The Shaka is a dream move for many, truly providing an awesome feeling all the way from take off, down to the landing. Apart from it being a very rewarding move to do, it can be be thrown in a dazzling variety of conditions and styles at a really high success rate! No wonder that you will see a Shaka during almost every heat during our competitions. Ask around with the pro riders, and they will tell you that they don’t just do it for the points; everyone has this move up in their top 3 favourites repertoire. Still, the move is peculiar in that it’s hard to compare to any other. This means there are riders doing Shaka’s with only a handful of other basic sliding moves in their pocket, but also riders who can do a plethora of power moves, but still cannot Shaka. That’s why we want to shed some light on the technique, so that you can start blasting them at your local spot too, regardless of your current freestyle level! In a fresh collaboration, the Freestyle Pro Tour and Tricktionary will be bringing you tips and tricks for the freestyle manoeuvres you aspire to do. As you might have guessed already, first up is the Shove it Flaka (Shove it Flat Water Taka if you want to be precise ;)).
The following feature is an introduction to the Shaka. The Windsurfing Tricktionary 3 book has a more in depth section with tips and tricks that will come in handy on the water. Furthermore there are more slow motion clips on the Tricktionary mobile app.
Getting into Shakas is a bit tricky at first, the take off is a complex and awkward motion that needs you to commit into really throwing yourself over the sail. It undoubtedly helps to have a small, steep piece of chop or wave turning slightly towards you to learn that typical and tricky Shaka entry motion.
Sail fast across the wind, spread your hands and unhook.
Just before taking off, oversheet the sail by pulling it back and down with the sail hand. Carve the board hard into the wind, into a chop or wave, and at the same time roll your body weight from the upwind rail over the board.
Pop the board by pushing in with the back foot and pulling it up with the front one.
Throw your body forward and get yourself over the sail by pushing it down with the mast hand and sheeting in with the sail hand. This is really the key motion to understand, you really want to keep moving forward, in the riding direction, to be able to get into that sweet Shaka body posture. This will not work when you carve and then jump upwind! Rolling over the board from the heelside rail, popping it when you are above the board and throwing yourself forward and pushing the sail down – that is what will get you rotating and into the Shaka-style posture.
Once in the air, stay over your sail, pushing down with both hands. Keep your upper body leaning forward, your legs extended and your toes curled up; the sail should be horizontal. As you pass the apex of the jump, begin to depower the rig for your descent. Keep the mast hand fully extended, but pull up with the sail hand.
Aim to set down nose-first to allow sliding backwards, whilst keeping the sail hand fully sheeted in to keep the power under control.
To complete the move, finish like a Flaka or Upwind 360 by bending your knees, waiting for the board to slide before opening the clew and finally stopping the rotation by bringing the sail back up in front of you.
That’s it! Remember the key point is to keep your momentum going forward, not upwind! We hope these tips help you in landing your first Shaka’s! Stay tuned for the next Tricktionary Move of the Month. Thank you to Michael Rossmeier and Tricktionary for the thorough explanation and pictures!