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 and

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 towards

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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Into the straps and

away. The poor video man has been blinded by the

glare off my head!

  • 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."