In this instalment of his comprehensive series examining every aspect of wavesailing, Jem Hall comes full circle and finishes his fundamental flirtation with the 360 family by arcing about downwind…
To conclude business with our fundamental carving theme (for the moment, anyway), I am now asking you to aspire to learn and improve the downwind 360. This is with a view to keep you on your toes in flat water and in the waves as we look to work towards getting your frontside riding even better. It is also, of course, building on the light wind love you should now be embracing, and all of the front to sail action and tacking you’ve been doing.
The carving downwind 360 in the straps, or ‘strapped 360’, really gets you to commit to your carving and helps you to feel the rails of a board. It’s one of the top ‘old school’ carving freestyle moves that all good sailors should have in their repertoire.
So, let’s all seek to improve our carving, as the better we go through the gears and the more we understand the subtleties of carving, the better our wavesailing. I use this move heaps when testing boards and to boost up my flat-water sessions. You cannot fail to be impressed when you see Messrs. Dunkerbeck and Goya bang one of these when flying around the break between waves.
We’ll use our tried and tested formula to cover the whys and wherefores, so let’s get into it.
Who? This move is for anyone who can carve hard, sail backwinded and tack. This move will not only improve your frontside waveriding, but also your gybes.
Why? Any carving in both straps will improve your ability to keep speed and counterbalance the rig’s movements. The strapped 360 will call into account just how smooth your carving actually is, and also how aggressive you are. Carving hard downwind on the front foot will give you more competency in your frontside riding and help you to ‘hold a rail’ when carving fast as you look to adjust and absorb your arc.
What? You sail downwind to get your speed up, then carve really hard right round as you drop the sail to the water and backwind it on the new side, finishing off just like the end of a tack.
Where? In space with good wind and flat water. Between waves is perfect – and be sure to do them going out and coming in so your carving gets better both ways!
When? With a good amount of speed and power so that you can carve hard in your chosen space of water. Speed and doing it in the right place really are the keys. I seem to remember saying “Right move, right time, right place, right kit and done in the right way” once or twice, so please take this on board. [It was 3,126 times the last time we counted, Jem. Ed.]
How? Let’s look at this now…