Duck Gybe

The Duck Gybe

should we duck gybe? Catch a glimpse of Francisco
Goya or Robby Naish ripping through one and that
is inspiration personified. The duck gybe can also
be easier than carve gybes and will improve our
general carving ability. It can also be built upon;
ducking onto a wave, one-handed ducks, aerial duck



You will need a good planing stance and to
be carving through about 50% of your gybes. Having experience
of ducking a rig from doing light wind freestyle will significantly
increase the likelihood of successful completion.

We can address the move by moving with efficiency
through the key parts:

  • Set-up – Unhooking and hanging off the
    boom whilst maintaining speed.
  • Carving – Coming
    over the inside rail and carving the board smoothly and
    keeping up board speed.
  • Ducking – Crossing over
    the hands and ducking the rig whilst keeping the board
  • Exit – Collecting the rig and tightening
    up the carve.


  • Hanging off the boom and fast broad reach
    entrances to gybes.
  • Ducking the sail on dry land in very
    light or no wind.
  • Sail 360s on a floaty board in light


Rig away – maintaining this through
the phases of setting up, carving and the exit will keep
the board speed up as your weight will be on the rig and
the board will be kept flat; another key fundamental.

Look where you want to go – This really is
the top tip of the move. We are looking downwind on the
entrance. During the duck we are looking at the exit in
order to smoothly take the board through the move and to
the exit point of sail.


Hang off the boom on spread
extended arms keeping the rig away
body low. Go
very broad
to get
board going really fast. This will lighten up the


Come across into the
carving position. Roll bodyweight across board as
back arm pulls in and front arm extends, dropping
over your toeside. Keep rig away.


POP the board and you are aiming to throw the
tail as far downwind as possible. TIP: look at mastfoot


On a full broad reach now with
a light rig. Front hand releases
and crosses over to THE BACK OF THE BOOM
whilst back hand tilts rig towards nose of the board.
Keep looking forward as back of boom comes to you


Concentrate on the duck as you whip
the rig past your ear. The action is similar to wiping
sweat from your brow. Sink down and start to focus
on your exit.


Really look at your exit i.e. where
you want to go, this is crucial to keeping the board
carving. The whipping arm will have followed through
and you are waiting to collect
boom with the new front hand past the harness lines

The rig has now
been collected and your shoulders
will be facing the rig
whilst your lower body
is finishing the turn off with your knees
driving towards the water

The rig is
completing its transition by coming back
the tail. The feet
have switched out of their straps as in a step
or strap gybe
Step or strap gybing your feet will depend on available
power or your preference. If well powered and going
fast than strapping is an option, less powered and
needing to keep speed then step.


The carving
pressure is now through the heels
to bring the board
across the wind. The rig is
away on extended armsand you are looking forward
to enable a planing


Getting into your planing
position, looking forward with a flat board and the
rig away


View video of this move:

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bandwidth [MPEG, 1.0MB]


Into the straps and
away. The poor video man has been blinded by the
glare off my head!


Hot Tip

  • Unhook and hang
  • Bear away heaps and then carve
  • Cross front hand over to back of the boom
    and duck rig
  • Look at exit as you collect rig
  • Draw rig back as you carve off heelside
  • Hang off rig and into planing / accelerating


As you get through each attempt focus on
the positive actions you have made. Concentrate on doing
the fundamentals well. As each phase gets more efficient
you will be moving closer to your final goal of jedi duck
gybe master.


Here are some pointers should you be stacking
it hard or enjoying quality time going out the front door
and socialising with the milkman.

Heavy and pulling rig – Go faster
to get rig lighter, hang off the boom on extended arms
and go broad.

Mast hits water and
front door exit
– Get
the rig lighter, GO FASTER. Or concentrate on tilting the
rig forward to keep mast away from the water.

Collecting the sail
and getting it pulled out of your hands
– Reach down the boom with the
front hand going past the front harness line. Ensure rig
completes transition by coming back towards tail.

Visualise, believe, focus and enjoy!

Jamie Lever GBR-5

“Get your old front hand to the very back
of the boom which saves you getting a face full
of sail.”

Lucy Horwood GBR-95

“Make sure you bear right off and get speed
before you try and duck the sail.”

Ben Proffitt K-800

“When you exit the duck gybe, you need to
sheet OUT to get power. The tendency is to sheet
IN which oversheets
the sail and kills the power.”



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