The Vulcan

This is the core of aerial/sliding freestyle and started the revolution that has transformed windsurfing. You are either into it or not. However, once you get that first slide backwards you will be hooked. The move is built from having good flat water popping skills, fast handiwork and the ability to stay over the board.


  • Flat water popping
  • Sailing switch foot to get the exit skills required
  • The hand change – on the beach in light winds place the board on a broad reach and cross the hands over whilst looking backwards. Sitting down – look over your rear shoulder and draw the opposite hand across you and then cross the arms over, sure to get strange looks in the bar/train/tube
[488K Video Stream – Audio OFF]

You will require the latest Flash Player for the clip above:





  • PoppingSetting up for the move from a crouched position and using the spring from your legs and pulling up on your arms will enhance your pop.  
  • Look where you want to go Look behind you as soon as you take off to make the board rotate.
  • Stay over the boardKeep centered so as to get the nose down to get the slide. Remaining centred and over your toeside will give you the slide.


As in all moves your aim is to conquer each stage in succession and then progress onto the next stage. As each stage becomes proficient you can then concentrate on the key points of the next phase. 

  • Popping the board and getting it round
  • Getting the slide backwards
  • Stability in switch stance and changing the feet

Slide the front hand up to mast, unhook and crouch down beneath the boom into your popping stance.


Pop the board by pushing down through the back foot and lifting up on your front hand and front leg. Stay over the board by looking at the mastfoot. Aim to spring off your toes aggressively.



Pull the back leg right up and look behind you whilst releasing the back hand. This makes for a fast hand change.


Begin to draw the rig tight across your chest. Keep looking behind you and the new boom side will come to you. The back hand is already reaching for the new side and you ve only just left the water. Go for an early and fast hand change.



The old back hand goes over the front hand to become the new front hand

and the new side is in its reach now and your weight is forward and over the board. Keep the toes pressure down in anticipation of the touch down and to make the slide that much easier.


The back leg is beginning to straighten. This allows the front knee to bend which will bring you forward on the board. That’s right still looking backwards and drawing the rig across me with the new front hand.


Crouch down low over your front foot with your head over the mastfoot. Lean the sail forward as the new back hand pushes the sail out to give you the slide. This phase gives the board a chance to decelarate before going off in the new direction.


As the board slows sheet the sail in and shift your weight to the new windward side to resist the sails power.



This is where all that switch foot practice comes in handy. The sail is sheeted in and the body goes low and to windward to keep the rig away. Turn the board downwind to ease sailing switch and to facilitate the foot change.


DOWNLOAD video of this move:

bandwidth [MPEG, 0.4MB]

bandwidth [MPEG, 1.2MB]


Weight on front foot and take out back foot. Shift weight to back foot and switch the front foot. A new move and welcome to freestyle!!


Hot Tip

  • Practice this move on both tacks right from the start.  If you wait until you can do it on one tack before attempting the other, it will be much harder!


  1. Slide front hand up to mast.
  2. Unhook and crouch, ready to pop.
  3. Pop and look behind you whilst releasing back hand
  4. Draw rig tight across your chest.
  5. Keep weight forward and land on toeside.
  6. Switch hands – old back hand goes over front hand to become new front hand.
  7. Slide backwards.
  8. Sheet in as you slow down
  9. Get stable whilst in switch stance
  10. Change feet and exit


  • Ejected sideways and forward fast – Try to get the board round further and stay over your toeside.
  • The board goes round and you land, then go out the back door – Keep your weight forwards over the bent front knee. Switch the rig and let the boom come to you, by looking where you came from and going to; SO LOOK BACKWARDS.
  • Get right round and fall off to new leeward side – You are over rotating and landing halfway between a vulcan and a spock. The board only has to rotate through about 120 as it continues round as you slide; DON’T GO SO FAR ROUND.

Visualise, believe, focus and enjoy!

Ben Proffitt K-800

“In light winds, I bear off onto a broad reach before popping the board.  However, the more powered up I am, the tighter I point into wind. This means that when I am well powered up, I actually take off slightly closer to the wind than a reach.”

Phil Horrocks K-303

“Turning your head is the key.  If you turn your head to look backwards as soon as you take off, the rest pretty much just happens!”

John Skye K-57

“Always make sure that the nose of your board touches down first.  If the nose touches the water first, you will slide, if it doesnt, you will crash!”



Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.