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Flaka or Forward?

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Created by PhilSWR > 9 months ago, 26 Jan 2015
PhilSWR
NSW, 1104 posts
26 Jan 2015 1:06PM
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Right, I'm feeling up for a challenge and want to learn some freestyle moves. I've only just learnt to gybe half decent, and getting more confident at jumping, so was feeling brave and want to try either a Flaka or a Forward Loop. It looks like the Flaka would / could be a nice prelude to the Forward? Is working on the Flaka a wise move for leading into others like the Forward Loop? Any info appreciated.

I've saved these clips and tried to absorb as much info from them before hitting the water- hopefully in a few days

PS- Plan to try them on my 101 RRD FSW. Will fit a smaller fin as well. Will take Gopro.


jn1
SA, 1729 posts
26 Jan 2015 1:07PM
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Phil.. why not try learning Duck gybe ?. It's the next step after the carve gybe and will improve your normal gybes (ie: if you are not doing carve gybes properly, you won't be able to flip the sail duck gybing).

Well, it improved mine !

MartinF2
QLD, 468 posts
26 Jan 2015 1:38PM
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I'm keen to see what the experts say here but I think a forward is easier. It's the fear to conquer about going round the front which is harder to master. We spend our whole learning process with pulling back and avoiding the catapult that when it comes to forwards it's against what we think is right. It's really all about commitment and going for it. My hat's off to all those that can do it and those that want to learn. Maybe one day I'll grow some balls......
Cheers
Marty

barn
WA, 2957 posts
26 Jan 2015 12:51PM
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PhilSWR said..Is working on the Flaka a wise move for leading into others like the Forward Loop? Any info appreciated.


The Flaka is the entry into the upwind 360 moves, flaka is close to a ponch, and the shaka is somewhat similar but a thousand times harder than both.

These upwind air moves have almost nothing in common with a forward, and the technical difficulty is always underestimated by anyone who can't do them..

Forwards and vulcans are the first moves to try.. Flakas look easy but I doubt theres more than 40 people in Australia who have landed one..


Jn1 is right, duck gybes are an underestimated move that you hardly ever see..

7.8 Overdrive and 92 Patrik slalom..

jn1
SA, 1729 posts
26 Jan 2015 5:26PM
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barn said..
7.8 Overdrive and 92 Patrik slalom..

That's an interesting technique using the other arm as a counter weight. It took me a while to build up the strength in my arm to really chuck the sail to get it around... this technique would make it easier not only on the smaller sails, but the bigger ones too.

seanhogan
3007 posts
26 Jan 2015 4:05PM
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like BARN said (I first checked with my son...) try the air gybe/vulcan and then spock.

he told me with the flaka you had 90% chances of damaging your board
(he is throwing his forwards but not nailing them yet)

Go for the duck gybe it looks awesome from the beach !!

Barn, when are you coming over to New Cal ? my son needs a coach !!!

barn
WA, 2957 posts
26 Jan 2015 6:10PM
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jn1 said..

barn said..
7.8 Overdrive and 92 Patrik slalom..


That's an interesting technique using the other arm as a counter weight. It took me a while to build up the strength in my arm to really chuck the sail to get it around... this technique would make it easier not only on the smaller sails, but the bigger ones too.


You'll see a lot of people try and duck the sail with multiple hand movements, but the old school duck was just always a single movement. It's too far to reach the clew on any sail bigger than a 4.0, so you have to let go of the both hands to reach the back of the boom in one grab.

I find myself throwing my whole weight back to counterbalance the sail being thrown forward (while reaching for the clew).. If I miss the clew grab, I fly off the back!.. Once you have a firm grip of the boom, you can pull yourself forwards and grab the boom at the harness lines. So it's not just the arm that is acting as a counter balance, it's the whole body and rig.. A fundamental aspect of modern freestyle, and a big reason why the Flaka is a very hard move.

There was a thread a while ago about the fastest way to gybe when going faster than the wind on big kit, at full speed on an 8.6 Reflex, a duck gybe with the same technique as the video above is the fastest (when it works)..

I'll see if I can do an instructional video over the next few weeks..

Click on the video above for a high deff version!

