Spin Loop

One way to show you have real garbanzos, even though you only weigh 110 pounds and can bench press a popsicle stick, is to throw a loop on flatwater. In fact, more men and women have gotten dates from this maneuver than any other maneuver. The Spin Loop is sometimes called a flatwater forward or a speed loop and is characterized by a sideways rotation rather than a vertical rotation even though the mechanics are the same as a standard Forward Loop. Technically, this move is easy and the secret is to have courage, commitment, and the correct initiation. Just remember, it is only water and you only get a couple feet in the air -- so go for it.
Step 1 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 2 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 3 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 4 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 5 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 6 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 7 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 8 instruction for Spin Loop
Step 9 instruction for Spin Loop
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Rider: Royn Bartholdi


Tips for step 1)  Look around to make sure you won't have a collision with another sailor. Remember this is a very dangerous move because once you throw the move it is difficult to stop mid-air. So take precautions. Begin by wedging the feet way in the footstraps, unhook, and move the back hand really far back on the boom. Charge on a beam reach with speed and power in your sail. Bend your knees, lean forward so your head is toward the sail, & get ready to explode out of the water.
Tips for step 2)   Bear way off wind so you will need less rotation to stick the move. Jump the board out of the water so the fin clears and lift the booms up and forward. Turn the board down wind and sheet in. You must totally commit to this move otherwise the results are painful. Notice I am jumping off flat water.
Tips for step 3)   Push the front hand forward to get the sail rotating and past the center line while pulling your heels up hard so your body is getting into a crunched position. Keep sheeting in with the back hand. If you let go at this point, it's going to hurt, so hang on no matter what.
Tips for step 4)  Look back over your shoulder and not at the water while pulling your feet over your head. This keeps you body within the spin of the sail. The sail will pull hard so keep sheeting in with the back hand. Truthfully, everything is a blur and you are just hanging on to a forced mid-air catapult where you keep the board with you.
Tips for step 5)   At this point you will at least land on your back and will complete the move. Keep sheeting in and enjoy the g-force. The sail does all the work.
Tips for step 6)  You can even land or skim off your back and still complete the maneuver because your momentum is across the water instead of up and down. This is the magic of the spin loop -- You only have to do the first 35% of the move and the rest just happens.
Tips for step 7)  Splash! The landing can be a bit wet.
Tips for step 8)   If you landed on your back or butt then lean the rig up to get out of the water.
Tips for step 9)   If you landed on your back or butt then lean the rig up to get out of the water.


  • You must get the board out of the water (including the fin) or you will get yanked out of the footstraps and catapulted, perhaps into your gear.
  • As you prepare to jump off the water then lean forward so your face is near the booms; then when you jump you can lean the sail more forward and past the center line, with your body inside the spin of sail to pull your feet around.
  • Really look hard over your shoulder for a faster rotation and pull up with your knees.
  • The nose of the board can jab in the water and act as a pole vault.
  • When starting to loop, wear as much protective gear as you can. Anything that will help you get the courage to chuck yourself forward.
  • The limiting factor in learning to loop is your head; because your have to overcome your fear and gather courage.
  • Once you are chucking loops then technique becomes important to landing loops well and eventually to plane out of forwards.
  • Remember to hang on to the booms no matter what. I have screwed up forwards in every possible manner (sometimes on purpose to see the results) and in almost every case I was OK if I hung on to the booms.
  • Some have blown out ear drums learning this move -- I have never come close -- so get some ear protection. I have a friend who duck-taped his ears in the beginning and is a great looper now.
  • If you lean back and sheet in before leaning the sail forward and jumping forward then you will do this pancake like rotation and never really get the sail rotating. I see some beginners get in this habit because they are afraid to go over the handle bars.
  • Do not be discouraged if it takes a while to get the courage because some of the best loopers I know took a very long time.
  • Since you are lower to the water the risk is less than a normal forward.
  • Some people like to use an underhand grip on the forward hand and they claim you can get the sail more forward and hence, a better rotation. This does not work for me but may do magic for you.
  • Some loopers like to jump the board and bring the mast into the wind to load up the sail; then press the front hand down to create the rotation. This is the contrarian method. If you are having trouble then give this methoda try. Maybe this concept will help.


One hand, no hand, one foot, grabs, combinations.