photo courtesy of


A jibe, Also spelled "gybe", is turning your rig around and sailing in the other direction by heading downwind. This seems to be the most natural method for turning around.

1. The Core Jibes

In my opinion there are four jibes that make up the core Jibes. Whether you are racing, wave sailing, swell riding, or just slogging, then one of these jibes will be good by you. Start with the general purpose Standard Jibe then learn the Carving Jibe so you can keep the board planing all day long.  In the waves the Snap Jibe will be your friend and when racing use the Step Jibe.

2. Intermediate Jibes

The Intermediate Jibes are mild variations of the core jibes.   Foremost is the functional Laydown Jibe  which not only depowers the sail but also allows you to have good vision because the sail is out of the way.   The Laydown can also be performed by removing the front hand in the  One Handed Laydown Jibe.   Next is the required and ubiquitous Duck Jibe  used by all sailors including Pro Sailors.  The Duck Jibe itself has many variations including  Aerial, and  Backwinded versions.   The  Jump Jibeinstills an aerial theme while the  Ghost Jibe rearranges the foot work.

3. Tricked Jibes

The Tricked jibes are more complicated jibes and involve greater board control, balance, and sail skills.   The easiest to learn is the classic Backwinded Jibe.   I learned the Essex Jibe;a long time ago and this move involves a sail duck followed by a Sail-Body-360. Of course the classic Monkey, Reverse Monkey, and Donkey are all pretty fun when dorking around. Others include the Jibe Pirouette, Jack, and Boomerang.

As far as I know "jibe" is the American spelling, English/Australian is "gybe".


Loading the player ...

Video Play List

  • Backwinded Jibe -   light wind
    Play This Video
    This is a vanilla example performed in light wind and a 100L freestyle board with a 5 meter sail. The ending is the tricky part; the part where you push the clew through the eye of the wind and turn into the other direction. Often, you will be pulled off balance and fall into the water.
    Rider = Royn Bartholdi
  • Jump Jibe -   not enough nose dive error
    Play This Video
    Your 1st Jump Jibe will look something like this. This is not pretty but you can work on getting the nose to dive in the water and the feet on the deck. Be careful because sometime you can ram your shins into the rail of the board orflip the board and hit the fin (a little more dangerous).
    Rider = Royn Bartholdi

Move Definitions for Jibes

Standard Jibe: A jibe is turning around and sailing in the other direction by heading downwind so the tail of the board passes through the eye of the wind.  Also spelled "gybe".
Backwinded Duck Jibe: Duck the sail heading across the wind then jibe the board.
Ghost Jibe: A variation of the Duck-Jibe by switching the feet prior to ducking the sail and carving the board heel side.
Carving Jibe: A jibe characterized by staying on a plane throughout the entire turn, hence a carving jibe.
Step Jibe: A step jibe is just a jibe where you change your feet before flipping the sail. The advantage of this jibe is your weight shifts forward as you leave the jibe so you maintain speed.  This skill is essential for racing.
Snap Jibe: A jibe performed by heading upwind and aggressively standing on the tail and whipping the board around using the tail as a pivot point. Sometimes called the Pivot-Jibe or Slam-Jibe.
Jump Jibe: A jibe performed by Jumping the board out of the water, and while midair, rotating it 180 degrees with your feet so it nose dives in the opposite direction with your feet on the deck.
Lay Down Jibe: A jibe performed by laying the sail horizontal to the water allowing the sail to depower while maintaining board speed.  In other words you lay the sail flat while turning.
One Handed Laydown Jibe: A Lay-Down-Jibe performed by taking the front hand off the boom while the sail is horizontal to the water.
Duck Jibe: Performing a standard jibe but ducking under the sail and grabbing the other side of the boom as you pull the clew through the eye of the wind. In other words you are rotating the sail in the opposite direction of a standard jibe.
Aerial Duck Jibe: Jump the board in the air and duck the sail.
Double Duck Jibe: Rotate the sail twice during a jibe.
Clew 1st Duck Jibe: Performing a Duck-Jibe clew first.
Duck Jibe Pirouette: Performing a Duck-Jibe while doing a pirouette in the middle of ducking the sail. Inventor Remko De Weerd
Backwinded Jibe:

Backwinding the sail first by stepping around the mast to the leeward side of the sail and then carving the board downwind into a jibe.  

Monkey Jibe: A classic maneuver performed by executing an early Duck-Jibe followed, seamlessly, by a Sail-Body-360 while maintaining the jibe arc.
Reverse Monkey Jibe: The Monkey-Jibe, except the sail and body rotation are performed in the opposite direction.
Donkey Jibe: A jibe with the sailor stepping around the front of the mast when the board is heading dead down wind avoiding sail rotation.
Jack Jibe: Backwinding the sail on a beam reach then ducking the sail so you exit the jibe clew first.
Pirouette Jibe: A jibe with a body pirouette thrown at the bottom of the jibe arc.
Spanky: A backwinded duck jibe performed while staying in the footstraps. The transition is performed midair after ducking the sail by jumping the board out of the water and spinning the 180 degrees.Inventor Ricardo Compello.