Haircut
QLD, 6282 posts
26 Jan 2015 8:58PM
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grubbys might be the pick of the moves to learn if you want to also learn to do forwards. many of them end up a bit forward-esque when you jump too high or go too far down wind

flaka took me the longest to learn to do so far and i'm only consistent in the one direction. I didn't have any risk of board damage, but i've put a lot of holes and marks at the lower part of the sail becuase of landing hook first on the sail and skidding across it

and as barn said, shaka is also tricky. Even after 5 weeks worth of constantly trying them literally every day, i'm stuck at "half shakas" with just the occasional hint of getting right around and had some really bizarre contorted stacks

i too agree with duck gybes as the good next move to learn, then loops, vulcans, spocks, grubbys, flaka etc.

i want to be 21 again

Haircut
QLD, 6282 posts
26 Jan 2015 10:01PM
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actually the key point (at least for me) in the flaka tutorial video above is almost inaudible in that clip - which is slicing / throwing the rig forward/across into the wind. In fact, if you do this aggressively, the rest of the move is almost autopilot, especially if you can already do an "in the straps" upwind 360. getting the courage to throw the rig with confidence, and timing with the "pop" of the board was the trick

PhilSWR
NSW, 1104 posts
26 Jan 2015 10:36PM
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Cheers guys for the good info. It seems I picked one of the harder moves with the Flaka....hmmm. Probably over-reaching again, but I Googled the Vulcan and will have a crack in a day or so. I can see a flogging comin' up...



Haircut
QLD, 6282 posts
26 Jan 2015 10:56PM
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i reckon there's no harm in trying any move at any level, especially if you are still nimble

my 2cents on vulcans - you don't need to jump the tail of the board high (even with a 30cm fin), and don't just jump around the rig like many of these boom-to-boom vulcan videos demonstrate above - instead try to throw the rig/mast across in front of your body as you go around it (by yanking the boom or the mast across your chest). it allows you to do them pointing well up into the wind like a tack, helps you rotate, and allows you to slide backward a lot longer before having to sheet in and recover

at about this point start pulling the rig across your chest from right to left, using either the right hand on the boom as in the pic, or left hand on the mast

PhilSWR
NSW, 1104 posts
26 Jan 2015 11:14PM
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Cheers Haircut, will add that to my "How to do a Vulcan" sheet I'll drag down to the lake on Weds. Gunna be interesting. I can see I may be in for a black slapping...lol

PS- I could imagine this move being a pretty fancy way of changing tack when lining up a wave to catch. I normally gybe around the wave / swell I want and go from there. This looks like it would be loads of fun. Though changing the stance could be interesting...

Haircut
QLD, 6282 posts
26 Jan 2015 11:25PM
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for the endings, practice hanging off your rig in switch stance while on the beach, even without the board

boardsurfr
WA, 752 posts
27 Jan 2015 4:00AM
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Learning vulcans before Flakas is very common advice. However, not everyone agrees. Some of our local freestylers suggest to try Flakas and/or Grubbies before Vulcans. A young freestyler I know learned the Flaka rather quickly, going on to one-handed Flakas, Konos, and other stuff in less than a year. He still has not tried Vulcans. My lovely wife also picked the Flaka as her first new school move, and here tries are starting to look good. Learning the Vulcan first may even make learning the Flaka harder - quite a few freestylers who started with the Vulcan had a much harder time with the Flaka.

If you'd decide to learn the Flaka, you should learn the upwind 360 first. It's pretty easy to learn in light wind with a big board and small sail. The next step is to then do it in the straps, and planing, on a small board.

The forward loop is technically simpler than the Vulcan or the Flaka. Unless you're sailing in big waves, you'll probably start with a more horizontal version, often called the spin loop or speed loop. The hard thing about the loop is to try it. If you do, make sure to start with the wymaroo-type sail steering exercises, e.g. Remko De Weerds' "Loop in 4 steps" instructions.

Have fun and let us know how it goes!

sboardcrazy
NSW, 6485 posts
27 Jan 2015 11:30AM
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barn said..


PhilSWR said..Is working on the Flaka a wise move for leading into others like the Forward Loop? Any info appreciated.




The Flaka is the entry into the upwind 360 moves, flaka is close to a ponch, and the shaka is somewhat similar but a thousand times harder than both.

These upwind air moves have almost nothing in common with a forward, and the technical difficulty is always underestimated by anyone who can't do them..

Forwards and vulcans are the first moves to try.. Flakas look easy but I doubt theres more than 40 people in Australia who have landed one..


Jn1 is right, duck gybes are an underestimated move that you hardly ever see..

7.8 Overdrive and 92 Patrik slalom..


Barn that's got to be the classiest duck gybe I've seen!

FlickySpinny
WA, 657 posts
27 Jan 2015 1:51PM
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I learned to loop in an afternoon.

I've been trying to Flaka since 2009, with no luck yet.

That's not to say you shouldn't start trying them - by all means start getting stuck in, because the sooner you start, the sooner you'll land one.

I'd recommend learning to do an upwind 360 in the straps and a sail-body 360 before even thinking about the Flaka.... (remember this advice is coming from someone who can't Flaka).

