...once I was spitting blood because I crashed onto my stomach, then I went through the sail with my head and then I had to stop for a week because it was all a bit too crazy
Appearing on our screens in January 2014, the shifty crash that Balz Müller posted that day (see above) caught the freestyle worlds attention, an attention that has not let it go until today. At last we are able to unveil the shifty 360 has been landed. Being dubbed just a shifty, the move is a single rotation combining a shaka and a pushloop. It is perhaps the only move in the world that will get you that high and inverted off flat water, don't hear it from us, we heard it from the man who was the first to nail this move - Steven Van Broeckhoven.
Scroll through the interview with Steven about the shifty and be prepared to have your mind blown once you reach the last page.
BS: So Steven we saw you nail this move in Cape Town, did you think the double shifty was ever possible or have you always focused on 'just' the single?
Steven: No I just saw Balz go for it in front of me a few times whilst we were sailing together this year, the double one I mean, then I thought I have to try this and was just going for it, the first try I actually went past 2 rotations. (Yentel Caers, who was sitting by us during this interview jumps in to say: "actually the first try looked like he would sail away from almost a triple rotation").
BS: So at this point you wanted to land the double or the single?
Steven: Yeah yeah just the single because it is much easier to control it, it's not so crazy, but I just spun too far. (Balz Müller, who was also sitting in on this interview had this to say: "yeah don't let his modesty fool you, he landed it on the third try, haha").
Photo: Steven's first attempt in competition during PWA Leucate 2015
BS: What’s different about this move?
Steven: Well to be honest there is nothing like it in windsurfing, you cannot see where you are going, it’s really hard to know your landing and even harder to stop the rotation. But the feeling is quite nice because nature just really takes over, the wind just fully takes control. If it goes wrong then you are totally at the mercy of the wind. It's funny, it is actually a nicer feeling than the pushloop, it’s quite similar but you get more of a flying feeling because of the shaka part to the move.
Video: Balz Müller shows a different rotation of the same move
BS: We heard, and saw, that you had a few bad crashes whilst trying?
Steven: Yeah so far I was totally winded four times [Steven had only been trying it for a week at the time of this interview]. I’ve never been winded like that with any other move, I also had a couple really hard crashes on to my face, two times I couldn’t sleep properly the following night because I was crashing so hard from trying it a few times. Then once I was spitting blood because I crashed onto my stomach, then I went through the sail with my head and then I had to stop for a week because it was all a bit too crazy. I really had to stop for a while to think about it, to make a plan b if it goes wrong during the move, normally plan b is just to let go and crash away from your gear, but on this move the only plan b is to not go for the move in the first place…
BS: Would you say it’s the scariest move you’ve done?
Steven: Yeah for sure, in fact it is more scary then I thought. Actually I was really scared to try it the first time but then even more scared after I had the bad crashes. For sure it is more scary then even going for a double forward.
I think that’s why the move is nice because not many people will do this one I think, it’s not super difficult but it’s just scary.