the harness and with one hand off the boom!

Pic 1. It is good to take off with both hands on the boom to give you control as you leave the ramp. As you can see, Ricardo has chosen a small but quite steep ramp. It would be easier to use a slightly less steep ramp, but he is very good at this trick, so it doesn’t matter to him!

Pic 2. Here you can see that Ricardo is leaving the wave with the board quite vertical. This is good because it will give him height and he has a lot of control, but for your first one handed forward, that would make it quite difficult as you have to rotate more than you would have to if the wave was slightly flatter.

Pic 3. Now he has taken his front hand off and is pulling his legs up underneath him to begin the rotation. You can see that he has to do a radical change in direction of the board before he pulls with his back hand. This is because he jumped off a steep ramp.

Pic 4. Now Ricardo pulls with his back hand and initiates the rotation. He is moving his back hand back towards the boom so that he can control the rotation better.

Pic 5. Ricardo is now fully spinning, he has pulled in hard with his back hands and bent his legs right up underneath him. 

Pic 6. Here you can see how hard Ricardo is pulling with his back hand because the sail is touching his legs.

Pic 7. Like Jason’s forward, you can see that Ricardo is spinning in a controlled, sideways rotation because his mast does not go vertically down, rather he spins to the side and misses the water by a long way.

Pic 8. He is nicely tucked up in a ball here, legs bent and arms bent. You can’t see his head, but he should be looking behind his back shoulder to see where he wants to land.

Pic 9. Here you can see Ricardo falling, he has opened the sail slightly and straightened his legs slightly so that he can bend them to soften the landing. The sail now has power from the wind to allow him to get up and sail off as soon as he lands.

Pic 10. Here Ricardo is sailing off after a good landing.

Stalled forward loop – Hold it… hold it… hold it… poo your pants

Ricardo does some of the nicest stalled forwards out of anyone in the world and this is a good example!

Pic 1. Here you can see Ricardo has chosen a much bigger wave than for his one handed forward. He jumps off the steepest part of the wave and is going very fast.

Pic 2. Here you see how quickly he has gained height. He has his legs bent to allow the wind to blow him up from underneath the board and he has the sail closed still, to trap as much wind as possible for maximum height.

Pic 3. Here Ricardo is at the apex of his jump. He has lots of wind in the sail and he opens the sail a little to get ready to start the rotation. He still has his legs bent and his hands are in the normal sailing position to allow him the most comfortable way to get the most height.

Pic 4. Here you can see that Ricardo has moved his back hand all the way to the back of the boom. This is very important as it gives you the strength and control to pull really hard and make a nice sideways rotation.

Pic 5. Here he is bending his legs, ready to initiate the rotation. He still hasn’t pulled with his back hand but he is falling down towards the water already. This part is all about timing. If you pull too soon you will over-rotate and if you pull too late, you will under rotate and land very hard on your back.

Pic 6. Now you can see that Ricardo is looking over his back shoulder at the water and pulling very hard with his back hand, bending his legs a lot and starting a nice sideways rotation.

Pic 7. Here you can see that he is really looking back over his shoulder. He has pulled the sail very hard as it is touching his legs and he has his legs very bent.

Pic 8. You can see that his weight is towards the back of the sail, his front arm is quite straight and his back arm is very bent, giving him maximum sideways rotation. 

Pic 9. Here you can see that the sail is spinning in a very flat rotation. This is excellent for control. You do not want your mast to go straight down towards the water in the middle of the rotation or it will be very hard to stop.

Pic 10. Ricardo is so high that he is already starting to open the back of the sail here to slow the rotation. His legs are still bent and he is looking at the water where he wants to land.

Pic 11. You can see that opening the sail makes the rotation slow down a lot, he is now falling towards the water in a controlled manner, making sure to land tail-first.

Pic 12. Here the sail is really open and he is extending his legs, ready to cushion the landing.

Pic 13. Here you can se he has landed nicely on the tail with the sail up. The landing from such a high forward will never be completely soft as you are falling from quite a height but if you make sure to pull really hard at the beginning of the rotation and then open the sail at the end, that will give you a nice sideways rotation and the best chance of landing without hurting your back or breaking your board.

Double forward – Spin till you win!

The double forward is one of the highest scoring moves in wave sailing because it is one of the hardest moves to land and one of the hardest to make yourself go for in the beginning. 

The principle is the same as the forward, only you have to do 2 of them!

Pic 1. You can see that I have chosen a medium sized wave that is not very steep. If you go off a steep ramp, you have to do more rotation so it makes it harder. A big, quite gentle ramp is the best thing to launch from for a double.

Pic 2. You can see that my hand is already all the way at the back of the boom in this shot. You need to start the rotation pretty much as soon as you take off so that you can finish one forward while still on the way up.

Pic 3. As you can see, I have pulled in with my back hand and pulled my legs up underneath me as soon as I have left the ramp. This means that I will spin fast on the first rotation.

Pic 4. I have pulled really hard and the sail is spinning in a flat rotation. This is good because end over end vertical doubles are dangerous and scary!

Pic 5. Here you can see I am most of the way round the first forward, still tucked up as small as possible and still pulling with my back hand.

Pic 6. This is the point where you would open the sail if you just wanted to do one forward, but here I want to do 2, so I am still tucked up in a small ball and still pulling on my back hand. Notice that my head is still looking back so that I will be able to spot my landing after the second rotation, and I check that I am high enough after the first rotation. If you decide that you are not high enough, then this is a good point to let go of the equipment as it will not hurt if you fall in the water from here and you will not land on your equipment!

Pic 7. Here I have decided that I am high enough to do another one, so I did not let go, I am still tucked up in a small ball and still pulling hard on the back hand.

Pic 8. You can see how hard I am pulling with my back hand as the sail is all the way across my legs. 

Pic 9. Again. I am still looking back and pulling really hard. It feels like you don’t have much wind left at this point but you just have to keep pulling and you will keep spinning.

Pic 10. Here I am half way round the second rotation. Notice that the sail spun very sideways and flat. This is good because, as I mentioned before, you do not want to do a vertical double forward! Very dangerous.

Pic 11. Still spinning and now I can see where I want to land. I am pulling with my back hand to try to finish the last bit of the rotation. It would be nice to still be a little bit higher here to give me more time to open the back hand and control the landing, but I can still make it from this low position.

Pic 12. This is the point where the mast touches the water in a lot of doubles and that stops you from spinning the last part of the rotation. Here, I spun nice and flat so the mast did not catch and that allows me to come all the way around and land with the sail up and full of power.

Pic 13. The landing from doubles is normally quite hard but if you have power in the sail and the mast did not touch, then you get good points for them so it doesn’t matter! Also your friends will congratulate you for a good double so a little pain in the side that you landed on soon fades away when you realize that you just nailed one of the most radical moves in the book!

Photos – Thorsten Indra
Credits also to Axel Reese




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