Maneuvers and self made

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Today, waveriding is no longer just Bottom turns and Cut backs, up and down the waves. By now, even among the waves, we see rather complicated maneuvers and movements, partly borrowed from freestyle, and waveriding is becoming a much more varied discipline. It is useful, then, to make some order among the main maneuvers.


Windsurf: waveriding maneuvers catalogue

After the good success among our readers of the article on freestyle maneuvers, we decided to write a similar one, related to the waveriding maneuvers. In this case too, we begin to classify and briefly describe the main maneuvers. It must be clear that the intention of this article is not to explain how to perform maneuvers (recommended body movements and stance, tricks, etc.), but only to provide a list, with a brief description of the maneuver to recognize it. If you like the maneuver, you will need to look for a good manual, or a good instructor, to learn it.

We would like, however, you to give us a helping hand. Whether you are a professional athlete, a very good rider, or mid-level amateur windsurfer, we ask you to tell us a maneuver that you like, that you know how to perform, or that you are learning, sending us a brief description, with at least one picture of you in action, as well as your own video while you play it. Given the good follow-up which Waterwind now is enjoyng, in Italy and around the world, it will also be a good opportunity for you to get noticed in the web, and to do something useful for the whole windsurfer community.


Windsurf Cape Point South Africa 10

Cape Point 006



The article is a work in progress, and will be further updated / enriched. If you have suggestions / corrections, or thoughts to make, please post them in the comments at the end of the article. If the maneuver that you know how to do, is already included among the cataloged ones, post your photo, or a video, while you are doing it, in the comments area below!

Before going on reading, we advise you to study some basic concepts of waveriding that we have discussed in the article specifically dedicated to this discipline.

Maneuvers treated so far: Frontside bottom turnFrontside cut back, Aerial, Gu Screw, Wave 360, Goiter, Taka, Front Loop, Back Loop, Push Loop.

Frontside bottom turn

The bottom turn is the first fundamental waveriding maneuver. It is an obligatory maneuver to learn to begin to descend and ride the waves. Assuming you know what Front Side means (otherwise, read the general article above highlighted), the Bottom turn front side (a sort of half jibe) requires that the rider starts to go down the wave, sailing upwind of the wave pocket. Without removing the foot from the rear strap, he/she starts to bear away, in a similar way as in the Power jibe, carving with the leeward rail that bites the water well, and keeping the body advanced, and almost over the sail (which is more or less laid down). The key to this maneuver is speed, which must be such that it can allow the rider to go up the wave face. In fact, the bottom turn closes when the rider redirects the board towards the crest of the wave, opening the sail, sometimes with a switch stance. 


Windsurf waveriding Nik Baker bottom turn



Frontside cut back

The Cut back (or Top Turn) is the basic maneuver that closes the surf on the wave, and if the two maneuvers are performed at their best, they should join in a single fluid movement without interruption. The rider, arriving with good speed at the end of the bottom turn, points towards the wave crest, as mentioned, opening the sail and sometimes with a switch stance. Depending on the wave steepness and on the possessed speed, in correspondence with the crest, or just below it, the rider changes direction sharply (sometimes very abruptly, sliding the board tail); so, he/she returns to sail upwind, to go down the wave, and possibly (if the wave allows it and does not break too soon), set a new Bottom Turn. Simultaneously with the change of direction on the crest, the rider again sheets in the sail, crouches, and brings the weight of the body back to the upwind board edge. 


Windsurf waveriding Cut Back2



If you want to train at home, or on the beach, doing some useful exercises to improve your skills in frontside bottom turns and cut backs, we really recommend you to watch this precious video tutorial by Getwindsurfing.



With the Aerial, the game starts to get even funnier ... The first part is similar to the entry in the Cut back, but, unlike that, in the Aerial the rider tends to go up again more vertical on the wave face, and look for the wave crest (lip); when it reaches it, it exploits the thrust of the wave that is about to break, to be projected into the air and forward in front of the wave. Therefore, he pushes on the board with the rear leg, detaches from the crest, as in a chop hop, to then hover in the air in front of the wave face and land in its trough (or still on its face). Timing, on the wave lip, is essential. The beauty of this maneuver is greater, the more is the spray (spray) produced by the board when it detaches from the crest, and the longer is the flight phase. The rider then picks up speed again and can launch into a new Bottom Turn.


windsurf Josh Angulo Aerial



Gu screw

And, here, the most complicated and radical maneuvers of modern waveriding begin ... The Gu Screw is a sort of 360 on the wave. It starts with a very radical bottom turn, in which the rider gains a lot of speed to climb, very vertically, the steep wave face. While sailing up the wave face, the switch stance is taken to the extreme, and the sail is opened a lot, keeping the clew first, and completely in the wind. When the board is completely vertical on the wave face, and just before detaching from its crest, the rider pushes decisively against the board with his/her back foot tip to get an extreme carving, and to return to descend the wave, and sail with the same tack he/she had before performing the Bottom Turn. Immediately after, he/she jumps on the wave crest, continuing in the air the rotation started in the water. At this point, the board rises high in the sky, remaining upwind of the rider, while the sail completes the rotation by being taken downwind (and the rider remains under it, in flight). The landing and closing of the maneuver can take place behind the wave crest, or, more spectacularly, on the same wave face, continuing to ride it, as Antoine Martin masterfully does in this video.


