Jibe In Windsurfing

Table of Contents

Windsurfing is one of the most exhilarating water sports out there, requiring a combination of skill, technique, and strength. Jibing, also known as gybing, is one of the fundamental skills that every windsurfing enthusiast must master. In this article, we will discuss how to perform a jibe in windsurfing, along with some handy tips and tricks, and answers to some frequently asked questions.


What is a Jibe in Windsurfing?

A jibe in windsurfing is a maneuver in which the board changes direction by turning the nose of the board through the wind. This turn is typically performed during reaching courses (sailing across the wind), enabling the windsurfer to switch from one tack to the other. Jibing requires good control over the sail, the board, and the body, and hence, it takes time and practice to perfect.


Step-by-Step Guide to Perform a Jibe in Windsurfing

Before we dive into the details, let’s first take a look at the step-by-step process of performing a jibe in windsurfing.

Step 1: Choose the right conditions

Pick a spot with suitable wind strength and direction that favors jibing. Ideally, choose a stretch of water where there are no obstacles or other watercraft near you.

Step 2: Position your body and sail

Head downwind while having the sail sheeted in and the back foot in front of the mast. Start moving your front hand to the back of the boom and shift your hips forward towards the nose of the board.

Step 3: Flatten the sail

Move the sail in front of your body, slightly sheeted out, to create a momentary pause during the jibe. This means flattening the sail by easing down the backhand and releasing pressure on the sail.

Step 4: Move your feet

Lift the back foot out of the straps and move it to the opposite side of the board, and place it against the rail. Your front foot should remain near the mast.

Step 5: Prepare to turn

As you bring the sail back in, prepare to release onto the new side of the board by moving your hips towards the tail of the board and getting ready to step out with your back foot.

Step 6: Turn the board

As you start turning the board’s nose into the wind, you will feel pressure on your back foot. Step out with your back foot and place it in the strap. Lift the front foot and let the board turn under you. The sail will now be on the new side of the board, and you can continue sailing in the opposite direction.

Step 7: Regain control

Bring the sail in, and sheet it out to regain control. Keep your body position forward, and your knees slightly bent for stability.


Tips for Jibing in Windsurfing

Now that you know the basics of jibing, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to help you master this maneuver in windsurfing.

1. Start with the right sail size

Choose the right sail size for your weight and skill level. A smaller sail will provide more control and require less effort, making jibing easier.

2. Use your body weight to turn the board

Your body weight can significantly influence the board’s turning performance, shift your weight towards the tail to initiate the turn and adjust your weight distribution to find the sweet spot for turning.

3. Look where you want to go

Look towards the new direction you are turning to help initiate the turn and maintain body balance throughout the maneuver.

4. Keep the sail moving

Keep the sail moving through the wind during the jibe to maintain control and prevent the sail from dropping into the water, which can cause you to fall off your board.

5. Practice in flat water

Practice jibing in flat water conditions before attempting in choppy water or waves. This will allow you to focus on technique and build confidence.

6. Be Patient

Jibing requires time and practice, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right away. Keep practicing and use each attempt as a learning opportunity.



Jibing is an essential skill for any windsurfing enthusiast. It takes time and practice to master jibing, but once you do, you will feel the rush of adrenaline as you glide through the water with ease. Remember to choose the right sail size, use your body weight to turn the board, and keep the sail moving through the wind. Practice in flat water conditions, and don’t give up if you don’t get it right away. With patience, perseverance, and practice, you too can become a master of jibing in windsurfing!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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