Strap to strap gybing

Over the last few Windwise Dyno features Simon Bornhoft has broken the step gybe down into achievable parts and ramped up your fast downwind set ups and tight survival upwind gybes. For this session, we’re going to expand your gybing range with a classic ‘Strap-to-Strap’ wave style gybe to make you and your Dyno feel like wave masters.

Photos: Windwise / Kate Ocean

Who’s This For?

– Anyone looking to increase their gybing range, versatility and success rate?
– If you’re looking to simply just get round dry in extremely over powered conditions?
– You’re seeking to pivot round and catch a swell or wave with least amount of effort.
– Want to know how to save a messed up step gybe?

Dyno Set Up To Maximise Your Performance

Single Fin & Outboard Straps: Freeride blasting, larger rigs and fast Step Gybes.

Thrusters & Inboard Straps: Easier foot changes and Strap-to-Strap wave gybes.

Mast Base Tuning: Forward to flatten the board, back to reduce turning arc.

Dyno Diary

The versatility of a Dyno and the easily changeable straps and fin set up, allow you to choose and adapt your gybing style to suit a range of conditions. If you haven’t already, catch a ride on a Dyno soon as they make turns like this feel like you’re the boss!

Windwise Core Skills

Vision: Look through and out of your turns like a laser!

Opposition: Rig forward / body back for Strap-to-Strap gybing.

Warrior: A relaxed Warrior stance to create that carving feeling.


The strap-to-strap gybe was the style used for the first ever ‘carve gybe’ back in the early 80’s. This was commonly performed on small pintail wave boards to cope with the ultra forward mast bases and skinny tails. There was, and still is, a tendency to sink the tail and lose speed, so the modern ‘Step Gybe’ was initially adopted by racers as it gave more exit speed, plus, from a recreational point of view, it was easier to learn at lower speeds and on larger Freeride boards. Step Gybes are now the most common form of gybing, but the classic Strap-to-Strap still has its use, especially on those crazy days on small boards when ease, survival and energy saving are your priority.

Here are the pros and cons and the wisest skills you should focus on.


Step Gybe 

In our Windwise Dyno series we’ve illustrated how the feet are switched just before the rig is released and how the new front foot is placed forward of the front strap just before the rig is rotated.


  • The early foot change and forward placed foot enables a flatter faster board on exit.
  • Easy to practice off the plane and creates a more stable platform for learning carve gybes.
  • Experienced gybers can really drive through the turn and racers always use a Step Gybe.
  • It should be your go to gybe for most conditions.


  • A foot change at very high speeds, especially over chop, can cause instability and loss of clew control.

The Strap-To-Strap Gybe

Also known as the ‘classic’ or ‘wave board’ gybe, the Strap-to-Strap method has the least body, hand and foot movements of any style of gybing. The front foot stays in the front strap pretty much the whole way round. The rig is released early and well before changing the feet. The rearward sailor position makes the board carve and pivot more on the tail as the rig ‘flips’ round like an upright door with the foot change after the rig has been collected.


  • A fun option when very over powered on sub 100L boards.
  • Less timing needed with the rig and foot change.
  • Often used to pivot tightly round to catch swell or wave.
  • Can also be used for a Foil Gybe, so worth practicing to master that SV Alien!
  • Teaches you how to save a Step Gybe when you lose the clew mid turn.


  • Higher chance of losing speed, unless you’re very powered up.
  • Tendency to sink the tail and spin into the wind at the end of the gybe.
  • Not great on 6m+ rigs and 100L+ wide boards.


Whilst you might not Strap-to-Strap most of the time, it’s well worth mastering, here are some core skills to focus on.

Set Up

The entry can be identical to the Step Gybe, so take a fast broad reach downwind gybe line.

Set Up & Unhooking Touch Points

  1. Clew hand shifts down the boom (approximately 40-50cm) prior to unhooking.
  2. Rear foot comes out of the strap, heel momentarily on the ‘windward’ side next to back strap.

Set Up Carving Touch Points

  1. Once settled, the rear foot slides across onto leeward side next to back strap
  2. As you carve, sheet in so that the foot of the sail is close to or ideally touches the inside carving leg.

Warrior Carving

Progressively lean into the turn, accentuating that Warrior stance to engage the leeward rail.

Look through the turn to where you want to go, chin towards or on inside shoulder.

Lean your body in ‘Warrior’ = Head and hip over a flexed carving knee and ankle!

When Warrior is accentuated you’ll naturally anchor and pull up slightly on the front strap. So always ‘try’ to extend the mast arm to oppose the leaning body.

Early Rig Release

As the board approaches the dead downwind stage of the gybe, the backhand releases the rig, the faster you’re going and the harder you carve the earlier you can release the rig. As ever, make sure you slide the mast hand as far forward as possible to help ‘ hinge’ the rig.  At this stage, it’s vital to NOT move the feet. Concentrate and accentuate your carving Warrior, twisting tendons to face the whole body round out of the turn.

The Foot Switch & Rig Collection

During and after collecting the rig, keep the mast and rig FORWARD and aim to get the power on early by sheeting in and down on the boom. Be careful not to lean or pull the rig back too far as you switch the feet. Ideally, slip the new front foot straight into the strap sink low and fire out of the turn.

In strong winds: Sink low, pull down on the boom to be secure and drive the board forward.

In marginal winds: Keep that rig forward and get the power on early to maximise early planing.

It’s a very easy addition to your gybing repertoire, so look, lean, release the clew early and you’ll feel like the early creators of the original carve gybe!

Next month we’ll keep you and your Dyno fired up with more Windwise training skills.

Until then any technique questions or Dyno specific tune-ups, drop me an email

Want to improve your windsurfing and try some Severne gear?

Join a skill enhancing Windwise session to get the most out of your time on the water!

Your progression and a great time is guaranteed!

2021-22 Windwise Winds Of The World Tour

Freeride + Freewave + FoilWise

Tenerife / Bonaire / Alacati / Prasonisi / Mauritius 

Copyright: Simon Bornhoft Windwise 2021

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