Suicide Gybe

Tips from people who know what they are doing

So why use a suicide gybe?

This gybe has been used mainly during racing but i find myself using it a lot more when cruising also.
The gybe maintaiins your speed during the transition between reachs or from a reach to a down wind mark.
The idea is to travel in an arc from reach/downwind/reach.
The size of the arc will increase with confidence.

I found this easier at first to use a mark as a turning point and when fully powered up.

The basics required:-

Abilty to travel on a reach
Turn down wind
Backloop kite


Start by traveling on a reach to your mark.
I find it helps if you head slightly up wind before the mark then turn slightly towards it before you begin the mangrove this enables you to begin your turn whilst still powered up.
For this example kite is on your left.
When you reach the point you wish to carry out the maneuver send the kite above your head towards your right side.
Timing is critical here:
As the kite moves over your head and into the negative part of the window begin your turn downwind at the same time as back looping the kite.
To start with it will be easier to turn the kite high in the window as you improve the kite loop will become bigger allowing you to travel further downwind.

If kite is to far behind you it will luff and become a mess on the floor 🙂 (you may have turned to sharply when kite is overhead)
You may feel a slight de-acceleration if it’s not quite right but the maneuver will still work.
If you’ve got it right it will feel smooth throughout.

Your kite and buggy will continue to travel downwind as you complete your turn and kite back loop.
Sometimes you may need a touch of brake to help kite around.
There will be a slight delay as you’re kite catches you up as you continue to turn down wind and back into wind.

If you get it right you shouldn’t have scrubbed any speed off during maneuver.

Bit of a long post but hope this helps


Basically its a gybe in which you send the kite right above your head until its facing directly to the zenith (rather than angled slightly forward), then you quickly turn so you’re heading downwind directly, this forces the kite over the top and behind you, heading down the wind window upwind of you, you can hold it for a while powering downwind, or you can start to turn it around to the outside of the turn while you turn slightly away from it slowly while it does so, keeping the apparent wind up at the right speed.

Then the kite will be working its way around from the back of the window round to the side of the window, and eventually across the middle of the wind window as you smoothly continue your gybe until you’re powering away across wind again.

I’ve been trying to get a video to demonstrate it together for a while but I’ve not managed to get any decent footage yet really.

Kev aka The Flying Scotsman