The pushloop isn’t the most technical loop, but it is a variation that holds a lot of fear and psychological barriers for many, but when done right it is still one of the most stylish loops there is. If you’ve been contemplating beginning your pushloop journey or can’t seem to quite crack it here are some top tips from some of the world’s best sailors.
Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing): “For me there’s two ways to do the pushloop… For the traditional one you want the same kind of ramp as for a backloop, so a very vertical ramp… then you jump off the ramp, but I think it’s important to know that you don’t have to rush the rotation. Instead you need to try and feel that you are at the highest point of your jump and then just look back as though you are trying to look at the top of your mast. As with everything in windsurfing your body follows where you head goes, so then you’ll end up on top of your sail… when you get to this point it’s going to feel like you are going to land on your sail, but it’s fine, you just need to push on your backhand so that the wind hits from under you and helps you to complete the rotation. To avoid flat landings, once you are back upright sheet in slightly to land softly.
The other variation is the tweaked pushloop, which requires a completely different technique… For the tweaked pushloop I feel like you still want a vertical ramp, but you setup by going a little bit more downwind. Once you are in the air I’d say that you want to give it a bit more time than the traditional before starting to rotate. You also don’t throw your head back like the traditional one… instead you need to throw your sail almost as if you are going for a goiter or ponch. At this point you just need to remember to keep your back leg straight - that’s what allows you to get the tweak. From there you really just need to push on your backhand to come back upright. If you feel out of control you can just let go with the backhand.”
Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone)
“First of all the best conditions to learn to pushloop in are when you are really powered up and on as small a sail as possible because this makes the whole rotation really easy. One of the most important things is choosing the right ramp, so you are looking for a ramp that is like a backloop ramp, but not quite as steep, this helps you to keep some forward momentum as you come round to finish the move. When you jump you want to throw your head right back so that you are looking at the mast tip. As you did this you need to pull you front arm in and push out with your backhand. To try and make the rotation a bit easier try and tuck in your with legs to make yourself more compact.”
John Skye (RRD / RRD Sails)
“The number one thing is to make sure you have a lot of speed and power. You definitely don’t want to be underpowered for pushloops. When you take off throw your rig slightly more into the wind than a backloop. One of the key things for me is really pulling your front hand in as you go through the wind. As you come round, having your front hand bent then allows you to straighten it to stop the rotation.”
Jamie Hancock (Tabou / GA Sails)
“You don't need a massive ramp for the pushloop, but you do need one that’s steep to send you straight upwards. As you come into the wind you really have to pull in your front hand and sheet out the back slightly, while trying to focus on getting your body above your equipment as you reach the apex of the jump. The more pulled in your have your front hand the more control you have to stop the rotation by extending it once you have rotated. It’s all about finding the right balance and once you have that you can keep the control through the entire pushloop.
Kenneth Danielsen (Flikka / Simmer)
“My tip for learning the pushloop is to find a steep wave to take off of. As soon as you leave the wave, sheet out with your backhand as hard as you can, and at the same time throw your head back. This will start the rotation of the pushloop. When you are fully rotated spot the landing by looking under your back arm. Try to land on the tail of the board for a soft landing.”
If you can already pushloop and fancy trying your hand at tweaking them try these tips:
Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde)
“I think it is important to not think of it as a pushloop! You rather take off like you are going for a backloop. When you initiate the rotation you have to separate the movements of your upper and lower body from each other. Your upper body (head, shoulder, arms) starts the rotation while you lower body (hips and legs) remain in the old position for a while. Thats pretty much it!”
Alessio Stillrich (Simmer / Simmer Sails)
“To help trying to learn tweaked pushloops try and throw the mast to your back ankle.”
Good luck with your pushloop journey.