Windsurf waveriding Gu screw



Wave 360

The wave 360 has many similarities with the Gu Screw, and sometimes it is possible to confuse them. Basically, the main difference is that the wave 360, during the rotation on the wave crest, is a maneuver less aerial than the Gu Screw, with a slight detachment from the lip of the wave, or even without any detachment. In wave 360, the rider seems to spin and almost bounce off the wave as it breaks, as you can clearly see in this video in which Ben Profitt performs the maneuver. As for the rest, there's not much else to add. The two maneuvers are very similar to each other in the movements.


Windsurf wave 360 1

Windsurf wave 360 2




The Goiter is a spectacular maneuver. Basically, the rider performs, fully in the air, a sail and board 360, instead of the Cut back, immediately after having detached from the wave crest. The rotation of the sail takes place around a horizontal axis. The maneuver starts with a Bottom turn that is not too pronounced (even if it must be sufficient to acquire the right speed), so that you can return to the wave crest with a board trajectory almost parallel to the lip (but with the board bow which, anyway, points slightly towards the sky, otherwise there could be no detachment on the wave curl). Just before detaching with the board from the wave, the rotation of the sail begins, and anticipates the board one. The sail is, therefore, opened a lot, and as soon as the detachment of the board from the wave has taken place, the rider continues the rotation of the sail and brings it firmly under his body (movement similar to that of the push loop - see further). Then, the windsurfer completes the rotation of the sail bringing it upwind to him/herself (with the mast head that tends to enter into the wind, to facilitate the passage), and then reopen it again, returning to sail on the same tack that it had at the beginning of maneuver. At the same time, the rider performs the sudden 360-degree board rotation, which should land on the wave face, in order to immediately resume gliding.


Windsurf wave goiter

Windsurf robbyswift goiter




This is a maneuver with a very high difficulty degree. The taka consists of a board and sail 360 on the wave face, with mast rotation around a vertical axis, and with a passage in backwinded sailing. After a normal Bottom turn, the rider performs a really sharp Cutback, pushing very hard with the rear foot, to immediately bring the bow of the board into the wind, while it is coming down from the wave face, under the crest. The board continues the rotation of 180 degrees, with the bow returning, therefore, to point towards the crest. In this phase, also the sail is carried upwind (and it also rotates 180 degrees). Thus, we arrive at the really difficult passage of the maneuver. The rider is coming down from the wave face with the board stern towards the trough (fin first!!!), and at the same time he/she must manage, for an instant, the backwinded sailing! As easy as drinking a glass of water .... It is a very rapid phase. In fact, the rider again carries the downwind sail, with a definite rotation of another 180 degrees, almost contemporaneously with a 180 degree rotation of the board, to return to glide from the wave face, on the same tack he had before performing the bottom turn..


Windsurf taka victor fernandez


Front loop

The Front loop is one of the maneuvers most coveted by windsurfers who start waveriding. It is very similar to the speed loop, from which, fundamentally, it differs because the latter one rotation is less aerial.

The Front loop is a jump with complete rotation of the board and sail forward, around a horizontal axis, perpendicular to the sailing route. The windsurfer, first of all, detaches from the water on a wave (or even on a chop of minimal entity), with the board board going upwards, initially. Then, it starts a forward rotation, with the bow lowering, and the rig, brought straight forward to trigger the sail rotation, which follows the board rotation. Once the rotation is completed, the rider resumes navigating in the same direction he had before the maneuver. There are many tricks to know to perform the maneuver. In the video below, Colin Whippy Dixon shows you how to do.


Windsurf front loop



Back loop

The back loop is another jump with rotation. It requires at least one chop of a certain height to be executed, as it requires a high detachment to be turned completely. It is a jump with complete rotation of the board and of the sail in the opposite direction to the sailing route, around a horizontal axis, perpendicular to the sea lane. The board bow, in the initial phase of the jump, points towards the sky, and then backwards. In the middle phase of the maneuver, the rider is upside down, and the rig is under the board. Once the rotation is completed, the windsurfer lands on the water again in the navigation route that he/she had at the beginning of the maneuver, and starts again sailing. It is a more complicated maneuver than the Front Loop, as it need a more aerial jump. It requires, perhaps, less tricks than the Front loop to be completed, but excellent control of the equipment in the air. Still Colin Whippy Dixon, in the video below, helps us to understand how to perform the back loop. 


Windsurf back loop



Push loop

The Push Loop is a variant of the Back Loop. It is a maneuver that, if performed well, is aesthetically very beautiful to watch at, and denotes great equipment control in the air by the rider. Unlike the back loop, in the central phase of the rotation, when the rider is upside down, he/she brings the rig under him/her with determination and speed (while the board is still up, or at the same height as the surfer, the rider is "leaning" on the rig that passes on a sub-horizontal plane). The mast is then quickly brought to the wind, that is, in the rider's sailing direction before starting the maneuver, and then again upwards and on a vertical plane. Also the board, in turn, completes the rotation, and lands on the water, with the bow facing again in the direction of initial navigation. Below, we propose a slow motion video, shot by us at Coudouliere, in which the strong and young French rider Loick Lesauvage performs the maneuver. In the next video, Colin Dixon explains the execution.


Windsurf Push loop



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