The Gybe

I hope you all found the previously covered steering technique helpful with your direction changes. The gybe builds upon your steering skills, as you will have already learnt the first stage of turning away from the wind. By continuing through downwind and switching your feet you will have performed a gybe. Your hands will go to the new side of the boom and you have another move in your armoury. By learning this move and becoming very proficient at it you will be able to call upon these skills in stronger wind, downwind turns i.e. the carve gybe. Intermediate and advanced sailors will greatly benefit from working on the gybe in lighter winds. If you want better carve gybes become the master of this!



The gybe will be built from;

  • Dynamic steering downwind
  • Clew first control

It will be very worthwhile to check out the clew first
and steering technique articles for a recap.
Become proficient at clew first sailing and you will master
downwind transitions so much faster.


Key Stages

  • Set-up and turning away from the wind
  • Switching the feet
  • Controlled clew first
  • Rotating the rig and sailing away.
  Set-up and turning away from the wind    

From your sailing position check
downwind for space and other sailors.




Bring the rig forward and
across whilst body moves backwards
and down away from the rig. The backhand
moves right down the boom.



Get low and scissor
the board by pushing
with the extended front leg and pulling
with a bent back leg. The rig is twisted with
the front arm extended and back arm pulling
  Switching the feet    

As you approach downwind, keep the rig forward and across
you. The rig goes to the outside of
the turn and you are moving to the inside to
create a balance.


Look out of the turn. With your
bodyweight over the back foot then you front foot
will be relatively weightless. This enables you to
switch the feet; front foot comes back to
its new sailing position.


Your old back foot now goes forward as you continue
looking forward and out of the turn.

  Controlled clew first    

Going in the new direction gain control
clew first. Remember, body low, back hand
way down the boom and clew hand pulled in tight. The
better you are at this the more you will be the
master of windsurfing!

  Rotating the rig and sailing away    
From controlled clew first, keep looking forwards and slide
your front hand towards the mast.

Let go with the backhand.
Keep your body low and let the mast go right to the
tail. Keep looking forwards.


Front hand reaches underneath to
grab the new side of the boom and then continues
the rotation to bring the rig back forward. Keep
looking forwards.


As the rig goes forward, ensure your front
hand slides back down the boom to resume
its sailing position. Sail away and keep
looking forwards.





Hot Tip

Keep looking forwards!


View video of this move:

bandwidth [MPEG, 789KB]

bandwidth [MPEG, 2.29MB]



  • Rig across and forward with body back
  • Scissor legs pushing through the front foot
  • Rig twists and moves to the outside
  • Get low and to the inside
  • Look out of the turn
  • Switch the feet: front foot comes back, back
    foot goes forward
  • Clew first controlled exit
  • Slide mast hand and rotate rig
  • Sail away


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