Good luck!

NotWal
QLD, 6858 posts
27 Jan 2015 4:45PM
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sboardcrazy said..
barn said..


PhilSWR said..Is working on the Flaka a wise move for leading into others like the Forward Loop? Any info appreciated.




The Flaka is the entry into the upwind 360 moves, flaka is close to a ponch, and the shaka is somewhat similar but a thousand times harder than both.

These upwind air moves have almost nothing in common with a forward, and the technical difficulty is always underestimated by anyone who can't do them..

Forwards and vulcans are the first moves to try.. Flakas look easy but I doubt theres more than 40 people in Australia who have landed one..


Jn1 is right, duck gybes are an underestimated move that you hardly ever see..

7.8 Overdrive and 92 Patrik slalom..


Barn that's got to be the classiest duck gybe I've seen!


+1. Makes a big sail look like a 5.

CJW
NSW, 1507 posts
27 Jan 2015 6:00PM
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Agree that the forward is by far the easiest to crack initially as it's simply a factor of over coming the fear/muscle memory of stopping a catapult. This can of course be difficult but once you crack it you've got it.

The vulcan is the easiest to commit to as it's a very safe trick to learn and the fear factor in throwing them is low. As Haircut says learn them with the sliding technique, keeping the board as low as possible, rather than the pure 'jump' technique as once you can get them you will very easily be able to move onto spocks and spock 540's. If you learn them by just jumping the board around you will find it much more difficult to progress that to a spock. If I can add anything it's that the head and hand movement is key, get that fast and using the correct technique, pulling across your body as Haircut suggests, you're 90% of the way there. The head movement/hand movement is everything with that trick as it drives the rotation, the pop/jump is 5% of it imo. Flat water also helps a LOT with this trick, the flatter the better.

The other thing with freestyle is you have to commit hard. For 6 or so years i'd throw a vulcan here or there and in all that time pretty much got nowhere. One season I just decided stuff it i'm getting this and just threw vulcan after vulcan session after session. It only took about a month (I can' remember how many sailing days) to go from falling on my back at 90 degrees every time (which I'd been doing for all that time) to landing them here and there. It took another few years (not throwing them all the time) to get them consistent in all conditions like chop/super windy etc but once you've got a few the muscle memory kicks and and it gets easier.

I'm currently on the Flaka/shaka train and it's a doosey. I've only really kicked in hard trying to learn the flaka recently but it's a trick that takes a lot of commitment and most of it is very counter intuitive. I just can't get the pop/throw timing right, which from my extensive crash research is everything.

It's also pretty hard to keep motivated when you're throwing yourself into the sail time and time again and getting nowhere. If you have a mate of a similar level that's learning too it will make a huge difference both in motivation and being able to see what each other is doing wrong; this is very hard to do from a 1st person perspective.

siny
ACT, 264 posts
27 Jan 2015 8:58PM
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What's wrong with just going in and out . You young fellows have got to much energy

FlickySpinny
WA, 657 posts
27 Jan 2015 7:17PM
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CJW said..
The vulcan ....
The head movement/hand movement is everything with that trick as it drives the rotation, the pop/jump is 5% of it imo.

This.

This.

This x 1000.

Hand movement - earlier, more aggressive, faster. If you think you're doing it right, do it ten times quicker.

NotWal
QLD, 6858 posts
27 Jan 2015 10:10PM
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siny said..
What's wrong with just going in and out . You young fellows have got too much energy


Depends what you're going in and out of.

albentley
NSW, 291 posts
28 Jan 2015 3:11AM
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Most people have a preferred tack for each move, and its very common for your best side for the vulcan/ spock/ grubby to be with most powerful leg (e.g. right leg for 9/10 people) at the back, and for the flaka with that leg forward. So actually you can learn both at the same time... one on each tack. Lots of crashing.

Likewise with the forward its best to learn with your most powerful hand at the back... to sheet in. But if you sail somewhere with waves to jump off you probably don't have a choice.

Al

barn
WA, 2957 posts
29 Jan 2015 9:54PM
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This is from a year or so ago, returning from injury the duckgybe was pretty much my only source of entertainment.. More fun than perfecting the carve gybe!

The nice thing about duckgybes is the power is back in the sail early, so you can hang your weight back on the rig earlier and go strap to strap. Normal carve gybes you step forward as you flip the rig to control mast base pressure...


Can't remember, this is either a 5.5 Gator or a 6.0 and a Kode 94 with the inside straps, I quickly changed to the outboard straps..

barn
WA, 2957 posts
30 Jan 2015 10:14AM
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^Sorry broken link!






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"Flaka or Forward?" started by PhilSWR