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Windsurfing Instruction for 360's

This category of maneuvers involves moves that have some sort of circular (360 degree) rotation involving the board, the sail, and/or the body. Many of these moves were inherited from the long-board freestyle maneuvers in the 1980's but rest assured, all the great New School  windsurfers have flirted with these maneuvers as well.   They are key in the development of sail control, balance, and connectivity.

1. Component Rotations

Rotating just your body is called a Pirouette.   The simple rotations using the mast base as a pivot include the following:   Rotating only the sail is a Sail-360, with the Reverse Sail 360 as another variation.   Rotating only the board is a Board-360.   Rotating your body and sail together is a  Sail-Body-360.   An extension of the Sail-Body-360 is to jump on the leeward side of the sail and perform a  Reverse-Sail-Body-360.   More of the same include the Frisbee (a Reverse sail body 360 with a sail throw.

2. Upwind Circular Rotations

Making a complete circle either upwind or downwind results in another subset of 360 maneuvers.  The upwind variety involve two very similar maneuvers called the Flip 360and the  Upwind 360. A unique style to the Upwind 360 is the The Gecko  and theClew-1st Gecko.

3. Downwind Circular Rotations

The numerous downwind variety include the standard  Downwind 360, the One Handed downwind 360, the downwind 360 strapped, and it's cousin, the Bender.

4. Tweeked Rotations

The Tweeked maneuvers are seldom seen and they include the Tucan (I suppose I could put this in the Willie Skipper Variaion) the Lazy Susan, and the Teletubby.


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Video Play List

  • Carving 360 -   light wind version
    Play This Video
    Here is a demonstration on how to perform a carving 360 in light wind. I put the leading foot in front of the mast base earlier than a fully powered Carving 360 and sheet the sail back to maintain control. Having good backwinding skills really helps while trying this maneuver. You will also notice that the more the nose heads into the wind then the more weight I place on the front foot, until the nose is directly into the wind, then I actually push the nose with the front foot and lean the mast forward to sheet in power for the other direction. It is like scooping the sail into the new direction.
    Rider = Royn Bartholdi
  • Flip 360 -   almost always in light wind
    Play This Video
    This move (performed out of the straps) gets confused with the Upwind 360 (which is in the straps). Notice I initiate this maneuver by placing the leading foot in front of the mast base while sheeting back the sail. Then I move the leading edge of the sail into the wind while keeping my arms extended and away from my body. This will cause the sail to backwind and rotate the board. As the board rotates I progressively shift my weight toward the tail of the board, then sheet out the backhand while pulling in the front arm to complete the rotation.
    Rider = Royn Bartholdi
  • Upwind 360
    Play This Video

    Perform this maneuver in the straps and planing on a slight beam reach. Oversheet the sail (racking it back toward the tail) so the board turns upwind and stalls. Throw the sail forward and lean out over the nose to backwind the sail. Keep the sail away from your body and the board will begin to rotate as you get backwinded. As the board rotates, progressively lean back toward the tail of the board letting the board rotate across the wind and then downwind. Then push out with the clew hand to get the sail powered up again.

    Rider = Royn Bartholdi

Move Definitions for 360's

Sail 360: Flip the sail 360 degrees while everything else is the same.
Sail 360 Pirouette: The sail 360 Piroutte is the concatenation of a Sail 360 and a body Piroutte.
Flip 360: While out of the foot straps, spin the board and sail a full 360 upwind.
Upwind 360:

While remaining in the foot straps, carve a full circle upwind, through the eye of the wind, and around exiting in the same direction you started.

Sail Body 360: Rotate your body and sail 360 by using the mast base as a pivot point.
Reverse Sail Body 360 : Head off the wind, let go of the sail and step around the front of the mast, grabbing the boom on the leeward side. Then push the clew thru the wind for the sail rotation.
Carving 360: Carving a full circle (360 degrees) downwind without stopping.
1 Handed Carving 360: Performing a carving 360 and let go of front hand during the middle of the carve.
Carving 360 Strapped: A carving 360 while your feet stay in the straps.
Clew 1st Carving 360: Rotate the sail 180 so you are sailing clew 1st and then perform a carving 360 downwind.
Carving 360 Pirouette: A carving 360 with a Pirouette performed at the latter part of the moves.
Bender: Sail out of a jibe clew 1st and then crank the clewto backwinded while leaning forward causing the board to swing around into a 360.
Tucan: This move is a board 360 performed partly in the air. Jump the board out of the water and rotate 180 degrees while in the air. The board lands and slides fin first.Rotate the board another 180 degrees in the water.
Frisbee: Jump leeward side of board and issue a sail thow into the wind. When the sail returns then flip the sail again.
Board 360: Rotate just the board as it slides on the water
Lazy Susan: Board 360 complete in the air.
Gecko: An Upwind 360 but performed by sinking the nose deep in the water so the tail pops up out of the water with the sailor momentarily vertical over the volume of the board.
Teletubby: A switch stance sail throw followed by a body pirouette.The sail will spin 360 degrees while the body rotates 360 degrees in the opposite direction.