Sunday, July 11, 2010

Andy Chambers explains freestyle moves

Another light wind opportunity on the PWA Tour ... Paul Griffths conducts this Q & A with Andy Bubble Chambers (photo)

Paul:  We're still on standby here in Costa Teguise. We've had a lot of people asking us to explain various moves that the sailors have been performing during their heats, so if the wind remains light we're going to get one of the guys to explain all via the Ticker.

Ok, I've dragged Andy 'Bubble' Chambers away from his lunch to talk to us about some of the freestyle moves we've seen over the past few days. First up Bubble, lets talk about the most basic moves.

Describe the spock, the flaka, and the grubby.

Bubble: The easiest way to describe it is to go back to the real basics of the vulcan. This is effectively an air gybe where your feet stay in the straps and you land sliding backwards. The spock is the next step on from this. As you're sliding backwards you push the mast into wind and carry on round another 180 degrees. And, when you slide this final 180 you flip the sail again to go back the way you started. The flaka is essentially just a planing aerial upwind 360 in the straps. The grubby is pretty much a downwind 360 in the straps but instead of carving round the move, you slide on the nose of the board.

They sound easy enough to understand, probably a little bit more complicated to actually perform! What's the next step up from those 3 moves?

Bubble: You'd probably learn how to do all of those moves switch. Which means you're sailing in the wrong straps with your body twisted.

Do those switch moves have a different name?

Bubble: Just to make things a bit more complicated - YES! A switch stance spock is a Puneta, a switch stance grubby is an e-slider, but the switch flaka is simply that, the switch flaka!

Where do we go from there?

Bubble: You could add a diablo to each of those moves to increase your technical skill points. A diablo being where you duck the rig at the very end of any move.

What about a ponch then?

Bubble: That's basically a cartwheel whilst holding on to your gear. You and your board cartwheel over the top of your sail. This move is more technically difficult than the one's we've spoken about already, and is even harder on glassy flat water!

Is that similar to a toad?

Bubble: Not really. But, you do still rotate with a cartwheel type of motion. However, you're clew first in that one, and rotate away from the wind.

It's starting to get complicated now!

Bubble: I know. Next up is the funnel.


Bubble: A funnel, named after the legend Andy Funnel, is basically a switch stance front to sail spock 540. You start off switch stance, duck the sail (so that you're now front to sail), pop 180, and then slide round the rest of the move.

And a bob?

Bubble: That's essentially a regular stance funnel.

I'm getting lost, but lets carry on. What's a culo?

Bubble: It's a mix between a bob and a toad.

Ummm? Go on then...

Bubble: In the simplest of terms it's exactly the same as bob but off axis, so you rotate over your gear rather than with it. A burner is the switch version.

What about the chachoo? That's been around for ages right?

Bubble: Yeah it has, but it remains one of the most difficult moves to do. Most people do the switch version which is far easier. With this one it's essentially just a spock 540 but you rotate around the clew of the sail instead of the mast.

OK. Finally, another move we here about all the time is the kono. What's that?

Bubble: It's a lot like an old school move that Robby Naish used to do when he turned around. You duck the sail like a duck tack, carve into wind, pop the board up and sheet in facing the other direction. If you end up going the other way though, it's just a half kono, you actually need to spin 360 in the air to do the full version which barely anyone can do!

Right, you've confused me enough now. If anyone else out there is feeling the same, just log onto where you can search for all of these moves and more! Now when you see them written in the Ticker, and you're not quite sure what we're talking about, you may be a little bit wiser! Bubble has basically fried my brain talking moves so i've let him wander off now. The wind is still playing games with us, and everyone is waiting patiently on standby.

You can find PWA media man, Paul Griffths plying his trade with play by play on the Live Ticker, daily event reports and windsurfing news at

Postscript: The event below, recently announced on July 1: Event organisers are eager to hear from anyone interested in attending. Register or leave a comment on this forum thread.

Freestyle Competition in conjunction with the 2010 U.S. National Windsurfing Championship

San Francisco | Crissy Field | July 20th-24th.

There will be 2 Divisions.

New School – Any trick counts.
Old  School – Bring your Carving Tricks and Light Wind Maneuvers.

You can enter both Divisions if you like!

Entrance Fee is $35 and gets you into all the action and parties at the St. Francis Yacht Club.

Latest informatiom here

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