The flaka is often considered one of the most critical moves in freestyle, as once you have learned this move it opens up a whole plethora of other freestyle tricks which involve an aerial 360.
Although it can be a tricky and frustrating experience to learn to flaka, once you have landed it for the first time it becomes one of the easier moves to land consistently and offers an amazing feeling, which means you won’t be able to stop pulling this move in front of your mates. There is also a great range of flaka variations to keep the fun factor whilst helping you to enhance your personal sailing level.
As a prerequisite it is essential that you can upwind 360 in the straps on a shortboard before attempting this move, start off in light winds on a big board and small sail to build up your muscle memory before trying it in higher winds.
To try and make the path to learning this amazing looking and feeling trick, we asked several of the top pros in the world for some inside knowledge.
Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine)
“I think the most important part of the flaka is that you never want to push the sail. Move it forwards neutrally before you jump so that it is far enough away from you that you can jump into the clew with your hips to start sliding backwards. From there it's easy.”
Paul Zeper (Patrik / Hot Sails Maui)
“Keep your front arm stretched out to the front of the board, back arm close to your body.”
Rafael de Windt (Hot Sails Maui)
“The tip I would give for flaka is that you don’t throw your sail against the wind but throw it half wind and when you throw the sail make sure that your front hand is stretched and that your back hand kind of against your chest.”
Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
“Make sure you slide your back hand down the back of your boom like you would in a forward.
Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different)
“Before you go for the move make sure you bring the body over the board.”
Good luck with the learning process, and if you’d like more tips on freestyle, slalom or waves, then simply let us now on our Facebook page and we’ll do our best to gain you more exclusive insights.