Learning to Duck

Matt Pritchard runs us through the duck gybe so we come out the other side with our lower jaw still in tact.

A flashy move that dates back to the earliest days of windsurfing and still remains stylish today, the Duck Jibe is an easy move to master!

It’s all about hand movement and proper timing. You want to be very precise with your movements so you don’t get caught up on the end of your boom. Think of the movement as 3 quick steps as described below:

If you can’t get on the water right now, no problem- all these steps are easily practiced on land or in your living room!

Slide your back hand about 4-6 inches further back on the boom. As you enter the jibe, initiate the turn as normal.   About a ¼ of the way into the jibe let go of your front hand and REACH all the way to the end of your boom. Grab here and let the mast drop forward allowing you to throw the boom over your head (ducking under the sail) while reaching to the new side of the boom with your old back hand. Be sure to give the rig a good “THROW” and “PULL” so that you can catch the new side of the boom with your new front hand as far forward as possible. Don’t forget to move you head out of the booms way. This needs to happen “QUICKLY”. Once you have made this transition, you want to continue your turn and grab on with your new back hand and sail off into the sunset. Practice makes perfect so get it right on land first, and then attack the water!

PRITCH TIPS:

When you get on the water, practice ducking the sail without doing a jybe. Be sure to bear off the wind as though you were going into a jibe before ducking the sail. You need to get the mast going off the wind a bit to get rid of the apparent wind- if you don’t do this, you could go for an unexpected flight!

Work on your hand movements- don’t worry about turning, focus on the “DUCK”

The faster you “DUCK” the easier it will be to make your jibe.


Three-Time World Champion, Matt Pritchard is sponsored by Gaastra Sails, Tabou Boards, Da Kine, Kaenon Polarized and Camaro Wetsuits. Matt Does Private Lessons on Maui as well as several clinics throughout the year in different locations. For any further info, you can contact Matt by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.