In this new quick tips series we will be joined by Dutch freestyle talent Davy Scheffers who will guide us through the crucial stages of freestyle that, should you follow, could see you at a suitable level ready to compete on the European and even the World Tour.
There is no set line for anyone that wants to compete on the international scene so it can be hard to know at what stage you think you are ready. This is also no perfect guide but between the Boardseeker team and the experience of Mr Scheffers, this is a guide as good as we know it. At first you won't even be popping the board, come this time next year you'll be powering through combination moves that even some of the best in the world find challenging.
This first month we begin with ducking the sail, a key setup move for many of the latest tricks.
Over to Davy...
Lately most of the new radical powers moves all begin with the sail duck. It's quite interesting to see the progression in recent years. If freestyle has not been your thing or you are only just starting out then you may wonder why everyone at your local spot keeps putting the sail the wrong side of their body. It is true that once you are on the other side a whole new world opens, when it comes to freestyle windsurfing. Being on the other side of the sail allows you to use the power of wind to take off higher and go bigger than ever before.
New moves that require you to use a ducking maneuver before takeoff include the; kono, kabikuchi as well as the skopu, burner and funnels. In fact the list just keeps on going. There is a tremendous amount of moves in the world of freestyle windsurfing with an unbelievable amount of variations. Since the ducking moves were invented a few years ago the freestyle discipline has exploded.
So here is how to get started, to enter the world of freestyle. Here is how to become a pro within 12 months, beginning with step 1.
1. Make sure you are sailing fast and across the wind, check that there is space ahead to duck the sail.
When preparing to duck the sail, keep the mast hand (the one closest to the mast) really steady so as to keep the sail balanced. Keep the sail forward and throw the sail towards the water and into the wind. Make sure to keep your core strong so the board remains flat and balanced on the water.
2. Go on and start bringing the sail down, grabbing the boom on the far end, at the clew of the boom. Now the moment comes when you are going to pull the sail down towards the water. Just continue to keep the board balanced and stable across the wind.
3. You lay the sail down next to you on the wind. Depending on the wind strength you will need to work out how hard you have to pull the sail down, this is not something that can be taught but will come with practice. Next thing you have to do is bring the previous sail hand (back hand) all the way to the front of the other side of the boom.
4. Continue to keep the board stable and balanced with your feet as there is no more mast pressure that brings the board down for grip. The sail will fall in place and you will find yourself to the lee of your rig.
5. As the wind starts toput pressure against your sail you have to make sure to keep it balanced. Grabbing the boom and hold it tight AS FAST as you can to prevent the sail from spinning out of control. Meanwhile keep that board balanced the whole time, a strong core is really helpful here.
6. I lean on my front foot a lot to make sure the nose doesn't start to bounce up and down over the chop and also to stop applying pressure on the back foot, which can cause the board to change direction quickly. Now you are holding the boom again. Find the control and balance over the rig and feel what the wind does in your sail.
You are now ready to take off for any of the following moves; kono, bob, culo or switch versions like burners and funnels.
Join us next month for your next lesson in how to Become A Pro In 12 Months, until then practice this move as much as you possibly can, and on both tacks.
You can follow Davy on social media here: