Vulcan

The Vulcan, also known as the Air-Jibe, is one of the most direct ways to make the transition from one direction to the other. This is usually the first advanced move a freestyle sailor learns and is unquestionably the progenitor of almost all the new-school maneuvers including the Spock, Diablo, and Grubby. Learning this maneuver provides the ground work for the genre of moves which basically involves learning the skill to use the scoop in the front part of the board as a means to land, slide, and rotate the board in a variety of ways. You will need good board popping skills, fast hands for the sailwork, switch stance capability, and enough body awareness to stay over the center of the board during the landing. With respect to windsurfing history, Chris Wyman is the first sailor to bust the move and Josh Stone took the move and extended it into the Spock.
Step 1 instruction for Vulcan
Step 2 instruction for Vulcan
Step 3 instruction for Vulcan
Step 4 instruction for Vulcan
Step 5 instruction for Vulcan
Step 6 instruction for Vulcan
Step 7 instruction for Vulcan
Step 8 instruction for Vulcan
Step 9 instruction for Vulcan
Step 10 instruction for Vulcan
Step 11 instruction for Vulcan
Step 12 instruction for Vulcan
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Rider: Royn Bartholdi

Steps

Tips for step 1)  Look for some chop slightly upwind. On flatter water, head across the wind or slightly off the wind. Unhook and (this is very important) slide the front hand way forward on the boom toward the boom head. Speed is generally your friend so charge like Madd-Maxx into this move. If you're uncomfortable with the speed then head upwind a little to kill the wind.
Tips for step 2)  Crouch your body down while also leaning slightly forward so you can explode off the water. This is an aggressive move so Jump really hard by pushing down with the back foot and lifting the front foot and front arm up to the sky. Remember to jump off your toes like when you jump rope and to keep your body centered and close to the mast. On flat water you will even have to jump harder. Initially Sheet-in the sail on the jump so you have enough power and lift to jump the board around. Your eyes are best focused somewhere near the mast foot.
Tips for step 3)  This is the most important part of the move and must be integrated seemlesssly with the previous step: Pull the heel of the back foot up toward your buttocks so the board is completely out of the water while simultaneously releasing the back hand and swinging the rear shoulder (so you body opens up to the new direction).Look back in the other direction, or, as I prefer, look down at the board to the area just in front of the mast base.
Tips for step 4)  Reach the open hand toward the other side of the boom and pull the mast toward your body, across the wind. Try to make the hand movement super fast. Look in the other direction, or, as I prefer, focus your eyes down and vertical over the water so your body weight is centered properly to land on the front section of the board. You are jumping in a way so your body is positioned over the center of the board.
Tips for step 5)  Grab the other side of the boom with the open hand. Notice your arms will cross here.Kick your legs behind you while leaning your body slightly forward over the nose of the board. Focus your eyes down on the front part of the board deck, just in front of the mast base. Notice my weight is over my front leg and my back leg is extended like a brace with the toes down. Also, the nose of the board is on the water and sliding backward. The nose lands first. Some sailors like to Swivel (twist) the body up and around the mast.
Tips for step 6)  Maintain your body weight over the board by leaning slightly forward over the center of the board and a little on your toes. In other words, your weight is over your front foot. This keeps the board's tail and rails clear of the water, so you can maintain a slide. Your body remains somewhat twisted. Remember to stay close to the mast.
Tips for step 7)   Let go of the trailing hand and lean the mast windward. Your weight is still forward so the tail stays out of the water and the board slides backward because the back rails do not catch the water.
Tips for step 8)  Reach back and grab the boom as fast as you can while still leaning the mast windward. Notice my body stays erect and centered over the board.
Tips for step 9)  Sheet in very hard to lock in the sail and regain the board-body-sail connection. You also must shift your weight windward so you have now regained any lost stability. The key to gaining stability in a Vulcan is to get to this position quickly.
Tips for step 10)  Let the board slide to a stop.
Tips for step 11)  Start sailing switch-stance until you feel like you have control. The trick to sailing switch stance is to keep the body twisted with the sail sheeted-in and your body weight windward. Slowly bear off wind.
Tips for step 12)  Now lean on the front foot a bit and push the heel of your back foot down and out away from the strap. This is tricky to learn at first because the natural tendency is to pull up with the back foot -- not! Switch your feet to a regular stance. Live long and prosper my Vulcan brother.

Videos

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I performed this Vulcan under powered with a landing that was short. In other words, I did not get fully around but was still able to pull off the move. The key points are to slide the front hand forward toward the mast, perform a good jump, turn your head in the other direction, and pull the mast across the body during the landing. You can save a poor execution by getting the hands on the boom quickly and regaining the connection between you, the sail, and your board.

Tips

  • Blowing out the back of the foot straps and falling backwards is a common mistake made by sailors and can be remedied by a combination of the following: (1) leaning more forward over the nose during the landing. (2) Getting to the booms on the other side faster and sheeting the sail in. (3) Making a lower and flatter jump but still getting the board around. (4) Centering your weight slightly toward the windward rail.
  • Steps 3,4,5 are the critical steps and are performed as if they are one movement.
  • Have patience with this move. It is very difficult!
  • I have seen two varieties of this maneuver: 1) The flatwater sliding version, 2) The chop hop nose dive version. I believe the chop hop version is easier because you are aided by the chop and head slightly upwind. ;
  • You can land the board on the water before completely grabbing the boom on the other side, however, you will need to be centered over the board so you land and are balanced as the board slides backward.
  • If you are falling forward into the water then you have a pretty good body position but you are not jumping the board far enough around so the board is underneath you.
  • Some people grab the mast during the hand switch.
  • The key points are (1) Move front hand to boom head, (2) Jump and kick the board around, (3) lean forward over the board, (4) lean the mast windward, (5) Sheet the sail in as soon as possible.
  • Most people fear ankle wreckage--to be sure this can happen--but the danger is not as much as people think as long as you commit to the jump and get the board around.


Ideas

  • The one-hander and no-hander have been performed.
  • Grab the tail, fin, etc... Vulcans are a very touchy lot on the water...
  • Try the Switch-Stance-Vulcan.
  • How about a Vulcan while ducking the sail on the landing.
  • A hand drag or Chakra @ the end of this move might look nice.