Your "sailboat" approach works in light wind, but has nothing to do with an
efficient duck gybe at speed. Luckily, the speedy way is easier, just
different. First, forget what you do when the wind is light... TIPS:
Speed is good. You want to maintain a plane without stepping forward.
You need to flip the sail much sooner. In a plaining duck gybe the sail
change is FINISHED before the board ever gets to dead downwind.
Reach back with one hand only, but ALL THE WAY to the back of the boom,
not "1 foot from the clew". You should never have both hands back there.
You MUST be able to do a high wind carve gybe first -
( Flip early, step late).
Step by step:
The duck gybe is started the same as the carved - look for a spot to gybe,
bear off to a broad reach, slide the back hand back on the boom, unhook
without sheeting out, slide the back foot out of the footstrap and place it
in front of the back strap a little to the leeward side of the board, toes
Now begin the carve by rolling your knees to leeward, followed by hips and
upper body. Try to pressure the rail smoothly rather than stomp. It helps
to keep some weight on both feet and knees very bent.
Flip the sail VERY early in the carve - as soon as the pull comes off the
sail, and before you are going straight downwind. The flip is done like
Oversheet with the back hand as you enter the carve. Release the front
hand as you push / throw the mast forward and to the inside of the turn.
This hand now reaches all the way back to grab the tail of the boom. Let
go with the other hand. You are not ducking the sail as much as you are
throwing it out of the way from the front, and catching it in back.
When you catch it, pull the rig back on the other side, and reach as far
forward as you can with the new front hand. It is best to practice this on
the beach for a while to get the hand movements wired. Aim for decisive
moves, not shuffling slowly. The flip has to happen while the apparent
wind is low, so it needs to be quick.
You will finish the sail flip by the time the board is through the wind.
Now it is important to do nothing...just keep even pressure to keep the
board turning. As the sail powers up on the new tack, ease off the turn on
a broad reach. Now twist your old front foot out of the strap, and step
forward with the old back foot. If you have enough speed go right into the
new front strap, otherwise more forward to stay on a plane, back foot back
and away you go.
It just takes some practice to get the flip. The footwork and setup are
the same as a carve gybe, with an early sail flip and the feet staying put
until the very end. It helps to have plenty of speed going into the turn,
but not be overpowered. It can be done on most types of equipment, but a
convertible board in the 263 - 275 range in 5.0 - 5.7 conditions would be
my pick to learn. Bigger stuff is harder to throw around. Smaller is
easy, but when it is super windy and choppy it's harder to make a smooth
carve. I love to do them with my Saxo 270 / Hot Sails Fusion 5.2 combo
because the board holds speed in the turn and the sail seems to get out of
its own way. I'm sure you have a favorite kit, and that's usually the one
to use for learning a new move. When you get it down though, you'll find
it isn't much harder than a regular gybe in most conditions.
Good luck, and have fun!
> If my income was higher and/or wind was reliable, I would pay for an
> instructor. But in my area, any lesson requiring high winds will be
> cancelled 90% of the time--so I turn to you.
> In trying to learn to duck jibe, I first rigged a 5.0 sail in light
> winds, and did two excercises: (a) flipping the sail around to
> clew-first while on a tack by letting go of the forward hand on the
> boom, grabbling each side of the boom about 1 ft from the clew, and
> flipping the rig around; and (b) a slow duck jibe in which I pass the
> sail the same way as mentioned in (a) as the board jibes in low winds,
> and then work my hands forward up the boom before turning the sail to
> the appropriate trim for a broad reach at slow speeds--essentially
> imitating a sail boat. More recently, I worked my way up to 6.5 and 7.5
> m sails--still in light winds.
> I am almost never able to do this jibe when there is sufficient wind to
> plane (e.g. today in 12-16kt winds, 6.5 m2 sail with boom=193 cm (my
> height is 183 cm). Here is what happens: I carve around to a broad
> reach and then a dead run with the sail trimmed as if a normal jibe.
> Then I flip the luff and rig around the clew as in (1) above. At this
> juncture, I have the clew pointing toward the wind with the luff
> pointing downwind, and since I am holding the boom on either side fairly
> near the clew, I am essentially luffing. One of four things happens:
> 1. I flipped the rig when the tail of the board is directly facing the
> wind, so I can not get my feet forward and the tail sinks as I try to
> figure out what to do next, with the sail preventing me from walking
> 2. I flipped the rig about 10 degrees after the tail went through the
> eye of the wind. The sail is luffing as I hold the clew into the wind,
> which means that the clew is about 1 foot windward and/or mast about 1
> fit lewward (relaltive to new tack) of the center line of the board.
> The rig is more or less straight up. Hence, when I grab the front of
> the boom, the boom and I go tumbing to leward--or the boom is ripped out
> of ay hands by the wind.
> 3. Same as above, except I manage to work my way to the front of the
> boom before any air gets in the sail, at which point the boom flips 170
> degrees or so and points straight forward.
> 4. I flip the rig about 40 degrees after the stern goes through the eye
> of the wind, and hence the sail is relatively close to perpendicular to
> the boat after I flip the rig. When air gets in the sail, we all tumble
> forward, as if you decided to do a run on a shortboard with the sail
> more-or-less straight up.
> I have a feeling tbat part of the problem is that to avoid a catapoult I
> need to be farther back; while to avoid sinking the tail I need to be
> farther forward--or is this a move that just won't work if one loses any
> Any analysis on what I need to do--as well as when to flip rig--would be
> appreciated. Let me know if I need to clarify what is happening.