Basic Freestyle: Fast-Tack, Heli-Tack, and More



  • Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Clinic leaders: Need 2 members to volunteer
  • Demo gear: 2 or 3 rigged sails on land by the picnic table
  • Knowledge: If possible, people should look at the videos on the club website prior to the clinic.  All levels, welcome.
  • Wind: 5-15 knots. If 20+ knots then for L2 & L3 members. Focus on high-wind helitack, carving fast tack, duck gybe, slam-gybe
  1. Introductions (by the picnic tables) - 5 min
  • Your name and what you want to learn in basic freestyle
  • Clinic leader(s), explain why basic freestyle is a great way to help you improve your windsurfing
  • Clinic leader(s) can work together with a large group, or split into smaller groups depending on size & need.
  1. On-Land demo and simulation - 30 min
  • First round - 15 min
    • Clinic leader(s) - 10 min - demo one or more: 360 sail-flip, tack, fast tack, clew-first, backwind, helitack, upwind 360, duck tack, etc.
    • Now it's your turn. In a group, people rotate/round-robin to try some basic freestyle moves.
    • Everyone observes
  • Second round - 15 min
    • Clinic leaders(s), feedback on key points and more demo
    • Everyone, try some more & observe
  1. On water - 45 min
    • Demo - 15 min
      • Anyone want to give it a try first on water?
      • Clinic leader(s), demo a bunch of moves
    • Practice on your own - 30 min
      • Stay close to shore so others can observe and so you can swap gear quickly without losing time.
      • You're doing basic freestyle, so you should be tacking and gybing a lot, without sailing too far.
      1. Re-convene and debrief- 15-min
        • Share/show - what did you learn? Questions?
        • Other resources: see the notes on the website, Locarno Windsurfing Facebook Messenger, "Windsurfing Wednesdays".
        • Other announcements - club trips, more clinics, etc.

      Some basic freestyle moves

      This list focuses more on tacks than on gybes for now.

      • Basics
        • SR - Basic windsurfing tack on a big floaty board*.
        • Dexterity and muscle memory. Flip the sail 360 degrees using two hands, or one-handed, on-land or on-water
      • Heli-Tack (back-winded)
        • TWS - Shows sailing clew-first, and sailing back-winded
        • GW
        • SR
        • TWS
      • Upwind-360 (back-winded)
      • Duck Tack (begin standing in "switch-stance")
      • Carve Tack (lots of speed, planing)

        • SR - Completing your tack quickly, in high-wind, while planing.
        • SR - Sailing in high wind, carving into helitack

      * What are those abbreviations - JH, GH, SR, and TWS?

      The tutorials shown above are from the following YouTube channels.  Highly recommended.

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