Clew first windsurfing is fairly understated, whilst it is quite tricky, it not only improves your overall windsurfing ability but is also great for spicing up your sessions. So if you fancy giving it a try then read on for our top tips on how to go clew first and what moves you can try, all courtesy of PWA freestyler and 2012 EFPT Rookie of the Year, Rick Jendrusch. Join us again soon when we will have more top tips for clew first wave sailing. Over to Rick.
Step-by-step: How to go clew first
1. First, you need to have lots of speed then turn off down wind to switch the sail
2. After you switch put your hands really wide on the boom and hang on your sail
3. Make sure you apply most pressure evenly on the boom, not just on the clew end, this helps maintain your speed.
4. Hold the pressure on your arms, try not stretch them out 100% so you can manage the gusts, it can be a bit of a fight with the sail when it powers back up.
5. Once you are settled clew first, if you find yourself losing speed then turn upwind a little, if it is too much then turn back downwind a bit.
Moves to try: Clew first spock
When you can sail clew first and in control you can start trying moves. The best is to learn the moves separately and in this order (over the next few pages). The easiest is the clew first spock. It is probably the easiest freestyle move out there, it is just a bit of a step trying to go clew first, so people often try the vulcan or regular spock first.
To do it: Sail clew first, a bit off the wind with good speed, then punch the clew ahead of you as you rotate through a spock, as you slide backwards be sure to tuck the sail in close to your body, then either sail out clew first or carve/slide round for the 540.
Moves to try: Clew first puneta
Next is the the switch version of the clew first spock, the clew first puneta. It is basically the same but first you get switch, then go clew first and complete the move like a clew first spock, just in switch. Again make sure you carry plenty of speed so you slide round rotation far enough
Moves to try: Toad (misty flip)
When you think you can sail a bit more radical you can start by trying the Toad (it is the same rotation as a culo without ducking). You need to go quite far downwind and just before you jump, you carve into the wind to help the rotation. Finding a small bit of chop or a wave to take off of can really help this move. The switch variation is the misty flip, it is a burner but just clew first!
Moves to try: Clew first flaka and switch clew first flaka
The harder, more technical moves include the clew first flaka and switch clew first flaka. First you need to learn the flaka to understand the rotation, then with this move it's really important you put all your weight on the mast and really lean forward towards the nose of the board. Then spin the move like a flaka and sail away clew first.
1. Don't go too much upwind when you are sailing clew first
2. Don't pull in on your front arm, unless you fancy eating a mouthful of boom...