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Being able to duck-jibe smoothly is probably on every sailor's Christmas
wish list at one time or another. I'm no Santa, but if you follow these
simple steps, you too could be as happy as an ecstatic 5-year-old on
The biggest challenge most people face jibing in bumpy conditions is
maintaining pressure on the leeward rail of the board throughout the jibe.
Keeping your legs bent and staying low will help absorb bounce so you can
concentrate on handling the sail mechanics of the duck jibe, throwing the
Once you are a quarter of the way into your jibe, release your front hand
and grab the back end of the boom. The sail will fall slightly toward the
water, so keep your arm bent to position the rig fairly upright. Allowing
it to dip too low toward the water makes it more difficult to control the
sail and board speed.
In one continuous motion, throw the clew of the sail past your head and
reach as far toward the head of the boom as you can on the other side. This
technique is not only the most efficient way to duck-jibe a sail, but also
the fastest. Sail control is maximized by eliminating unnecessary steps
such as crossing your hands over each other more than once.
Whenever you have trouble, keep in mind these essential steps:
1.keep consistent pressure on the leeward rail; 2.position the rig upright;
3.throw the sail and reach big; and 4.be aggressive.
Have fun and sail safe!