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Jem Hall - Moves That Matter

11:46 25th January 2012 by Adam Sims
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Tacking is the new gybing, Photo – Clive Boden

Tack – there, I said it. This is actually seen as swearing in some circles, but if you can tack you can stay upwind easier, learn more moves, get back to base and catch and ride more waves. The list is endless. Do this move! Get very good at it and you’ll really thank me for it. All my best gybers, jumpers, freestylers and waveriders already have, and well done them for staying on it!

Show the sail and feel the rail in your gybes – Photo, Sophie Hall

Gybe – turning around downwind where the sail passes over the nose, and in all winds. Practice makes permanent here, so if you’re competent at the light wind (fundamental) gybe then you have the best chance ever of reaching nirvana and nailing your carve gybes, and yes, even planing out of them. There are a myriad of very subtle skills and drills that go with this.

Taking up the carving 360 challenge – Photo, Sue Winston

Carving moves – once you’ve got quite a few gybes under your belt it’s time to change the record and work on learning duck gybes and carving 360s – either up or downwind. It’s really advisable to work on these so you keep yourself fresh, challenged and really start to connect with a carving rail and understand your relationship with both it and the rig. Wavesailors who say “I don’t do freestyle” are really missing out and should really give it a go. There aren’t always waves and it makes Force 4/5 days a lot more fun. You can of course add all sorts of gybing moves such as backwind gybes, Essex ducks, laydowns, etc., should you so wish.

Get jumping and start enjoying – Photo, Sue Winston

Jumping – while this list might look like an obvious progression you can actually learn to jump / chop-hop before you can carve gybe. I did, as did many of my mates, and lots of younger sailors most definitely do so now.

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