So you’ve recently started your adventure into the waves and feel like you are now at a competent level with your jumping...what’s the next move to push yourself to the next level? Of course the forward loop screams out its name loud and clear, but for some the idea of throwing themselves into a forward is simply something their brain won’t compute, or at least not yet. So whilst the backloop is a much more technical jump, it does offer a more controlled rotation which represents less of a psychological barrier to overcome.
If you can reliably pull off vertical jumps off steep ramps in perfect control, then there’s no reason for you to delay the start of your backloop journey. With this in mind we caught up with a few of the top sailors in the world to find out their top tips for the backloop - a maneouvre every wave sailor needs in his artillery.
Over to the Pros - The Backloop
Adam Lewis (Fanatic / North):
“I think one of the most important things is to have the right take and to have the right take off you need the right ramp. So first of all hunt out a nice steep ramp that is going to send you directly up. Once you are in the air make sure your hands are shoulder width apart and as you continue to go up bring the sail in towards you. When you are at the apex of the jump, that’s when we want to start to rotate so we just need to look over our back shoulder. Now there’s a couple of things that need to happen 1) we need to spot our landing and 2) slide your backhand as far down the boom as possible - this is really important as it allows you to control the rotation and hopefully avoid over rotating, which is a common sign that you don’t have your backhand far enough back. For the landing you should keep your backhand on the boom clip and really tuck your back leg up so you can guide the nose of the board into the water.
Martin ten Hoeve (Goya Windsurfing / Point-7):
“Finding a steep ramp when you are trying your first backloops is quite important because you need to be jumping straight into the air and almost coming straight down as well. As you launch into the air make sure that you keep yourself close to the boom. At the highest point of the jump you need to bring your body weight from being underneath the gear to more on top of the gear. The backhand in a backloop is your control hand. If you open your backhand you will immediately start to over rotate, so it’s really important to keep it closed. On the way down keep your weight on your front hand and front foot, whilst tucking up your back leg. Then you just have to really commit to the landing.”
John Skye (RRD / MFC)
“Really focus on where you want to land. Everyone says look where you want to land, but you really need to focus on a spot. Not just look over your should at the ocean, but look down and focus on an exact point to land.”
“Think of the backloop as two parts. Most people suffer from over-rotation as they just throw the loop and hope for the best. To stop this I think of the move as two parts. Firstly just do a high vertical jump. Then when you reach the apex, look over your shoulder FOCUS on the landing and start the rotation. 75% of the rotation should be done on the way down.”
We hope some of those fantastic tips help and good luck on the water.