The gecko is a non planing flaka or upwind 360 where the nose of the board is sunk. The end of the rotation is finished by ‘popping’ the board back out.

Most people will associate this move with Kiri Thode from Bonaire who has brought the move to the limelight by performing it at numerous PWA events over the past 12 months.

Surprisingly, however this move is not just for sub 50kg wonder kids. It is a feasible trick to learn. If you can control a back winded sail eg. in a helli tack on your short board, it’s time to Gecko. It will take time to learn how to sink the board, but the rest is fairly straight forward.


Equipment – A freestyle/freeride board, appx. 20 – 40 litres more than your weight (eg. I am 75kgs and I use a 100L board) with a fairly short nose.

Conditions – Fairly flat water. Non planing winds, but enough to sail around on a short board eg. force 2 – 3.



Firstly you have to master sailing non – planing in the footstraps. Use loads of mast foot pressure to ensure the board does not just sink at the back. Bend your elbows in and down to apply it.
Sailing ACROSS the wind, pull down very hard on the boom while rolling your heels into the water. The windward rail should fully sink.

Throw your sail and body (hips and all) towards the nose of the board, standing up very straight and bending the back leg up. The nose should now sink. N.B do not push with the back hand, the sail should be ‘sliced’ into the wind.

All your weight must now be on the boom, esp. through the front hand, pulling up extremely hard with the back foot.

You now need to release the pressure on the boom as the board turns through the wind where the board will rise out of the water (this stage done aggressively enough will make the board ‘pop’ out). Also using your vision in the direction of spin will help the rest of the rotation.

As the clew goes through the wind, get your weight back over the board by once again pulling down on the boom.


There are many variations within this move, here’s the switch stance version (come on this is freestyle after all, you didn’t think it would stop there did you??)!!

Download Video of Switch Stance Gecko: