Kitesurfers School | Kiteboarding Lessons

How To Jibe On A Kiteboard | Gybe Switches and Footswaps

How To Jibe When Kitesurfing:

This is a reprint of an article from the Kiteboarding Magazine (reprinted with temporary permission from the Kiteboarding Magazine).

Most people have a strong stance and a weak stance. What you want to do in order to carve your turns from rail to rail is favor your strong stance – the one where your balance is inherently better. For me, that’s the goofy foot or right foot forward. 

Whenever I’m right foot forward, I’m substantially more coordinated than I am when I’m left foot forward even though windsurfing has balanced them out somewhat. I’m still better when I’m on the goofy foot.

Gybing On A Directional Or Bidirectional Kiteboard

When I’m going from starboard to port – goofy to regular – I stay in that goofy-foot stance all the way through my turn until I’m fully going in the other direction, then I switch my feet. In this (photo) sequence, I’m going from port to starboard or regular to goofy foot. 

When I jibe on a kiteboard, I want to get onto my favored stance as soon as possible, so I slowly bring the kite up from the reaching position to the overhead position. Right before it gets to the neutral position, I take my back foot out of the strap and bring it forward so that it’s basically about to go into the other front strap. 

Doing The Gybe Turns

So there’s a point just before the kite gets overhead where I pretty much have both my feet in the front foot straps.

There’s a split second where you’re in a fairly awkward position and that’s why you don’t really stick your feet in the straps. As you transition your one foot forward, you start to slide your old front foot out of the straps. 

So, you have the kite slowly going up, your body is going up and you’re releasing rail pressure and straightening out the board for a second. 

Switching The Feet On The Board

Then you switch your feet as the kite swings from the neutral position over toward the other side; that’s where you take what was your front foot, step back around, put it in the back strap, load the opposite rail and crank the board around for the turn.

Surfing On The Goofy Or Regular Foot?

So what I’m trying to do whenever I’m loading the rail and loading the kite in the middle of the turn – regardless of which side I’m turning on – is to stay on my positive side, which for me is the goofy foot.  I stay on my goofy foot as long as possible in the front side position and I get to goofy foot again as soon as possible in the backside position.

Robby Naish when he was sponsored by Quicksilver and Naish Kiteboarding.

KiteMag 2001

Part of this text was a reprint of the Kiteboarding Magazine.

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