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Watching champions or talented windsurfers can be very useful. Analyzing their movements, you can "steal" some secret, and some trick, to perform at best some maneuvers (although achieving their level is almost impossible, for most of us). So, let's study together, the fast tack and the power jibe performed by the young French talent Loick Lesauvage - F780.


Windsurf theory - Fast tack and power jibe performed by Loick Lesauvage

I happened to observe Loick in action in the mythical spot of Coudouliere in southern France, in January 2017 (see report of the day). The challenging spot requires near-perfect maneuvers, to be completely enjoyed. I observed Loick in action, and I was impressed, in particular, by the execution speed of his fast tacks, especially if you consider that Loick was, obviously, using a low volume wave board (quad). Also his power jibe was worthy of note. Analyzing the video below, let's break down the maneuvers in subsequent steps, trying to seize the "tricks" to execute them successfully. For further details on the fast tack theory, also read the specific article about the theory of fast tack.




As taught in each guide, to begin the maneuver (video after 13 ", slow motion 23"), Loick extracts the foot from the rear strap (35 "), makes the board luff, pushing with the heel upon the board rail, and (first trick) wastes no time to execute the next movement: almost immediately, he also extracts the other foot from the front strap, and brings it in front of the mast (41"). This foot remains in front of the mast a split of second, as it is, instantly, ousted by the back foot (second trick). Almost with a jump (another trick to be seized), the (old) front foot, in fact, passes on new tack becoming the new rear foot.

At the same time, the hands movement is performed. While the front foot is placed in front of the mast, the sail hand (I mean the rear one) takes (43" - 44") the boom near the mast on the new tack (just before, the front hand was brought near the mast on the boom - 40 "). To be kept in mind that, during all these steps, the board is still fully planing. The passage of the windsurfer in front of the mast takes place more or less with the board pointing into the wind (but consider that if the board has a lot of speed, a slight advance is forgiven, with an exit in backwinded sailing).


Also the exit from the maneuver is worthy of note. The sail (which was leaned backward, shortly before tacking and during the passage of the windsurfer in front of the mast) is brought forward quickly. Immediately after, Loick definitely lowers the stance of his body (58"), to have greater stability (lower center of gravity), and to be able to push with more decision and effectiveness with his front leg stretched on the bow side of the board (1'02" - 1'04"), in order to make it bear away vigorously (wave boards have more volumes towards the stern, and it is not easy to make them bear away). At the minute 2'25"of the video, you can watch another tack by Loick, in slow motion. Also notice how, while exiting from the maneuver, Loick brings the rig forward, and literally hangs on the sail, exploiting the wind pressure, on the new tack.


Try to tack Loick's way, and comment at the end of the article, reporting your impressions.

Let's now consider Loick's way to perform the power jibe (video since 3'37", and since 3'47" for slow motion"). You can find other ideas about this maneuver in the article I wrote some time ago.


The premise to consider is that the maneuver is performed with a tight turning radius, because there is not much space to ride (Loick arrived almost below the rocks of the promontory, where waves breaks and you have shallow waters).

The maneuver begins with the extraction of the back foot from the strap (3'51"), which is positioned at the center of the board. Then, as mentioned, a very narrow carving begins. This is achieved with a very low stance (= stability), and with the rear leg flexed, and pushing with much decision on the aft side of the board. In this phase, it should be noted that Loick, before bearing away, definitely turns his eyes, and his chest towards the exit of the curve (3'57"). Furthermore, it should be noted the arrangement of his body, very inclined towards the inside of the curve (4'01").

The carving keeps going for long (up to 4'06"), until for a brief moment of clew first riding (consider that the wind comes from the top-right of the screen). It is also stricking the very large grip of the hands on the boom (this gives stability, too). The change of the feet position is the next step (since 4'07"), which anticipates the change of tack of the sail. The body stance changes: from a low position with bent legs, Loick acquires a "more standing up" and very advanced position (look how close to the mast he stands). The feet are positioned quite forward on the board, with the back foot that becomes the front foot on the new tack, being placed just behind the mast (4'13"). This is to prevent the board stern from sinking, stopping planing abruptly.

The jibe ends with the flipping of the sail. As said, before flipping the sail, Loick rides for a while clew first. So, when the sail hand leaves the boom (4'11"), beacuse of the strong wind pressure on the sail, the sail flips almost by itself. The mast is brought slightly outside of the curve, but not too much compared to other power jibes executions, especially if made with slalom boards, since the curve is almost completed (the board is already on a broad reach on the new tack), and it is not necessary the bearing effect of the sail to spin the board further. Note the body near the mast during the passage of the sail.

The hands are crossed in the classic boom to boom passage (4'14"), and the old mast hand becomes the sail hand on the new tack, going to take the boom aft (4'19"). Since exiting the maneuver is done with an abeam route, by sheeting the sail slightly. the acceleration after the maneuver is quickly achieved.

Even in this case, so, there are many cues to try. Comments and observations are welcome at end of article.

Hang loose. Fabio Muriano


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The video with maneuvers performed by Loick Lesauvage


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