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I need some advice for a new directional board this year. I am kiting for years on a twintip at 3rd av. and I am trying since last year to use a surfboard directional. But I have a big issue to learn how to Jibe.
I have currently a North RocketFish 2007 (5'9" - 17"). It is a good board but I just cannot learn how to Jibe with it. It seems way too unstable for a beginner on a surfboard.
I tried probably a good dozen sessions on it focusing only on Jibe without any success.
So I think I need a bigger board this year.
Reading older post on the forum, I think I need a board longer than 6" and wider than 19" (I am 150lbs).
Perhaps a board that I could use in the future for lightwind or surfing.
But the choice is huge and I have no idea what are the most common brand of Surfboard or what style of board are better for beginner.
What would you recommend?
any standard surfboard will work. pick up a beater at a garage sale or surfshop's used rack. 3rd will be hard on it anyway so i say go cheap.
if you're just learning i recommend something thick as well. it'll buy you an extra few seconds of float.
Can you ride heal to toeside and vice versa?
Can't move your feet? When are you trying to swap foot position? Before you jibe, during or after?
For me it is easiest just as I start to turn downwind for the jibe to swap my feet then...I think because as I move my old back foot forward it puts weight on the rail and helps start the turn....
There are countless folks on here that have much more experience than myself that will likely comment...
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
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What is important is a wider board that is floaty under the front foot strap. I started on an advanced directional and struggled to learn how to jibe. This board is a 5'6" pintail thruster with very little floatation.
Then I purchased a 5'8" board which was much wider and floatier, especially under the front foot strap, not cause I knew I needed to, but just out of pure dumb luck. I landed my first jibe after a couple of tries on this board. If I want to learn a new trick, I always do it on this board first as it just has a larger "platform" on which to maneuver.
I am guessing that you are riding strapped in?, if so trying to jibe is going to be much more difficult. I believe I learned to ride strapless on my directional in flat water first, then I learned to jibe while strapless, then I put the straps back on and learned to jibe, all in flat water first.
Trying to learn these basic fundamentals in the surf or chop of the ocean is also going to slow down the learning process, you need to be nailing your jibes in flat water before you hit the coast. Hope this helps.
+2 for strapless for two reasons...
1 - you will become a MUCH BETTER pilot. It will force you really fly the kite with finesse.
2 - It will be much easier to jibe. After nailing that, add the straps back if you need to.
Or.... just leave the straps off...and never look back.
I bigger board will also help. I learned on a 6'2" egg shape. It was super stable and had a lot of coast.
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I'm an ex-pole surfer so I like the straps. Charlie lent me his big red tow in surfboard, took it up to Floras Lake and practiced. I bought a Naish Global Wave, those are pretty nice and then moved onto the slingshot celeritas. All strapped.
Getting up on the board is a little trickier without straps, so I needed the experience of strapped directionals before trying without. I like to jump and I just like the feel of straps on my feet. my knuckles drag when I walk too.
One suggestion. when you blow a jibe, try to kick the board in front of you, not behind you. When mine flipped upside down behind me, it took forever to get it.
1. pull back foot out of strap, place up near front strap.
2. turn kite and lean body into turn
3. bring kite down for some power
4. switch feet
5. Bring kite up for some lift, put back foot in strap.
or some such procedure, I'm sure everyone's got their own way of doing it...
Here are few tips while it is fresh (I started learning how to jibe last summer):
(1) Get rid of at least one strap. I removed the back foot one. The front one still helps me with the water start.
(2) Work on your balance. One exercise helped me tremendously. The exercise is to ride the board downwind with your feet put parallel at the center of the board (as if you were riding SUP board). Actually just trying the SUPing helped me with the balance too.
Nailing the jibe 100% of the time is still a challenge for me. Maybe, somebody has any tips how to improve it further.
Flat water and good strong wind help a lot. With good wind you can just slowly point the board downwind, change feet at your leaisure (one foot at a time), and then start pointing upwind. The other thing which helped me a lot, was to force myself to stay closer to the back of the board. I had a tendency to put too much weight forward and would just fall off the front of the board.
Also ditching the straps will help as you don't have to worry about stepping on the straps and being off balance. Water starts are easy in flat water. Just level the board, put your feet on top of it. You can stay in that position as long as you wish as you can adjust the board position by moving your body (booties and good pad help with traction).
I actually switch feet on the upstroke. This helps me to keep my balance. Is there a consensus on which way is the right one? Or, is it just a personal preference?
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