Carving 360

Whether your spinning donuts in your car, carving big rounded turns on your alpine skis, or swirling around on your rollerblades, carving turns, especially a full 360 degrees, is fun in any sport.  A classic and proven maneuver with little risk, the Carving-360 is a dependable friend providing a controlled and prolonged carving sensation followed by brief elation as you -- like a magician -- have somehow carved a complete circle. Taking this maneuver to complete integration involves a beautiful choreography that enhances the continuity and style of windsurfing as seen by sailors in Maui who carve the 360 in front of the wave face and Gorge sailors laying them down in large swell.  Learning this maneuver has many residual benefits such as improved bottom turns in your wave sailing and incredible laydown jibes.
Step 1 instruction for Carving 360
Step 2 instruction for Carving 360
Step 3 instruction for Carving 360
Step 4 instruction for Carving 360
Step 5 instruction for Carving 360
Step 6 instruction for Carving 360
Step 7 instruction for Carving 360
Step 8 instruction for Carving 360
Step 9 instruction for Carving 360
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Rider: Royn Bartholdi


Tips for step 1)  Unhook and start heading down wind with plenty of speed while sheeting in the sail with the backhand.  Get a wide hand grip prior to heading downwind and pull the back foot like a standard jibe.    The more speed the better!  Keep the board flat on the water as long as possible (in other words off the rails) to maintain speed. Keep your body weight forward and your eyes looking downwind.
Tips for step 2)  Head straight down wind and keep sheeting the sail in with the backhand.  Start to lean your weight over the leeward rail and apply pressure with your back foot to the inside rail.  At this point I am also starting to pull the clew toward the tail of the board and extend my front hand to spill the wind.  I have also narrowed my grip from the wider grip before.
Tips for step 3)  Rake the sail back and lay down the sail, just like a Laydown-Jibe.   I am really pressuring the inside rail now and my arms are positioned like I am holding a cue in billiards.  I want to keep the sail low without catching the leading edge of the mast in the water.
Tips for step 4)  Keep the sail raked toward the tail all the way into the other tack.  Do not get lazy so keep those rickety knees bent.   Be really aggressive and patient as the board continues its arc.  Focus your eyes just above the mast tip.
Tips for step 5)  Notice the sail is still low and away from my body in a good and balanced position.  I am still looking above the mast tip.
Tips for step 6)  As the board continues to carve and begins to stall remember to keep it low and raked back toward the tail.  Most of your weight is on the back foot so you can now remove the front foot and agressively place it directly in front of the mast.
Tips for step 7)  Placing your foot in front of the mast shifts your weight forward and levels the board.  This creates a wide stance and allows you to finish this move.  This step is the hardest and requires the most finesse because you need to backwind the sail a bit and get everything around.  You do this by pushing out with the back hand and releasing pressure with the front hand all while working the nose around with your front foot.
Tips for step 8)  Pull the rig vertical and push with the front foot while pulling with the back foot.
Tips for step 9)  Pull the rig vertical and push with the front foot while pulling with the back foot.


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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.


  • Learn a Laydown-Jibe as preparation for this move.
  • Learn backwinded sailing as preparation for this move.
  • Have oodles of speed going into this move.
  • Look back at the clew if you are having problems keeping the board on a carve.
  • Remember to head straight down wind before doing this move.
  • There is a tendency to get backwinded and thrown backward onto your back.   Your 50% complete at this point.


  • Let go of the front hand for a one-hander.
  • How about the no-hander.
  • Stay in the foot straps.
  • Try Clew First
  • Try Switch Stance
  • Sail throw..
  • Carving 540...
  • Back to sail